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Zao | review | hardcore | Lollipop


Zao (Solid State)
by Tim Den

Amazing how Zao never disappoints. Sounding more complex and darker than ever, (Self-Titled) is this band's OK Computer... And not just because of the similarities in artwork, either. The layers of claustrophobic noise (much of it created by the distorted drums), the eerie passages of acoustic guitars, the hollow ring of metallic noise intermittent with Cannibal Corpse riffs... calling it "hectic" would be selling it short. Lots of traffic, yes, but never confused. Like professional navigators, Zao direct their slew of electronic-mope rock-meets-death-grind to meaningful destinations, and sound great while doing it. Pacing themselves logically and never saturating one moment or song just for "experimental" sake, Zao make the most of what their musical arsenal offers, creating blisteringly heavy juggernauts one moment, a hallucinogenic trip in Death Valley the next. Fluid, surreal, haunting, and imaginative, (Self-Titled) is trademark Zao madness taken to beautiful extremes. You'll not find another Christian band as willing to sound so bleak.
(PO Box 12698 Seattle, WA 98111)

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