Zeal & Ardor bring their Satanic hymns to church
Zeal & Ardor gigs are always an unnervingly spiritual affair, but there was something extra-sinister in the air as Manuel Gagneux and his crew rolled into a converted church in Leeds to play a haunting set of blackened chain gang hymns. The large, stained-glass visage behind the band took on a whole new slant as the extreme metal innovators filled the aptly named Church venue with a stunning set, plucking tracks from both their much-lauded debut and last year’s stellar Stranger Fruit opus, which landed in the top five of our albums of the year.
“Funnily enough, we’ve played in a couple of churches,” says Manuel. “None of them have had such a stunning stained-glass window as a backdrop. There is an animatronic clown in a glass box between the two dressing rooms there, and I made an off-hand comment about it having moved without it being plugged in. I came to regret saying that, because every time I passed it after that I could feel it flipping me the bird behind me. 10/10, would play there again.”