Zgard - Astral Glow (CD)

atmospheric black metal, BadMoodMan Music, BadMoodMan Music
350.00 Р
Price in points: 700 points
BMM. 057-13 x
In stock
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The third album of the young Ukranian project playing music between atmospheric black metal and pagan metal. In their new work Zgard returned to the ideas of their debut album “Dukh Karpatskih Sutinkiv”: furious cold pagan black metal enriched by atmospheric keyboards and folk motives is fresh as frosty night and thorny as acerose leaves in endless Carpathian forests. The album traditionally features sopilka, Ukranian folk music instrument giving unique features to Zgard sound.

Tracklist:
1 Balance In Universe 11:52
2 When Breakin Down All The Ideals 5:46
3 Letargy Dream 10:46
4 Stars In The Night Sky 7:44
5 Old Woods 7:47
6 Astral Glow 8:08
7 Return To The Void 11:12
8 When Time Comes To Go Away 7:08

Artist:
Zgard
Artist Country:
Ukraine
Album Year:
2013
Title:
Astral Glow
Style:
atmospheric black metal
Format:
CD
Type:
CD Album
Package:
Jewel Case
Label:
BadMoodMan Music
Cat No:
BMM. 057-13
Release Year:
2013
Barcode:
4 627080 610255
Country Of Manufacture:
Russia
Review
Terroraiser
9/10

Отличная музыка от украинского проекта! Мелодично, технично, эпично. Материал цепляет с первого же прослушивания, и с этой точки зрения предъявить к ZGARD какие-либо претензии сложно. Чувствуется, что в создание этих песен были вложены не только музыкальные навыки и умения, но и душа. К сожалению, лично меня разочаровала лишь реализация. Развитие современных компьютерных технологий, конечно, позволяет записывать в домашних условиях вполне прилично звучащие альбомы, однако все-таки запись в таких условиях отнюдь не заменяет качество, которое можно достичь в серьезных профессиональных студиях, особенно с грамотным специалистом. Нет, конечно "Astral Glow" звучит вполне достойно, но, на мой взгляд, будучи записанным в профессиональной студии, альбом бы значительно выиграл. Обидно.

Author: Thrashmentor
Review
Metal Revolution
7.3/10
20.03.2014

In the last couple of month, Ukraine has been on everyone’s lips, unfortunately not for its musical scene. It is about to change now, since I am not here to talk war and politics, but music.

Thus, I want to present you with another Ukrainian band, one-man (Yaromysl) outfit named Zgard. Astral Glow is his third album, all released with a year?! I guess it tells you the story of a highly enthusiastic, hard-working and dedicated black metal warrior, who wants to create the music of his own choice and on his own prerogatives. One can claim that Astral Glow continues where its predecessor left off, being very stylistic, addictive and haunting. He successfully handles all of the instruments, from occasional use of flute, frosty keyboard sound effects, gritty guitars and vocals filled with grief and sadness.

Most of the eight songs presented on this opus are mid-paced, but also long and epic containing simple yet stylish melodies of gloom, doom, folk and black metal. His style can best be described as ‘mid-paced melodic black metal’. It has this particular and characteristic vibe and chilling atmosphere to it. It also possesses many majestic and mesmerising tunes and beautiful landscapes. Meanwhile, what I liked most about it is its ability to maintain both its metallic edge and the atmospheric astral spirituality, esp. in his lyrics.

With some minor improvements this band/one-man project still has a bright future ahead of it and I’m very much looking towards Zgrad’s next release. Recommended for those into the likes of Drudkh, Dimmu Borgir, Summoning etc.

Author: Bato
Review
Atmosfear Magazine №12
6/10

Что делает украинская pagan/black metal группа ZGARD на ведущем российском doom metal лейбле - вопрос конечно риторический. Не иначе как им приплатили. "Astral Glow" - это уже третий релиз от украинского дуэта ZGARD. И хотя материал представленный здесь не вызывает раздражения, до мэтров отечественной "чернушной сцены" им ещё очень далеко. Сейчас таких команд в таком стиле просто легион и кому нужен ещё один ничем не примечательный проект - непонятно. Но если звёзды зажигают, значит, это кому-то нужно...

