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ZAO - Awake?
One of the inventors of the metalcore genre are finally back with a new album since 2006’s The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here. Awake? is ZAO’s tenth full-length album since the band started in 1993. The band took an hiatus in 2006 and announced a few lineup-changes, which resulted in no lineup changes at all. Even though none of the band members from 1993 are in the band anymore, the band has been carrying the flame for several years now.
 
ZAO is one of those bands that aren’t the best way to get into metalcore, and I doubt you can even call this album metalcore. Their grim-like vocals, changed into clean vocals from time to time and a sort of post-metal atmosphere is giving this reviewer a hard time to write a review about it. Opening track ‘1,000,000 Outstretched Arms of Nothing’ kicks in like a more Isis-like tune, with sludge influences like the slow drumming and heavy guitar parts changed into faster progressive-metal drumming parts that somehow remind me of Mastodon.
 
The thing that could spoil the fun for you is Daniel Weyandt’s very deep grim vocal parts. Almost like a death metal band vocalist, he has a really deep and hard voice that is being put on the foreground all the time. The clean vocals like in ‘Entropica’ sound a bit random between his vocals. Overall the whole album is instrumental wise less chaotic than the earlier ZAO records, also due to the fact that ‘Awake?’ is a slower album.
 
It’s really hard to draw a conclusion from this record or recommend it to anyone. ZAO has a really special musical style which is hard to get into. In my opinion some of the tracks on the album sound a bit random which makes it even harder to give a good listen to. I guess I can only leave our readers with a try before you buy. You never know what to expect!
ZAO - Awake?
70/1001Details Ferret Records
Released on Tuesday May 5th, 2009
Experimental Metalcore

Writer @Brent_ on Wednesday Aug 5th, 2009

Tags: #ZAO
Tracklisting 01. 1,000,000 Outstretched Arms of Nothing
02. Entropica
03. The Eyes Behind the Throne
04. Human Cattle Masses Marching Forward
05. Romance of the Southern Spirit
06. What Will You Find?
07. Awake?
08. Quiet Passenger Pt. 1
09. Reveal
10. Quiet Passenger Pt. 2 / The World Caved In
Line up Daniel Weyandt - Lead vocals
Scott Mellinger - Guitar/backup vocals
Marty Lunn - Bass guitar
Jeff Gretz - Drums