Liberate te ex inferis
Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest

Liberate te ex inferis (Solid State)
Enslain Magazine Issue #7
Order Issue #7!  This review included.
I could sit here and go into a detailed history on this band, on how the only remaining original member is drummer Jesse Smith, and that with each album they undergo drastic lineup alterations, completely changing them into an entirely different band. However, I'd prefer to simply get straight to the point that this is a nearly groundbreaking release! Upon looking through and listening to this album, it becomes very obvious that they put a great deal of effort into the thematic aspect of the album, that being the five circles of Hell. The songs ease into each other with such an artful nature, also reflecting, lyrically and musically, the well-developed theme. The music itself is very dark in an unorthodox sort of way... technical and slightly mechanical, and very down-tuned and bassy. The whispers and muted yells add to the darkness contained herewith. Zao have placed themselves far above labeling with this complex and apocalyptic release.-- Lady Enslain

Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest (Solid State)
Enslain Magazine Issue #5
Order Issue #5!  This review included.
I hate to say it, but this is not the same Zao I remember from their last album. The only original member who is still in this band is drummer Jesse Smith. And though he has found decent replacements to his old bandmates, they will never be the same. Their original vocalist had this annoying screechy voice that was ironically so perfect for the band, that new vocalist Weyandt's equally obnoxious voice, though good, could never compare. I'm not saying this new album is not good. In fact, it is among my favorites this year. They style has become heavier, still with a touch of hardcore, but now with more traces of death metal than before. And the lyrics are personal and thought provoking, just as the last. There's a bit more variety on this album than the last. A commendable effort, and definitely a band to look for. -- Lady Enslain