Author: CS
Review
Metalizer
5/5

Украинский one-man проект Zgard продолжает гнуть линию, тянущуюся с предыдущего полноформатного альбома – "Reclusion". Причем это касается не только музыкальных характерных черт, но и иллюстрирования буклета, и общей концепции вкупе с техникой подачи музыкального материала. Единственный участник и основатель Zgard – Яромысл продолжает вливать свое странное сознание в виде атмосферного блэк метала сквозь призму язычества в этот шквал эмоций и бурю чувств под названием "Astral Glow", что можно перевести как астральный свет. Как и полагается – встречаем по одежке, а значит, логическим действием будет начать исследовать диск с его оформления. Красочная тенденция обнаруживается и здесь: странные создания, явно пришедшие к нам из других миров, и судя по лирике из текстов, то это отнюдь не потусторонние сущности из параллельных измерений, а какие-нибудь пришельцы, спустившиеся с других планет, почему-то так и хочется назвать их духами Карпатских лесов. С ними общаются люди с факелами, похожие то ли на шаманов, то ли на священников в рясах, на развалинах… опять-таки место сильно напоминающее Стоунхендж. Если, конечно, речь вообще идет о Земле. И этот яркий, астральный свет! Он просто бесподобен. А в тёмном, звездном небе сверкает сияющая звезда, не исключаю такой возможности, что подразумевался Сириус.
Главной особенностью Zgard является во всём доводить дело до конца. И если мы видим изумительно оформленное произведение искусства, то заложенный в нём концепт не отстает от сути его содержания. И тогда мы слышим полностью соответствующее этим параметрам отражение практически идеального музыкального сопровождения. Именно это безусловное качество проекта и подкупает. Готовясь заранее услышать нечто после впечатляющей обложки, ожидаемые и возлагаемые надежды оправдываются. Реализация задуманного совпадает с его конечным итогом, а когда все задачи выполнены и все цели достигнуты, то что ещё нужно?
Тексты по-прежнему полны ненависти к человечеству и по максимуму мизантропичны. Здесь и воспевание природы, и законы мироздания, и философия смысла жизни. Лирика так же, как и в прошлый раз, делится на два языка написания – русский и украинский. Даже не знаю, минус это или плюс, обычно я причисляю себя к сторонникам какого-то определенного языка и лучше бы это был русский, чем английский, но национальный колорит дороже – поэтому идеальным вариантом был бы родной язык музыканта.
Прежний набор инструментов: гитары, бас, ударные + синтезатор и флейта делают альбом грациозным и изящным - эти компоненты придают тонкие контуры релизу, а величественная атмосфера, пропитанная общим концептом единения с Вселенной через духовную гармонию и осознание своего предназначения в мире, в его глобальном понимании – выделяет главенствующие признаки "Astral Glow".
И несколько интересных фактов о релизе: альбом был записан практически параллельно с "Reclusion" – исток один, но они всё-таки разные, несмотря на общие сходства. "Reclusion" обладал магической способностью гипнотизировать слушателя, но на "Astral Glow" присутствует более быстрый и разноплановый материал. наталкивающий на размышления о сути нашего существования. Идеи, которые легли в его основу, появились как раз во время записи "Reclusion", который был целиком записан на студии Яромысла в Карпатских горах. А оформлением диска занималась студия Kogaion Art из Трансильвании. Релиз предоставлен BadMoodMan Music.

Атмосфера – 5/5
Техника – 5/5
Материал – 5/5
Реализация – 5/5

Author: Валентина PANTERA Катышева
Review
Pavillon 666
7/10
03.05.2013

Troisième album pour l’ukrainien Yaromisl et son one-man-band Zgard. Un an seulement après « Reclusion » et « Spirit of Carpathian Sunset », Zgard nous présente désormais « Astral Glow », suite logique de ses prédécesseurs.

L’album poursuit le chemin emprunté par « Reclusion » avec une atmosphère sombre, un son black propre, quelques synthés glauques en guise de fond qui renforcent les ambiances, et ce chant black en ukrainien.
« Astral Glow » est un donc album à la fois sombre et planant mais également varié. Durant les soixante dix minutes qui composent l’opus, Zgard joue avec la vitesse et les sonorités, comme sur « When Breaking Down All The Ideals » où black ambiant et black plus traditionnel vont venir s’entremêler, ou encore « Letargy Dream » durant lequel la guitare rapide sur les couplets va laisser place à un clavier jouant une mélodie limite enfantine. On peut également citer « Stars in the Night Sky » où passages lents et lourds alternent avec des accélérations durant lesquels la batterie se transforment en mitrailleuse Gatling, le tout accompagné par des chœurs clairs masculins. Le titre « Old Woods » quant à lui, sonne plus « black à l’ancienne » avec ses parties rapides, ses riffs crus et des chœurs qui ne sont pas sans rappeler la chanson « Witches Sabbath » d’un certain groupe norvégien.
Bref, on ne regrettera de cet album que les quelques longueurs qui ont tendance à s’intaller sur les trois derniers titres : de bonnes idées bien construites mais peut être un peu trop répétitifs.

Amateurs de black folk ukrainien, de black atmo et autres étiquettes évoquant le noir ambiant, venez vous plongez dans cet album qui, sans être exceptionnel, vous fera passer un bon moment.

Author: Lemniscate
Review
Pest Webzine
6.5/10

Ukraine, probably the most important one-man-bands exporter in Europe nowadays, brings us Zgard, a project started in 2010 but with already 3 full-length albums underbelt. This new, third, album from Zgard is made of 8 tracks and lasts for more than 70 minutes. Unfortunately there are so many things happening on this album and such a poor sound that after a while it becomes annoying. the baseline of this album is mid-tempo Black Metal but the keyboard backgrounds give it an Atmospheric touch, and the flute parts thrown in here and there come with that Pagan influence, so all in all this is a pretty complex release and even if the rhythms are repeting endlessly the guy behind Zgard managed to avoid the boredome element. Unfortunately it becomes chaotic too many times to keen an intact flow, but fans of this genre might find it a good release nonetheless. Honestly I won't play it anymore...

Author: Adrian
Review
Hardsounds
7.3/10
30.06.2013

Un trionfo di tastiere, così potremmo sintetizzare il terzo album in due anni per gli Zgard, progetto ucraino composto dal tutto fare Yaromisl. L’attivissima one man band sforna un disco di symphonic black metal a tutto tondo, con le tastiere sempre in primo piano, a supporto di otto brani di lunga durata che però si lasciano ascoltare con piacere. I suoni si alternano tra il melodico ed il sinfonico, adagiati su ritmiche in doppia cassa e chitarre quasi sempre messe in secondo piano, suonate assecondando il dominio di keyboards cariche di pathos e sempre ricche di sfumature diverse, a tratti quasi spaziali come per l’appunto in "Stars In The Night Sky". Non il massimo invece le parti di flauto, quasi mai brillanti e poco incisive quando chiamate in causa. In sostanza, tra mille melodie e qualche liberatoria sfuriata black, registriamo questo 'Astral Glow' come un disco positivo, scorrevole nonostante i settanta minuti di durata, che non fa mai urlare al capolavoro ma che ha il pregio in più di un’occasione di riportarci indietro nel tempo, quando le tastiere regalarono il successo a Dimmu Borgir ed Emperor e diedero anche un bel pò di notorietà a band come Covenant, Mactatus e soprattutto Summoning, che spesso abbiamo riassaporato nell’ascolto di questo maturo lavoro.

C’è tanto da ascoltare per i fan del black metal più melodico.

