Zeal & Ardor proves that metal still has a lot of creative flexibility. This project is the brainchild of Manuel Gagneux, an Afro-American Swiss who loves to experiment. In 2014, he asked which musical genres should be fused together on an internet forum. ‘One user wrote ‘nigger music’, another suggested black metal. I thought combining the two could be interesting.’ Gagneux conceived Zeal & Ardor in response to the question of what would have happened if American slaves had converted to Satan instead of Jesus. The result is some pretty captivating avant-garde metal. Zeal & Ardor is a master at creating sledgehammer blows.