Zao - Legendary (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Legendary (2004)

Solid State

Wow. These guys are metal-core. More to it, they are the defintion of good metal-core. I don't think there can be any mention of metal-core without ZAO being a part of it. This CD is not a new release, but a compilation of their albums. A "best of..." if you wish. I find a few problems with this though. This band has gone through a lot of line-up changes, and you can definately hear it in the different songs. Another thing is that this is a compilation, so the production is inconsistent, and the songs weren't all written at the same time. I much rather prefer listening to full CDs in their original order, since I view songs as chapters in a book. This album also features three demo tracks at the end featuring Corey Darst, who apparently hasn't been on any other recording and has left the band. They are sub-par tracks and were recorded while the band was on tour.

For all of you who don't know anything about ZAO, let me fill you in. Expect the vocals of a man-beast. Expect heavy, heavy guitars and low, low bass. Expect crazy riffs to come out of both. Expect high leading guitar lines that rip. Expect drums that pound your head into the ground. Expect dynamic songwriting and lots of tempo changes. If this is your type of music, expect greatness.

Highlights on this record include "Skin Like Winter" which opens up with a badass riff that's fist shakin' to the max. It then drops down a key change and features hand claps too. Another rocker is "Walk On By, Walk On Me" which features an excellent intro of craziness and some of the heaviest breakdowns I've ever heard.

On a whole, I have to give this album a 6. Before you rip me apart, let me explain myself. The music is great. There's no doubt about it. I really like the music. This ALBUM as a WHOLE only gets a 6 because it feels really detatched and inconsistent, not to mention the demo tracks that don't measure up at all. I would definitely recommend checking out this band, but I would recommend check out another disc instead. They have six others.