Zeal and Ardor is an avant-garde metal musical project started and led by Manuel Gagneux, a Swiss-American musician who had previously created a chamber pop project called Birdmask. Gagneux started Zeal and Ardor in response to two messages left to him on 4chan by two different users. One of these users suggested that he fuse “black metal”, while another suggested “nigger music”; in response, he started Zeal and Ardor, which features elements of both black metal and Negro spirituals. This mysterious project released a self-titled album in June 2014. The project’s official debut album, Devil is Fine, was first released on Bandcamp in 2016 and re-released by MVKA on February 24, 2017. Gagneux wrote and recorded the album himself.