Author: Giorgio Papaleo
Review
Forgotten Path
7.5/10

I have been observing this Ukrainian project for quite a long time as all the albums that had been presented for the moment have left a really good impression. I would like to call Zgard the young brother of Raventale - both projects are related in a lot of terms. Firstly, the origin is the same. Then, the stylistics are alike: both bands are fond of atmospheric, Doom and Black Metal genres with the minimalistic spices of Folk. Finally, both Zgard and Raventale play music that is based on pagan and naturalistic ideology.
However, in this case Zgard remains the third little brother fool as it is in tales. I mean, not literally - they just have to sprout up to reach the level of creativity, quality and the overall picture of Raventale. As I said earlier, Zgard has much in common with the mentioned leaders of Ukraine - they play cold, quite tuneful Atmospheric Black Metal. I have to mention that on the newest album “Astral Glow” they use much more Folk/Pagan motifs and it confers originality and positive factors to the CD. A mood of Doom Metal is also obvious - there are many slow, melancholic riffs and melodies. Perhaps that melancholia in some places gives a wrong impression as the music outgrows to boredom and monotony in some places. But generally the album is much stronger than average. The more you listen, the more you need to comprehend and figure it out. And though the release and the creator could improve in terms of ideas, harmonization and performance, but today Zgard has already left a bright footprint on the Metal stage that couldn’t be unnoticed.

Author: Odium
Review
Chronicles of Chaos
8/10
23.08.2013

Ukrainian one-man outfit Zgard has graced us with one of last year's highlights, namely the beyond-epic and utterly captivating _Reclusion_ album; unparalleled epic-ness and grand majestic tunes were the bread and butter of that mesmerising record.
A year later comes another album by the prolific musician known as Yaromysl, and still he has not lost his ability to write gripping tunes of sadness and celestial beauty -- this time however with stronger, more obvious folk elements introduced into his spider's web of intricate, dense and arcane melodies. The music now incorporates a flute and a sea of keyboards that are as obvious and as accentuated as are the gritty guitars, maintaining both the metallic edge of the overall sound and the atmospheric astral spirituality as an indivisible entity emitting dark beauty and naturalistic nostalgia; earth-bound melodies rooted into the soil like a five-centuries old tree whose canopy aspires toward higher realms of meta-existence.

Mostly slow to mid-paced, one can regard Zgard's music as the Slavic equivalent to Austrian band Summoning, in terms of the heavy usage of synthesizers and dense ambience both bands generate (and the very obvious spiritual sentiments both bands share). However, Zgard's music is by far more metallic in essence than Summoning's -- an almost perfect hybrid of earthen heaviness coupled with sublime transcendental abilities.

Long, epic songs, highly complex and elaborate, meet simple melodies of doom and gloom, soaring flute lines, samples of a blowing wind and a bonfire brightly burning; Zgard's _Astral Glow_ is a statement of creativity, pushed forward and powered by ancestral endemic fervor, capturing both the sheer beauty of all things natural as well as man's supreme aspiration for a higher life.

_Astral Glow_ marks the long lost beauty of the elements and humanity's sempiternal, often unconscious wish to become one with these very elements; a shadowy, yet bright tapestry of beauty untold and night-time sentiments all being awakened and magnified within those 80 minutes of magnificent, awe-inspiring tunes of folk-oriented black metal screaming its lungs out, carrying with its howl the ultimate message, the ultimate goal: ad astra! To the stars!

They who know Zgard's previous endeavours, especially the majestic awesomeness of _Reclusion_, would greatly appreciate _Astral Glow_ as well. Those not familiar with this unique musical entity are strongly advised to check this beautiful album out, and realize the sheer capacity of music as a multi-dimensional tool of transcendence -- a vehicle with which you could travel to the farthest reaches of the Universe while enjoying the cosiness and comfortable familiarity of your own bedroom; a comforting, uplifting album capturing some of the most benevolent, all-encompassing, devouring tunes known to man...

