Today, pagan black metallers ZGARD premiere a teaser video for their forthcoming fourth album, Contemplation, set for international release on June 23rd through SVARGA MUSIC, which will be released in a regular jewel-case CD version and a digipack version limited to 100 copies.
For the past four years, one-man Ukrainian band ZGARD has been patiently developing an intensely personal vision of pagan-oriented black metal. Now, with the release of Contemplation, ZGARD mastermind Yaromisl has perfected his craft, showing a rawer yet no-less-grandiose side that vividly illustrates the Carpathian mysticism at the heart of that craft. Compared to its celebrated predecessors, 2012’s Reclusion and 2013’s Astral Glow, ZGARD here go for an atmosphere that’s less cosmic and more organic, stirring both bloodlust and majesty within the listener as Yaromisl guides each of the seven tracks along an epic path. As always, the native folk touches are at the forefront but never threaten to overwhelm. As a title, then, Contemplation is more than fitting.
2. Through the Forest [Через ліс]
3. Incarnation Memory [Спогади перевтілень]
4. Wedge of Cranes [Журавлиний клин]
5. Silence [Забуття]
6. Contemplation [Созерцание]
7. Underworld Bells [Дзвін потойбіччя]
The decision to form ZGARD was taken by Yaromisl in autumn 2010. At this time, he was finishing the recording of Goverla’s second album, which, due to various reasons, he decided to release under a new name. The quest for a name wasn’t long: ZGARD is a synonym for “amulet” in the culture of Huzuls, an ethno-cultural group who for centuries have inhabited the Carpathian mountains. Yaromisl wears such zgard from the time he obtained one in the Carpathian highlands and until now.
ZGARD is truly a remarkable phenomenon in the Ukrainian metal scene. Geographically located far from Ukraine’s music centres, like Kharkov and Kiev, Yaromisl managed to create his own unique style. Is it the nature of the Carpathians, or residence near the mountain Bogit, where was located a Zbruch Idol (9th-century Svetovid sculpture and one of very few monuments of pre-Christian Slavic beliefs), which so influenced Yaromisl to create the music of ZGARD? Either way, the result speaks for itself!