The Well-Intentioned Virus is out now.
After two decades of producing some of the most iconic and influential metalcore to be unleashed upon this world, Zao has risen again with a sound that is still fraught with destruction. Between brutal blast beats, haunting melodies, and delicious breakdowns, Zao, in one form or another, have been defying every obstacle that would utterly dismantle just about any other band. When your history can be broken down into 5 “eras” (although Gretz (drums) claims 3 at max), you know you’ve been through a lot. But press on they did, releasing a total of 10 LPs and 4 EPs spanning across 23 years. Zao has undeniably carved out their own giant chunk in the metal scene.
Returning yet again to release their new full-length ‘The Well-Intentioned Virus”, Daniel Weyandt (vocals) took some time to talk about the overarching theme of each song.
The Well-Intentioned Virus
This iteration of Zao consists of Daniel Weyandt (vocals), Scott Mellinger (guitar/vocals), Jeff Gretz (drums), Martin Lunn (bass), and Russ Cogdell (guitar). After breaking a 5-year hiatus with the EP Xenophobe, they have returned a year later with their blistering new LP, A Well-Intentioned Virus. With a self described lyrical theme of “people suffering at the hands of other people”, their new work is haunting and brutal. It’s filled to the brim with a furious mix of metalcore and hardcore punk, littered with mathy elements and at times teetering on death metal. Etched throughout are hauntingly beautiful melodies that add an almost apocalyptic feel which plays a great contrast to Daniel’s throat scorching screams. Zao has evolved, and with it comes a new chapter of terrifying sound.
1. Weeping Vessel
The visual of a single moment within a specific situation. Watching someone you love suffer emotionally. A miscarriage. It’s about death and things that can’t be created or destroyed.
2. A Well-Intentioned Virus
The cognitive dissonance that keeps us from seeing how harmful our personal actions can be. Then taking the ideals our actions are based on and imposing them on others, therefore perpetuating a negative situation and birthing a cycle. The human race in general.
3. Broken Pact Blues
Broken suicide pacts. Calling out to a life hovering in the void/hanging in the balance. Loved ones with opiate addictions.
4. Jinba Ittai
The relation of the mind to the body. The unavoidable grave that waits for us all. Our safety never guaranteed. Perception and existence.
The inevitable destruction that awaits us all brought on by the pride and greed of those in control of the populous.
The influence of media and social media on our current political ideals. Misinformation, manipulation and the spread/affect of fear. Social regression and racial superstitions.
7. Haunting Pools
Inspired by a fever dream I had where two ghosts explained to me how hauntings work. Different depths have different experiences. If one is too deep and you become completely submerged you cannot come back out.
Our role in the vast universe as it observes itself through us. The carbon that we are built from came forth from a supernova. Dualistic chaos of life itself.
9. The Sun Orbits Around Flat Earth Witch Trials
Old “truths” embraced by the majority in the past and how those who disagreed with them were dealt with harshly. What are the false “truths” of today? Will we ever admit to ourselves that we clearly do not learn from the past?
10. I Leave You In Peace
Walking through the past and a re-examining of my “spirituality”. What attracted me to it and what drove me away from it. Simplicity becoming complicated. Letting go and drifting into the void at peace with the past, present and future.
Grab The Well-Intentioned Virus via Bandcamp.
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