Recently, Zeal & Ardor, my pick for best metal album of the year, released a video for his single “Devil Is Fine,” directed by award winning Swiss filmmaker Samuel Morris. It is a deeply hued and daringly colorful video that, while very little actually happens, if brimming with tension, anger, and evil. The video is little more than a man in chains and what seems to be an Antebellum birdbath overflowing with blood, but the little details like chain links ripping the bark off of a tree and the whipping scars on the man’s back make the watcher uneasy. Then man, whose pupils have disappeared, seems to have some sort of telepathic power beneath his rage, is found set free at the end of the piece.
Metal Insider was able to talk with Zeal & Ardor mastermind Manuel Gagneux about the video.
“The idea came from [director] Samuel Morris having lunch with us. It was an avocado sandwich,” he tells us. “I am, however, not sure how much the variety of sandwich factored into the concept of the video. We were certain of elements we wanted to include and ones we wanted to avoid. We very much aligned in that regard. Early on we decided on the color concept being identical to the album art. The pacing was also decidedly slow and intentional. Samuel really knows his stuff.” Gagneux explained via email, “[The actor] Reny [Quizeidioco]’s brother was featured in another one of Samuel’s videos. They both have striking features and do we thought he would be perfect.”
Outside of the video we were curious as to what Manuel had been listening lately. “I’m heavily into Death Grips,” he says. “I think it’s silly to say an album is the album of the year. I really enjoyed You Will Never Be One of Us by Nails, Gojira’s Magma as well as Oathbreaker’s record and Vulfpeck.”
Morris left us with a rather cryptic answer when asked about any upcoming U.S. tour dates, “I can’t say anything about an American tour. I think that should imply enough.” Fingers crossed.