Zao
The Splinter Shards the Birth of Separation


3.5
great

Review

by DieDead USER (6 Reviews)
January 26th, 2012 | 18 replies | 2,771 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Its a good listen if you want to listen to some 90's Hardcore/Metalcore or if you are a big Zao fan.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Before Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest Zao was almost a completely different band. With all different members besides Jesse Smith. Who now is no longer in Zao. This is there second LP, and has more of a hardcore sound and less of a metalcore sound that is found on Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest. This LP is far from being a classic like Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest is, there are a lot of flaws.

The line-up is quite different we have...
Shawn Jonas – Vocals
Roy Goudy – Guitar
Mic Cox – Bass
Jesse Smith – Drums

The guitar on this record is pretty average. Roy does bring in some hardcore crushing riffs and even some Earth Crisis sounding riffs. Exchange is a great example of what is good on this record. Has some hardcore riffs and a little melody that is actually memorable. I will give credit to the riffs for at least being some what innovative, and he adds some little variety and great song structure to keep you some what interested. Combing metal and punk riffs to make that metalcore sound. Though Roy does not really bring enough metal riffs into the record to make it metalcore. Some songs like Repressed have tremolo picking and that is really all that is metal about this record. The bass is some what audible but they don't bring much. They mostly follow the drums, and don't do much to stand out. Besides a quick intro on In Loving Kindness. But it is nice to be able to hear the bass. The drums are the best thing about the LP great beats and outstanding double bass. Jesse Smith does just as good as he would in the future. A lot of really cool fills that keep it interesting. He adds a good amount of complexity to keep you guessing. The vocals are definitely the second best thing on this LP. His scream is raw and sounds like Poison the Well's Jeffrey Moreira meets Earth Crisis's Karl Buechner. A lot of emotion. Though he is really repetitive and you don't ever get a break from his ferocity, does nothing to switch things up. Some may get bored quickly of his vocals.

A big flaw about this LP is the production. The drums at sometimes take over the guitars, and with the vocals going on its hard to really get a clear listen. The guitar tone sounds quite dull and ruff. To make things even worse you can hear when they cut to other riffs, its pretty unprofessional. Now i am not sure who to blame since Zao themselves and Drew Mazurek produced it. Either way it kills the mood when the music stops for half a second and then the music starts up again.

Some bands make really good first records. Some will make there classic later in there career, and that is the case for Zao. They first needed to get a new line up, and make a more innovate record. Like Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest. The Splinter Shards the Birth of Separation is a good listen if you want to listen to some really early Hardcore/Metalcore or if you are a big Zao fan. But good luck finding this record still. The only way is to "obtain" it from the internet. Or some online store. Like Amazon or Ebay.

3.5/5.0



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user ratings (85)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
DieDead
January 26th 2012



222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hopefully i did better than that AILD Decas review i did.

Mordecai.
January 26th 2012



8270 Comments


don't get your hopes up too high

Sevhead
January 26th 2012



569 Comments


diedead? haha that's great.

DieDead
January 26th 2012



222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't worry my hopes are not high. I guess.

and yep. Die tell your dead.

Nikkolae
January 26th 2012



4746 Comments


i've never heard this album, liked the Funeral of God and All Else Failed

Digging: We Came Out Like Tigers - Ever-Crushed at Pecket's Well

FrankRedHot
January 26th 2012



6448 Comments


Early hardcore? Lol

someguest
January 26th 2012



20233 Comments


yeah man nobody was playing metalcore in 1997

botch wouldn't even be around for another two decades

Digging: Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West

Sevhead
January 26th 2012



569 Comments


Picked up the slack when Modest Mouse sold out.

DieDead
January 26th 2012



222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love refused.

JokineAugustus
May 30th 2013



5628 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Its hard to believe that 2 years after they released this they would have released 2 of the greatest albums of all time. :D

Digging: Catharsis [US] - Samsara

Fluttertrank
May 30th 2013



17098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hell yeah man, also wow, this is my old review.

JokineAugustus
May 30th 2013



5628 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How many alts do you have lol?

JokineAugustus
August 3rd 2013



5628 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool album ntl.

Suddy911
September 16th 2013



1191 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really wanna give this another shot and maybe bump my rating up havnt heard this in forever

JokineAugustus
November 2nd 2013



5628 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet! Just got this in the mail! Shawn is a pretty intense vocalist. Jesse is perfection on drums as usual.

slidenslip
November 2nd 2013



1016 Comments


ugh entry level af

JokineAugustus
November 2nd 2013



5628 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol. You must be Mr. elite af

slidenslip
November 2nd 2013



1016 Comments


my grandma listens to this on the local country radio station



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