ZAO - The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here

Zao - The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here

11 songs
37:59 minutes
***** ****


During the last few years, so many metalcore bands have appeared and partly already disappeared, making it impossible to keep an overview of the scene. It's difficult to distinguish all those bands, but there are however a few jewels which are different from the rest. One of those exceptions are Zao, a Christian band combining metal and hardcore. As they have already been together since 1996 when the term metalcore wasn't used yet, it wouldn't be fair to describe them as one band among many others.

The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here is their seventh release and it is one of the most extreme albums I've been listening to in a long while. First of all, Zao are innovative and don't care too much about traditional arrangements, freeing their album from typical scene clichés. The variation you find on the album is another strong point distinguishing Zao from your average metalcore band. The album starts with two doomish, dark and threatening songs with deep-tuned guitars (Cancer Eater, Physician Heal Yourself), but there's also a faster and groovier side of Zao you can listen to on Everything You Love Will Soon Fly Away and My Love, My Love (We've Come Back From The Dead). Sometimes the brutality on the album scares you from continuing to listen to the record (Purdy Young Blondes With Lobotomy Eyes, American Sheets On The Deathbed). Finally Zao surprise with more melodic parts and even sometimes clean vocals as is the case on It's Hard Not To Shake With A Gun In Your Mouth, Kingdom Of Thieves and the closing A Last Time For Everything.

Daniel Weyandt's vocals are the only aspect behind Zao that could still need a slight improvement as they often sound the same. But regarding songwriting, production and originality, Zao certainly feature among the bands you should keep an eye on.

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