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Artists often dedicate a piece of work to close family or friends. In the case of Ukrainian one-man pagan metal act Zgard, he has dedicated his fifth record to "the Veles, the old Slavonic god of sorcerers." Not your usual "for my beloved" attribution, but it turns out Veles has a lot of metal-adjacent attributes, including the fact that he is a "major supernatural force in the underworld" (Thanks Wikipedia) and is imagined with a long beard, as you can see from the album art.

Zgard himself maintains a similar aesthetic as he both has a beard and the title track of his new record, Totem, definitely has an underworld-like quality. If you like a little flute in your metal, check out the new track below. Totem fully surfaces November 27.

—Kelly Kettering

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