Zao - The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here review




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Band: Zao
Album: The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here
Release date: June 2006


01. Cancer Eater
02. Physician Heal Thyself
03. Everything You Love Will Soon Fly Away
04. It's Hard Not To Shake With A Gun In Your Mouth
05. Kingdom Of Thieves
06. Killing Time 'Til Its Time To Die
07. There Is No Such Thing As Paranoia
08. Purdy Young Blondes With Lobotomy Eyes
09. My Love, My Love (We've Come Back From The Dead)
10. American Sheets On The Deathbed
11. A Last Time For Everything


Along with the likes of Converge, Rorschach, Starkweather and Earth Crisis, Zao have been a major influence on what Killswitch Engage, Heaven Shall Burn, Unearth (and countless others) are doing now and they deserve to be respected for this. Still, for all their influence, Zao always seemed to be a second-tier sort of band for me, never willing to take their music to a logical extreme and instead more often than not opting to play it safe. The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here doesn't change my mind.

The metalcore scene is vastly overpopulated already, the worst thing a band can do is to avoid evolution. Zao is simply not able to achieve the echelons of creativity that Converge or The Dillinger Escape Plan currently display. Even the band's raison d'etre, their strong Christian beliefs, is downplayed here. This leaves the music faceless and easy to dismiss as part of a crowd. The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here is a safe sort of record, an attempt to fuse all of the band's core elements into a comfortable whole, without taking any chances.

With all this said, this album is still an example of good metalcore. Dynamic and varied, the album effectively keeps me from nodding off. Highlights include "It's Hard Not To Shake With A Gun In Your Mouth" with its almost shoegaze white-noise melodic approach and the neo-grindcore attack of "American Sheets On The Deathbed". Nevertheless, as concise, hard hitting, aptly performed, memorable and heavy as this album is, the music here isn't in the end able to make me want to come back to it ever again after finishing this review. You might blame it on the oversaturation of the genre but for me, Zao's latest fails to make a lasting impression.


 



Written on 28.06.2006 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 39 users
28.06.2006 - 05:03
Dangerboner
:D
I disagree with the part where Jupitreas said they are playing it safe. This album sounds way different from all of the others, mostly due to the recording of the drums, but also because of the slight change in the vocals, the interesting intro and outro, and there is even a guitar solo, even though it doesn't really fit the song.

I mentioned this in the Zao thread but I was relieved that there wasn't any emo bullshit singing like their was in The Funeral of God. It was heavy throughout the whole album.
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29.06.2006 - 14:51
Sunioj
Ok, review really didnt tell me much about the actual songs but actually gave me an unneeded education on the hardcore/metalcore scene....
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12.12.2006 - 04:15
devildriver86
this CD was ok much better improvement from there The Funeral of God cd
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01.02.2010 - 18:15
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Do these guys sound like shadows fall, or are they regular metalcore?
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14:22 - Marcel Hubregtse
I do your mum
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02.02.2010 - 06:49
Dangerboner
:D
Written by Boxcar Willy on 01.02.2010 at 18:15

Do these guys sound like shadows fall, or are they regular metalcore?

Just normal metalcore that you'd find on Solid State back in the day. This album is alright, but the only album by Zao that I'd recommend right now is their compilation, Legendary.
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04.05.2010 - 17:57
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
I just listen to some zao for the first time pretty decent id give the band a 6.5 or 7
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14:22 - Marcel Hubregtse
I do your mum
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