This is quite a suitable album for me to submit my first review on Sputnik. The reason is simple. It has to be one of my, let's say, five favourite albums ever.
After finding their real sound with Where Blood And Fire Bring Rest, Zao come back to perfect it. With an album that is perfection on its own.
You might have listened to a lot of metal, a lot of hardcore, a lot of metalcore, a lot of music in general in your life. But this one won't remind you of anything. And this is the point where someone becomes, from simply an artist, a Great Artist.
This album is dark, painful, almost sinister. And achieves this by not using the usual tools to succeed this. The darkness and despair comes from the music's very soul.
So, what will I hear if i listen to this? one will ask. The simple answer is, metalcore (only because we have to describe it somehow - it's far beyond any categorisation) at it's best. Riffs (mid tempo mostly) that can easily break your neck. Riffs that sometimes are just not right... But somehow that is enchanting. That's not all to it, though. Without being really melodic, slow, atmospheric or whatever, Zao manage to sound extremely emotional and mournful. Without mellowing their music the least. You will hear some really heavy explosions, you will feel your spine numb, you will feel your head stand. And, above all, you will hear Weynadt's serpentine hiss, crying out his despair like no one has ever done before.
It is an album about human emotions, about scars, about life and death. It' s an album about the human creature.
Hell is only a word. Reality is much, much worse.
These words are heard as the album's intro fades out. And these words can describe what this music and these poetic lyrics are all about.
Stand out tracks? Well, really, ALL (even the instrumentals). If I really have to choose, however....
If these scars could speak (with this title, how could it be anything less than excellent?)
The ghost psalm (A quite fast track that will make you go crazy... and then will come the ghostly, heartbreaking ending that will stay in your head for hours after).
A monument of modern music