Author: Chaim Drishner
Review
Forbidden Magazine
27.07.2013

Astral Glow is Zgard’s second full length endeavor on the BadMoodMan label (third album altogether though)and comes fairly quickly after last years Reclusion but within only a year the sound is dramatically shifting from a fair Slavic pagan atmospheric black metal attempt to a more blistering and aggressive symphonic black metal sound. To me this is a huge and very apparent jump when listening to both albums side by side and a very welcome one at that, it shows not only progression into a more detailed and cohesive sound but it’s teeming with just enough evil and mysticism to make it a lot more prominent of a release than it’s predecessor. And sure, unlike: Limbonic Art, Summoning, some Abigor, some Dissection, Arturus, and Emperor Zgard is still an incipient project and shows that to a certain degree; but it’s also extremely difficult to meet those expectations then and especially now, and with that said Zgard is a very worthy new act that is rapidly developing from awkward beginnings with promise to something well-worth experiencing if you’re looking for true melodic black metal with symphonic and pagan elements. But even though the project is developing quickly and in the right direction, it’s not without some distinct flaws.

With that said here are several of my main gripes with Astral Glow thus far: the production is a little too clean for me, perhaps if he’s going to go for the raging buzzing riffs and blast beats that are thankfully appearing on this release (were very present but not as good on his debut) then he might want to rough it up a bit so that it doesn’t sound so modern; some of the elements/instruments are overshadowed; and it’s also a bit flat. If Yaromysl (Zgard) is intentionally going for futuristic versus an archaic medieval atmosphere then he’s spot on with the title song “Astral Glow”, but with the creepy cosmic synth making a huge presence on much of the album including this song, it just feels like lackluster so perhaps the mix needs to be muddied up a bit or even have the guitars more prominent, or do something in the mixing/mastering to make it more dramatic. My gripes become even more amplified with otherwise majestic songs like the opener “Balance in the Universe” on which the melody and rhythm are really really good but they are on the same level in the mix which somehow flattens them into s 2-D rather than 3-D as it should be. When the dynamics and intensity are downplayed unintentionally (I hope so for Zgard’s sake) like that it kills the flavor and this is a continual issue throughout the album. To many this might not be a fatal flaw as many black metal bands are great for this, but for what Zgard is trying to do and portray it’s fatal and hearing how much of a great album this is amidst that dilution the result plays more like an atmospheric album with very little atmosphere. I would also have to say that the drums sound a bit mechanical at times, he really needs more bass drum emphasis to balance the riffs and to play around with layering the instruments a bit more and maybe working with different rhythms on snare, toms, cymbals to give it some variety as well.

A glaring example of this is the second song, “When Breaking Down All the Ideals”, which has a lot of great piano and flute sections alongside some notable riff work but the balance of the elements in the mix isn’t right so they wind up sounding chaotic and haphazardly collaged although in actuality they aren’t . There also feels as though there’s no climax within the songs, they sort of go along steadily and then suddenly break into a synth only interlude and start back up again, which hurts the effect that this song could really have and yet again kills the atmosphere. The riffs and rhythm work on Astral Glow are really crunchy and heavy which gives the sound a much needed deadly right hook, but its actual blow ends up being more of a tap than a knock-out because of the unbalanced dynamics and according to the insert he’s actually the one doing all instruments and mastering therefore committing sound suicide.

So although he has a way to go, he’s covered a lot of territory in a year and hopefully as he grows he’ll learn not too iron out so much of the textures and let the albums have the ups and downs needed to make a real impact. The songs are great, the instrumentation is great, the timing and general placement is great, it jsut doesn’t come across as great when all are combined. And in retrospect his actual debut, Spirit of the Carpathian Sunset, released by notable black metal label Darker Than Black had some of the same flaws but with the rawer and archaic production it worked a lot better for him than it does here but they show similarities that he’s obviously going back to, which he should to some extent. I even prefer both albums over Reclusion and hear some the debuts fire burning in Astral Glow, which could have dialed down the production a bit and maintained most of that initial aggression and some of the archaic vibe to create something that had a bit more power to it so hopefully that’s where he’s actually going with the project. Overall Astral Glow comes across as an idea from a mind right on the verge of getting it right but desperately needs to take a moment and step away from it until the flickering light bulb that is Astral Glow finally fully glows and then he releases that album.

Author: Janet Willis
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