Zao
Parade of Chaos


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mort. CONTRIBUTOR (56 Reviews)
October 28th, 2016 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


Parade of Chaos to me can be interpreted as Zao working out what sort of band they wanted to be after their fairly radical change of style on Self-Titled, the LP that brought them into the new millennium with a fittingly modern sound. It seems like they couldn’t really decide either, torn between a more straightforward metalcore approach and the electronic experimentation they fiddled about with just a year previously. For example, “The Ballad of Buddy Bigsby” sticks out like a sore thumb, an interlude with programmed drums and a glitchy aesthetic in the midst of an album that is largely straight up metalcore. It’s similar to the tacked on IDM ending of “Suspend/Suspension” which although takes an appropriately darker tone still sounds out of place due to its disparateness.

Not that these moments are bad, they simply just sound out of place. A large part of this record consists of Zao sticking to what they do best, which is making fairly dark metalcore with Christian themes. Daniel Weyandt’s encompassing growl interplays nicely with the eerie spoken vocals, while the guitar playing takes on a slightly more melodic approach than previous works. “Angel without Wings” is a nice example of this as it features a good balance between the heavier verses and melodic chorus that would later become an over-used technique in the genre. Other tracks such as “Killing Cupid” whole heartedly go down the abrasively heavy route with trademark metalcore dissonance and chaotically winding guitar work, falling more in line with the NWOAHM than traditional 90’s core.

Elsewhere Zao manage to fuse the experiments of Self-Titled to their straightforward metalcore approach with more success. “Free The Three” (referring to the West Memphis Three) features a dreamlike middle section with acoustic guitar, overlaid vocals and subtle electronics that suitably mirrors the strange nature of the case itself. “Man In the Womb” then continues this aesthetic, revolving around a simple acoustic riff, soft vocals and a piercingly artificial shifting buzz. The track then devolves through some psychedelic guitar work as it fades out abstractly. It’s indicative of Zao’s ability to craft tracks that go beyond what is normally expected of the genre with surprising success.

Parade of Chaos is therefore left in a strange place. In some areas it fails to fully incorporate the ideas milling around from Self-Titled, while not attempting it at all elsewhere. It leaves me wishing for more as although the straightforward metalcore tracks are enjoyable Zao prove that they can do more for the genre on the very same album, almost as if they’re are teasing us. But, this era of Zao is far behind us now and with their first full length in 7 years coming out this december it’s unlikely we will get a revival of this approach above all the others they’ve moved through.



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user ratings (216)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
mrend55 (3.5)
Better then your everyday Metalcore album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2016


14790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i did a review

ramon.
October 28th 2016


3688 Comments


your use of punctuation (or lack thereof) trips me out. otherwise, good review. didn't really find too much appeal in this record but i'm definitely gonna give it another spin having read this

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2016


14790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i have a weird use of grammar i know

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2016


14790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but cheers fam

calmrose
October 28th 2016


5537 Comments


excellent review fam, this is probably my least favorite Zao (w/ Dan, haven't checked their first releases) but it's still a very solid album

Free The Three is one of their best songs though

Digging: Daughters - Daughters

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2016


14790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i really like the middle bit of free the three



dont like its beginning or end section much



my favs on here would be Angel without wings, killing cupid and man in the womb

Middle18
October 28th 2016


314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Love the experimentation on this album, agreed its a bit hit and miss but fairplay to them for trying something different.

Futures
October 28th 2016


9977 Comments


hell yeah mort

Digging: Despised Icon - Day of Mourning

Spacesh1p
October 28th 2016


7717 Comments


Killing Cupid rules agreed.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2016


14790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jahgreed fam

MattTD
October 29th 2016


678 Comments


Mort celebrated writing this review last night by getting so fucked he didn't make it past pres

Pos'd

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
October 29th 2016


14790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mate i barely remember anything past the first time we went into the garage for a smoke





And cheers

Space Jester
December 11th 2016


8349 Comments


Funny thing, if you watch the documentary you'll find that this period of their work was mostly a cash-grab and this particular album was kind of a parody with the guitars intentionally produced less heavy.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2016


14790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn really? it is a strange album for them, i really dig the production tho

Space Jester
December 11th 2016


8349 Comments


You should watch the documentary, it goes into a lot of detail about the band's entire history up until The Funeral of God. Interviews with pretty much everyone who's ever been in the band.



Lucman
October 7th 2018


3947 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Resuming my Zao exploration and this, along with Self-titled, continue to wow me. The end of A Pirates Prayer is staggering.

Digging: Pure Reason Revolution - Eupnea

Supercoolguy64
May 20th 2019


9304 Comments


angel without wings is so wonderfully corny

Digging: Dystopia - The Aftermath... (CD)

DeadBitchAlexis
May 20th 2019


3171 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I always felt this album was overlooked by fans. This one > The Funeral of God.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
May 21st 2019


14790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i would fullheartedly agree with that. still jam some tracks off this occasionally whereas funeral of god bores the tits off me

Invaderbryan
May 30th 2019


378 Comments


Favorite album from them



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