Zgard - Reclusion

This is Pagan Black Metal from The Ukraine, but before I continue I have to say that if you don’t like keyboards and atmospherics, then this is not an album for you as the entire release is littered with such qualities. I say qualities, as the soundscape combines well, at the end of the day it is all about personal preference, and whether you truly embrace mother earth and the emotions that this album gives you.

Masterminded by Yaromisl who plays everything and does everything except play the flute (this is done by Hutsul), there are rather a few longer songs for you to endure. At over 10 minutes long ‘Rise of Coldness’ possesses an epic feel through its tender flowing chord structures combined with nasty first wave Burzum-esq guitar patterns (but played at a snail’s pace). These are of course playing second fiddle to the main atmospherics that this Russian project produces. I find that this is simply not fast enough for me and some of the songs are simply too long, there is no need to continue if you end them quicker you gain more of a memorable digestible tune for the listener. This ambling and subsequent vacant mind sense that results from listening to Zgard does little to improve one’s mental happiness, the music is rather depressing, but I am sure some would say that’s a good thing. Of course ‘Reclusion’ is fitting to this genre from some aspects, it has thought provoking arrangements, a good recorded sound and absolutely great artwork, but I fail to hold my attention span for little more than a couple of minutes of each track.

Laden with atmospherics, Zgard and ‘Reclusion’ is indeed for reclusive souls, one who embraces atmosphere and melancholy, but does little to excite other than trying to find which guitar riff is borrowed from which album release, but this is a credible effort if you look beyond these little idiosyncrasies and embrace the releases innocence.


  1. Icy Indifference (Instrumental)
  2. Reclusion
  3. Withcraft Of Winter
  4. Eternity
  5. Rise Of Coldness
  6. Despair
  7. Weeping Goddess
  8. In The Roots Of World Tree