Review of the pagan influenced black metal solo project Zgard and its new album “Contemplation”

PromoImageZgard – “Contemplation” [Svarga Music]

Svarga Music, a Ukrainian label whose selection policy on records to put out is narrow and strenuous so you know when they do release something that its going to be worth a listen! Their latest offering is fellow Ukrainian Yaromisl who is the brain power of Zgard. “Contemplation” is this years follow up to 2012’s “Reclusion” and last years “Astral Glow” and this time around we find Zgard at their thought provoking best! Wintry, glacial like black metal of a softer nature, wandering flute solos and a mixture of raw and cleaner vocal work, that’s what makes up this Pagan Black Metal projects sound and more besides!

Throw in atmospheric chanting, beautiful harmonic female vocal work and the more expected sounds of muffled blast beats, ravenous vocals and cold, vehement riff-age and Zgard truly offer up more than enough to keep your mind ticking over!

“Contemplation” is an altogether decent album, great sounding and well put together by a man who clearly enjoys the art of song craft! Its a softer proposition than a lot of black metal out there but then you don’t have to always hammer away to make your point. I for one like it and think that once again Svarga is bringing us more excellent Ukrainian talent! [7/10 – Luke Hayhurst]