84 Zeal & Ardor: Devil is Fine

Now, usually I neither care for nor completely acknowledge the existence of your ignorant and- frequently- bigoted opinion, but for the purposes of rhetoric, I’m taking rare counsel with you decrepit losers: which decade was or is the best for music?

Take your time, I’ll give you a while to think:


OK, let me guess, you chose the decade in which you were a teenager? The time when last you paid attention to new music? Music you associate with both the bonds that the latest Libertines album formed between you and with friends and the bones that formed in your pants

(or… wide bone…? Soggy Pepperami…? I don’t really know it works with women)

as you slow danced to Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) with the last moderately attractive member of the opposite sex to pay you any attention? I mean, look at the state of the fucking mess that you married, they weren’t even up to scratch before your stupid ugly children forever ruined their vagina/penis (I don’t really know how it works with men). You don’t really think that music from the 90s/80s/70s/60s was better, you just think your life was better: you looked better, enjoyed life more, and never once had fantasies about a midnight gas leak silently killing your whole family. The music from your youth soundtracked the last time you enjoyed life, and so you falsely attribute quality to it


This kind of thinking is dangerously encouraged in Britain, we fetishise nostalgia to such an extent that something’s age or the fact it was released when you were young is the sole reason quoted for the accepted superiority of some things. This all too easily translates into an immediate dismissal of anything new, and reluctance to change anything that has existed for a certain period of time regardless of its suitability just because ‘it’s always been done that way’, a desire to go back to a fictitious past, a refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of anyone apart from you having fun, then Brexit and Trump


Did I miss a few steps there? Nah, straight line


Did you know that ‘Girl Meets World’ is crap? Guess what? ‘Boy Meets World’ was fucking crap and you’re a fucking adult for fuck’s sake!!!!

Or maybe you chose a decade before you were a teenager, before you were born even. If that’s the case, then not only are you empirically wrong, but you’re also an idiot


Do you really think that the 60s were just wall-to-wall Pink Floyd and Beatles? Sure, every now and then you’d get a technically proficient and well-designed record by artists lucky and (over)rated enough to still retain familiarity decades down the line, but the only reason that artists like that made such an impression is because they stood out amongst the unimaginable dross of the time. The reason we’ll never get another band as big as The Beatles is because the general standard of music has been raised too high for any one act to truly dominate chiefly by virtue of not being complete shit


Also, if you chose an era with bands like The Who and Led Zeppelin in…

…you do know they’re all paedophiles, right? Just saying


I know in the 1970s paedophilia was more accepted, and your doctor would prescribe you two young pre-teen girls to cure a common cold, but still


If you said


then you are correct. We are currently living in the greatest ever time for music, a time when more artists than ever before are emerging, in more genres that previously imagined possible, building on the admitted achievements of their descendants and destined to improve further in the future. That’s how life works, dickhead


In 201(cough)6, the entire musical world is eternally open to us, and the variety of the products on show is spectacular. You want deranged and aggressively beautiful Inuit throat singing?

You can pick that up easy, not by catching three buses to that dark shop in Cheetham Hill that smells weirdly of wet sand and where the owner is angry at whatever you purchase, but by clicking it in your basket between albums by Britney Spears

and Bing Crosby


The 84th best album of 1987 was ‘Yo! Bum Chuck the Show’, a Chuckle Brothers comedy rap album, but in the melodic utopia of 2016 it’s the unsettling genius of Zeal and Ardor


‘Devil is Fine’ requires the past, of course, as without the invention of black metal/electronica/blues/slave spirituals/gospel it would have nothing to subvert and fuse together, but like all the best music it stands on the shoulder of giants

to create something that builds upon them.


And it’s metal (I think)!! I hate metal (I think)!!


It came about when Mr Zeal and/or Mr Ardor <you’re just trolling now- Ed> asked a 4Chan board for ideas one musical genres. Because it’s the internet, one answer was ‘black metal’ and another ‘nigger music, so Mr Zeal/Archer chose to subvert the assumed attempt at adolescent abuse and mix none more black metal- already subverting a genre largely performed by white men and often opposed to evolution- with slave spirituals. It’s music released in 2016 that has never been heard before


Metal you say? Have

5 Guns ‘n’ Roses Points

Actually, I absolutely am wrong, this should be way higher, but unfortunately the maths isn’t on its side. Listening to it again to collate this list has convinced me that ‘Devil is Fine’ might be one of the best records of the year


This collection of inarguable genius was in initially much lower, nestled behind Noname in 96th, but as I revisited more and more albums I realised they were inferior to Z&A’s swamp metal majesty, and it kept moving higher. I only stopped at 85 because I’m too lazy to keep shuffling the list around

Metacritic: n/a

It’s not even on Metacritic, because it blows the norms’ minds!!

Length 24 minutes

+ 22 Number of AMAZING songs: 1 (+10) Best Lyric: ‘I whipped my own back and asked for dominion at your feet/I threw myself into a volcano/I drank the blood and drank the wine/I sat alone and begged and bent at the waist for God/I crossed myself and thought I saw the devil’ +1 Is the last song just the first track but played on Ukulele? No -1 Total 104

I never said it was out of 100…


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