Zao
Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest


4.5
superb

Review

by Adam Amanse USER (12 Reviews)
August 15th, 2011 | 213 replies | 15,614 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Overall, this album provides everything needed to make a good, heavy record. The ferocity and viciousness in the vocals, and the heaviness and variety in the instrumentation makes this a must for any fan of heavy music.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Zao is a band that has seen its fair share of changes. Some of those changes have been brought on by senseless inter-band drama, and some have come naturally as an evolution that any self-respecting band will allow to happen. In 1997, Jesse Smith, the drummer, was the only original member of the band left. The original band had broken up so that the individual members could pursue other walks of life. Jesse, still wanting to play music, kept the Zao name and recruited new musicians for the band.

Enter 1998.

After recruiting guitarists Brett Detar and Russ Codgell, and vocalist Dan Weyandt, the new incarnation of Zao began working on the bands second LP "Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest." Dan recorded bass on the album, as they were yet to have a bassist, and the band toured as a four piece without bass for a couple of years. When the album was finally released, it took the underground heavy music scene by storm. Being one of the pioneers of a new blend of metal and hardcore music (metalcore), Zao was always respected by the scene, but fans were unsure what the new Zao would hold in store. Their fears would be silenced by the emotional whirlwind that is "Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest."

The album couldn't have had a better opener in the song "Lies of Serpents, A River of Tears." Haunting vocals overlay a heavy guitar/drums build-up before opening up into a heavy riff followed by dissonant chords. The growls (and sometimes shrieks) of vocalist Dan Weyandt showcase its ferocity and emotion throughout the entire album, making it a stand-out part of Zao's heavily improved sound. The dual guitar sound adds a depth to the already crunching tone, and for the time, adds a whole new meaning to "heavy" guitars. The bass chugs along with the rest of the band, adding the punch and sometimes the subtle approach necessary to pull of a good heavy bass sound.

Jesse Smith provides excellent drumming for the entire record. Adding enough variety and complexity to keep the listener interested into finding out what he will do next. The whole album is a seamless blend of crunch and intensity that will keep your blood flowing until closer "Violet" reaches its end. Lyrically, Dan Weyandt provides themes of Depression, Loyalty, Faith, and a plethora of other ideas that can connect the listener with what he is trying to present. Combined with the intensity of his voice, and the nature of the words, you would be hard-pressed not to come out of listening to this album devoid of any drive to think about the issues he presents.

For example, in the song "Ravage Ritual," Dan shares with the listener his experience with the man-made side of religion.

"I remember the first war, the way the sky burned
The faces of angels destroyed
I saw a third of Heaven's legion banished
And the creation of Hell
I stood with my brothers and watched Lucifer Fall
But now, my brothers aren't my brothers

Turned away by a misrepresentation
Stained glass and white washed tombs
The hearts of those who spoke to you
Were never homes to the God they tried to show you
They spoke out of prejudice and ritualism
They themselves were lost angels fold their wings
angels fold their wings
And weep along with us watching you shun, shun His sacrifice
Shun His sacrifice
angels fold their wings
And weep along with us watching you shun"


While Dan himself is a Christian, and believes in all of its values, he is completely turned off with the political side of it. This ideal shows up in a lot more of the albums lyrical points, and is even more potent in some of the bands later albums.

Combined with lyrics such as these, this album provides everything needed to make a good, heavy record. The ferocity and viciousness in the vocals, and the heaviness and variety in the instrumentation and makes this a must for any fan of heavy music.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
heyadam
August 15th 2011



1705 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This review was kind've rushed, but I liked it nonetheless and it is the first for the album. As always, please comment with any grammatical errors you find or suggestions you want to make!

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Emim
August 15th 2011



26482 Comments


hey adam

americanmusicmachine
August 15th 2011



3953 Comments


that whole lil' thing about that guy being a christian but turned off by the political side of modern christianity isn't needed, while i like that you attempt to analyze the lyrics of the album I don't like that you didn't really do anything with it. it seems like you just threw that shit in there to make the review look longer. and the review just ends. otherwise i liked the review it has flaws but it's quality plust it takes me back all the way to 2006, back when zao was my favorite band.

Ending
August 15th 2011



1889 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. This and LTEI are probably up there with two of my favorite metalcore albums of all time.

heyadam
August 15th 2011



1705 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks amm, I'll edit that. I noticed that too, but I didn't think it was too much of a problem

heyadam
August 15th 2011



1705 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

and hey emim

Emim
August 15th 2011



26482 Comments


I would still flesh out that last paragraph a little more if you can; the review seems to end abruptly.


Zao is so good

heyadam
August 15th 2011



1705 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah:/ I probably rushed the review a bit. I'll try and think of a way of expanding or changing then expanding the last paragraph

LaughingMan
August 15th 2011



19 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review for an excellent album. Amazing how they managed to produce a work this good after going through so many lineup changes that they were pretty much a completely different band by this point.

Also pos'd.

heyadam
August 15th 2011



1705 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thank you sir! and yeah the story of Zao is an awesome one. I have their dvd "The Lesser Lights of Heaven" and it's so good.

fromtheinside
August 15th 2011



17714 Comments


Such a good album

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

heyadam
August 15th 2011



1705 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely. I was surprised there already wasn't a review for it

protestthesky
September 4th 2011



11 Comments


Yo adam it's Chris finally signed in again :b
I would go as far as to give this a classic rating. One of my favorite metal albums along with The Funeral Of God

ffs
September 4th 2011



4819 Comments


f. u. chris you owe m,e money bihotch

TrantaLocked
December 7th 2011



1502 Comments


Damn did the first song caught my attention. I really like the screaming.

heyadam
February 6th 2012



1705 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah man, Dan's vocals are so sick and unique. This album is a prime example of that

Pharoh
February 13th 2012



3326 Comments


listening to this now, so far its great

SadAndHolyGlow
April 5th 2012



1499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That spoken intro to "Ravage Ritual" is dialogue from the movie "The Prophecy." I find that to be very interesting. Its really sets the mood.

Digging: Jacobi Wichita - Bonez Malone

Funeralopolis
April 9th 2012



11013 Comments


The vocals on this seem to have quite a black metal edge

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

JokineAugustus
April 29th 2012



5683 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This really is as good as Liberate. Can't decide which is better right now.

Digging: The Chariot - One Wing



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