Zgard are a solo project from Ukraine that plays a folk influenced form of atmospheric pagan black metal and this is a review of his 2017 album "Within The Swirl Of Black Vigor" which will be released by Svarga Music.
Atmospheric sounding keyboards start off the album and after the intro the music goes into a very fast and raw musical direction along with a great amount of tremolo picking and blast beats can be heard while all of the musical instruments having a very powerful sound to them.
Folk instruments can also be heard in certain sections of the recording while the vocals are mostly tortured yet high pitched black metal screams along with the solos and leads also being done in a very melodic fashion as well as mixing in keyboards into the heavier sections of the songs.
A great portion of the tracks are very long and epic in length along with the songs also bringing in a great mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts while female vocals as well as some clean male pagan singing can also be heard briefly and the riffs also bring in a great amount of melody and one track also brings in more of a ritualistic atmosphere and elements of ambient are added onto the closing song.
Zgard plays a style of pagan black metal that is very raw, epic, melodic and atmospheric sounding while the folk music elements makes the songs stand out a bit more, the production sounds very professional while the lyrics cover Heathen Mysticism, Carpathian Legends and Myth themes.
In my opinion Zgard are a very great sounding folk inspired atmospheric pagan black metal solo project and if you are a fan of this musical genre, you should check out this album. RECOMMENDED TRACKS INCLUDE "Forgotten" "Where The Stones Are Drone" and "Cold Bonfire". 8/5 out of 10.