I'm not sure what Zao was thinkin' when they made this CD. Were they thinking "Let's make a wonderful anti-God album," or "Let's make a wonderful Christian album." We'll probably never know, but this CD can relate to everyone in terms of how they discuss God. They never really praise him (because the CD is about his death), nor do they rip on Him. The lryics are great and poetic, the way Dan and Scott always collaberate them. Zao tried out a few different things this album, Scott does A LOT more clean singing, actually, they introduce him on the first (and one of the best) tracks on the album, "Breath Of The Black Muse." So now, I'll go into detail on the tracks that really stuck out to me.
The opener for this amazing CD is "Breath Of The Black Muse," a great opener with a really unique riff, but heck, that's what Zao is known for. After that Dan comes in with his raspy, lugey-filled screaming, and after a bit of higher screaming, he goes into a deeper growling. One thing I noticed on this album, Zao does a lot of "verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus," stuff on this album, but that doesn't matter. Now, the bridge of the song is the getter. It gets into this melodic, slow part of the song, that is not centered on guitar work. What is it centered on" Singing. As I said before, Scott does a lot more clean vocals on this album, he even has a song all to himself.
After "Breath Of The Black Muse," Zao blast your ear drums with heavy, guitar based songs, like their not-so-good single "The Rising End," then comes "The Rising End"'s sister song, "The Last Revelation." And now onto the next song that stuck out to me. I'm used to hearing Zao songs that start out with either techno, or pummeling drums and quick guitar, but you won't find this on "The Last Song From Zion." This song opens with a slow, backing rhythm guitar and a very melodic lead guitar; but, if you know Zao, they can't keep the heavyness in their pants very long. The same rhythm beat is repeated, but with more palm muting and such. This song has no clean vocals on it, but the guitar and Dan's scream make up for that.
Next there is the title track, "Live...From The Funeral Of God," (the album was intended to be named that) and "The Lesser Lights Of Heaven," neither songs are amazing, but they're very good, especially the lyrics backing "The Lesser Lights Of Heaven." Now we get into an amazing track, "In Times Gone Past." This song to me, sounds like an epic song. It starts with a slow melodic riff, which then gets filled by natural harmonics and Scott singing. Soon after this, it slows, and Zao does their trade mark, deep talking voice. The lyrics for this song are wonderful, "We live within a curse, and within the divine!" is what is spoken right before the song picks up, and Dan starts to growl again...but lo! The song slows back down again, part of the repetition I mentioned earlier.
I believe the whole last half of this album are amazing. After "In Times Gone Past," Zao rips your face right off your skull with the instant guitar work and Dan screaming in the track, "Praise The War Machine." This song is clad with more catchy beats then you can shake a stick at, and towards the bridge, Scott and Russ pull off this amazingly high pitched pinch harmonic. I like to whisper the riff to myself and then whistle out the pinch harmonic part. This song is probably the most suggestive one to Christian listens, as half way through the song Dan screams "SIX SIX! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH SIX!"
After "Praise The War Machine," we get hit with "Truly, Truly, This Is The End," which opens with tom and snare drums and lightning quick guitar picking. The verse are jam packed with Dan screaming, followed by a silent bit of hi-hat drums and talking. I especially like this song for the bass interludes. The bass is really amped up on this album, in "In Times Gone Past" and there is even a bass solo in "The Lesser Lights Of Heaven."
Now the much more mellow part of the CD jump in. "I Lay Sleepless In My Grave," is a 1:32 ballad of emotion. Taken what the whole CD is about (God's death, and the end of the world, the corruption of man), this song just says "wow." It has so much meaning behind it's light, clean guitar riffs then you can choke a horse with. Finally (on the U.S. release) there is "Psalm Of The City Of The Dead." This song starts out with a catchy bass intro, but is soon filled with a ripping guitar beat. Remember how I said Scott had his very own song to do vocals for on this album" This song is it. It gets kind of boring, but soon the song dies down, and there comes this slow, slightly over-driven guitar, with female vocals. This song sounds like souls in Hell crying out to God. "As we wait here, for a sign. We are greeted by the end of time." Scott says, and the females sing out, "these streets arn't paved with gold, You're my everything, my soul is growing cold." Wow, this song is awesome. After the soft interlude, the song gets heavy again, and is clad with a "Her Ghost In The Fog" (Cradle Of Filth) sounding piano arrangemnt. After a bit of piano, violins come in for the last 3 minuts of the song. Great album.
Now, if you bought Revolver Magazine, or are a member of www.bleedzao.com, you've probably heard the song "The Romance Of The Southern Spirit," featured on the Japaneese release of The Funeral Of God. It starts out with a quote, "You are what you love, not what loves you, that's what I decided a long time ago." Now, this song is emensily different from most Zao. Very slow guitar throughout the whole thing, with Dan growling, and Scott's singing in this song, wow. It's just amazing, vastly improved from the rest of the tracks on The Funeral Of God.
This album is great, very much on par with the rest of Zao's albums, it may even be as good as "Where Blood And Fire Bring Rest." I definatly recommend picking up this little jem. 5/5