Zeal & Ardor—the avant garde metal project of Manuel Gagneux—has shared “Tuskegee,” a powerful new track from the forthcoming EP Wake of a Nation.
“Tuskegee” arrives just a few weeks after the release of the songs “I Can’t Breathe” and “Vigil.” The track takes its name from the infamously unethical Tuskegee Syphilis Study, which took place between 1932 and 1972 in rural Alabama and resulted in hundreds of African-American men going untreated for syphilis for decades so scientists could study the disease’s effects.
Zeal & Ardor’s last major studio record Stranger Fruit was met with critical acclaim upon its release in 2018, resulting in a lengthy international tour in support of the LP with Baroness, Behemoth and Deafheaven. The six songs on Wake of a Nation, Gagneux wrote in a statement, “are a knee-jerk reaction to what has happened to my fellow people in the last months,” referring to the recent incidents of police brutality in the United States that have regalvanized the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Originally I was set to record an album scheduled to come out next year. As these songs were written due to the horrendous events that instilled them I decided to release them as soon as possible. Using the rich heritage and culture as a part of my musical identity it felt like cowardice to sit by and continue with my routine as if nothing happened.”
Wake of a Nation will arrive on October 23. Listen to “Tuskegee” below: