Zao Parade Of Chaos

Zao are always looking forward and completely ignoring what other bands are doing, never failing to break new ground and drop jaws with every album. Parade of Chaos does not disappoint, and every fan of progressive metalcore needs to hear this album, as it is probably Zao's best. The band can play straightforward metallic hardcore, such as on opener "The Buzzing," but can just as easily and adeptly churn out melodic atmospheric songs, progressive time signatures, spoken segues, indie rock and fast hardcore. The only annoyance is the distortion, which is heavily applied to the vocals for most of the album, but considering this is a band that can convincingly jump from Slayer-esque riffs to acoustic guitars in the same song, that's a minor complaint. Zao possess a unique ability to create a chilling and sombre vibe in their heavy sonic assault, elevating them above a lot of one-dimensional metalcore acts. All in all, like label-mates and fellow geniuses Living Sacrifice, the band is a barrage of broken genres pieced together like fragments of shattered stained glass that are left to decay in their own brilliance while most of the world ignores them for entirely foolish reasons. (Solid State)