zao Awake? (numbered CD, £11.50)label: ferret
Awake? will sound immediately familiar to anyone who has followed Zao’s convoluted, controversial and altogether exciting career, with its signature all-out heaviness and beautifully simple memorability. Awake? stands easily beside the best and brightest of the Zao catalogue, with the kind of production (courtesy of guitarist Scott Mellinger himself together with As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis and Daniel Castleman) that Zao has always deserved. Thunderous, epic and full of passion, Zao (Greek for “alive”) is driven by vocals that exorcise singer Daniel Weyandt's demons as if his life depended on the songs. His words reshape a personal history wrought with tragedy, suicide and death into beautiful musings that connect with their brutal honesty and naked self-observation. Mellinger, the band’s primary songwriter, adds melodic vocals as well.
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