The decision to form ZGARD was taken by Yaromisl in autumn 2010. At this time, he was finishing the recording of Goverla’s second album, which, due to various reasons, he decided to release under a new name. The quest for a name wasn’t long: ZGARD is a synonym for “amulet” in the culture of Huzuls, an ethno-cultural group who for centuries have inhabited the Carpathian mountains. Yaromisl wears such zgard from the time he obtained one in the Carpathian highlands and until now.

The ZGARD debut album, “The Spirit of Carpathian Sunsets,” was intended to be released in 2011, but the release date eventually shifted to 2012. In recording this album, Goverla’s flutist Hutsul took part, who recorded parts of woodwind instruments. The album includes not only the songs written for Goverla, but also a new track which gave a title to the album and formed a concept and the style of ZGARD: atmospheric black metal with strong influence from Carpathian folklore and a pagan outlook.

Without wasting any time, Yaromisl worked on the next songs for a second album, “Reclusion,” which was released in January 2012, even earlier than the debut. In 2013, the third opus, “Astral Glow,” was released, but activities didn't slow down: ZGARD took part in a split CD, “Ascension: Paramatman,” with Romanian band PROHOD, which was released in February 2014. Work then began on a new album.

At the beginning of 2014, with help of a session drummer and vocalist Dusk (ex-STRYVIGOR, ENDLESS BATTLE), the recording of the fourth full-length album, “Contemplation,” was finished. It was released in June 2014 by Svarga Music as a standard CD and a digipak limited to 100 copies. Right after the release, end of summer 2014 Yaromisl starts the recording of a new opus “Totem” dedicated to Veles, the ancient Slavonic god of sorcerers. In 2015 the recording sessions were finished, and release is scheduled for November 27, 2015 by Svarga Music, as before in standard CD and limited to 100 copies hand numbered digipak.

ZGARD is truly a remarkable phenomenon in the Ukrainian metal scene. Geographically located far from Ukraine’s music centres, like Kharkov and Kiev, Yaromisl managed to create his own unique style. Is it the nature of the Carpathians, or residence near the mountain Bogit, where was located a Zbruch Idol (9th-century Svetovid sculpture and one of very few monuments of pre-Christian Slavic beliefs), which so influenced Yaromisl to create the music of ZGARD? Either way, the result speaks for itself!

Album: "Within The Swirl Of Black Vigor"

Style: Atmospheric Pagan Black Metal

Recorded: 2017

Released: 2017 (upcoming CD)

Overview:

New album of Zgard comping out Summer 2017. TBA

Album: "Totem"

Style: Atmospheric Pagan Black Metal

Recorded: 2015

Released: 2015 (CD, digi-CD)

Overview:

The Ukrainian one man-institution ZGARD, unmatched when it comes to Folk-influenced Atmospheric Pagan Black Metal now reveal their 5th album called “Totem”, which is dedicated to the Veles, the old Slavonic god of sorcerers. The interplay of speeding drums, torrential vocals, and acoustic elements as light flute, plucked guitar and airy voice interludes promise an alternating bath of emotions.

Album: "Reclusion"

Style: Atmospheric Black Metal

Recorded: 2011

Released: 2012 (CD)

Overview:

Zgard's second album "Reclusion" is different compared to its predecessor "The Spirit of Carpathian Sunset" - majority of folk elements are left over, atmosphere got much darker, colder and depressive. Special music for special moods.

Album: "Spirit of Carpathian Sunset"

Style: Folk Black Metal

Recorded: 2010

Released: 2012 (CD)

Overview:

In the debut album Zgard play wonderful Folk Black Metal. 10 tracks and over 65 minutes of music enriched by many traditional instruments, especially flutes. Songs aren’t too extreme and their rhythm is mid-tempo, with some faster outbreaks. All compositions are very melodic and melancholic, but since the band doesn’t use refrains or repeated parts in its songs you need to give them more time in order to fully absorb their countless ideas!

Album: "Contemplation"

Style: Atmospheric Black Metal

Recorded: 2013

Released: 2014 (CD, lim. digi-CD)

Overview:

ZGARD's fourth album "Contemplation" shows a rawer yet no-less-grandiose side that vividly illustrates the Carpathian mysticism at the heart of that craft. Compared to its celebrated predecessors, 2012's "Reclusion" and 2013's "Astral Glow," ZGARD here go for an atmosphere that's less cosmic and more organic, stirring both bloodlust and majesty within the listener as Yaromisl guides each of the seven tracks along an epic path.

Album: "Astral Glow"

Style: Atmospheric Black Metal

Recorded: 2012

Released: 2013 (CD)

Overview:

ZGARD's third album is an Atmospheric Black Metal with great Folky touch. It is a statement of creativity, pushed forward and powered by ancestral endemic fervor, capturing both the sheer beauty of all things natural as well as man’s supreme aspiration for a higher life. Deeply emotinal music in the canvas of Carpathian folklore with the wonderful artwork by Moga of Kogaion Art.

Album: "Ascension: Paramatman" (split with PROHOD)

Style: Atmospheric Black/Folk Metal

Recorded: 2013

Released: 2014 (CD, lim. digi-CD)

Overview:

Split release between atmospheric pagan black metallers ZGARD from Ukraine and melodic atmospheric folk black metallers PROHOD from Romania. Zgard surprise us in every album, with their great atmospheric expression, while Prohod are following the same line from the first album with cold riffs, variations and great melody. The wonderful artwork is once again by Moga of Kogaion Art.

One can regard Zgard's music as the Slavic equivalent to Austrian band Summoning, in terms of the heavy usage of synthesizers and dense ambience both bands generate. However, Zgard's music is by far more metallic in essence than Summoning's -- an almost perfect hybrid of earthen heaviness coupled with sublime transcendental abilities.

Chronicles of Chaos (EN, 8/10), August 2013 about "Astral Glow"
[all reviews]