Zao - Where Blood & Fire Bring Rest (Solid State) 1998
1. "Lies of Serpents,
a River of Tears" (2:39)
This album is just intense! I have no other words to describe it. The vocals are of the black metal variety, but the music is more in line with Slayer than anything else, although they mix in some hardcore and modern metal influences as well. Try sitting still while this disc is being played. There are a few surprises musically as well, like in the beautiful and serene piano instrumental "Violet" and in the moments the there is actually some melody mixed in with the chaotic grind. This is just a killer disc from a band I thought was just another cookie-cutter hardcore Tooth & Nail band. Killer cover art as well. I believe this is their third release; the first was released independently and the second, "The Splinter Shards the Birth of Separation," is on Tooth & Nail.
Training for Utopia/Zao (Solid State) 1998
Operandi" -Training for Utopia (4:32)
Zao - liberate le ex inferis (Solid State) 1999
Circle I Limbo
I listened to this disc several times and still could not come up with a good description. The best I could come up with is that it sounds like a war between a hardcore band and a black metal band. The vocals are of the shrill black metal variety, but the music, according to my many friends on the DZ Board is pure metalcore. Seriously though, this spastic metalcore disc has a heavy Carcass influence and will peal the paint off your house. It's also handy for 5:30 AM drives to work in place of coffee. There will be no dozing off with these guy blaring from your speakers. I told someone in a chat room that I equated Zao to cheap vodka, it doesn't taste so good, but it'll sure kick you in the butt. Anyhow, according to the liner notes, this disc is a concept album based on Dante's Inferno. Couldn't tell from the music, guess you'd have to read the lyrics.