Published Sep 01, 2004A switch over to a new label (from long-time home Solid State to the secular Ferret) seems to have given a new lease on life to the always turbulent Zao. But with a solid line-up in place and the release of what is perhaps their most solid album, the bands troubles seem to be in the past. The Funeral of God is a full-fledged concept album, but dont fret; its not difficult to slog through like most concept discs; it really comes across as just a collection of songs loosely tied together thematically. And what a collection of songs it is; from the completely abrasive metalcore Zao is known for, to straight-up, speedy hardcore with melodic backup vocals, The Funeral of God just might be the bands most diverse record, proving they can do it all with ease. Album highlights include the catchy "The Last Revelation and the haunting "Live From the Funeral of God, but there isnt a dud here. The bands usual treble-drenched production sound is replaced here by one that has a more complete, full bottom end to it. With nice artwork wrapping this up, lets hope Zao (pronounced Zeh-oh, by the way) finally get the credit they deserve but have never fully received.
The concept of the album is intriguing; where did it come from? Scott Mellinger [guitars]: Our vocalist had a dream about if humanity rejected a god, what would happen if God was like "Fine, if you reject me, then I let myself go. He just elaborated more on the story. Were all up on doing something thats different and a little more thought-provoking than a lot of other Christian bands would do. We dont really even consider ourselves a "Christian band. But we just wanted something that would shake things up a little more and make people think "What does this mean? Then they get the ideas when theyre in there.
With the new label and the name of the new album, I thought you had gone atheist! Yeah, actually, thats a question a lot of people are coming to us with. The cool thing with Ferret is they really didnt care what we did. With Solid State you had to do certain things their way; with Ferret, we had more of a chance to be more open and shocking. Our contract was up with Solid State and we just wanted to go somewhere different for us, to refresh ourselves. (Ferret)