Zao - _Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest_
(Solid State, 1998)
by: Alex Cantwell (9 out of 10)
This is the most brutal hardcore ever. Period. Yes, I know about Acme and Coalesce, and still my statement stands. But let's forget about the term "hardcore" for a minute, and set your brains to the "metal" mode, because although the song structures of this CD are hardcore in nature, metal influences prevail in a big way. The music is a sweeping experience of aggressiveness, downtuned and mean; absolutely brilliant in form and execution. Along with the metal influence is an extremely energized and chaotic post-modern slant, of which all of this is probably due to an entire line-up change barring founder/drummer Jesse Smith. This record should set a new standard for new-skool hardcore, but for now the shrill vocals and the pummelling rhythms that make up the structure of the new Zao will be the soundtrack for many a worship session. Although their last outing infused quite a bit of death-metal influences as well, their debut being straight-ahead Midwest hardcore, no one could have expected a masterpiece like this.

(article published 1/10/1998)

10/14/2006 J Smit Zao: Angels Without Wings
6/27/2006 J Smit 8 Zao - The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here
6/3/2003 X Hoose 7 Zao - All Else Failed
3/31/2003 A McKay 7 Zao - Parade of Chaos
3/13/2001 A McKay 8.5 ZAO - ZAO
12/9/1999 A Cantwell 9 Zao - Liberate Te Ex Inferis
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