Jan 172022

Today we reach the eighth installment of this 2021 Most Infectious Song list. You’ll find the preceding Parts (and an explanation of what this list is all about) through THIS LINK.

I didn’t really have any organizing principle for grouping the following three tracks together, though I did think the transition from the first two tracks to the third one made for an eye-opening change. I should add that all three bands received a lot of support from the folks who contributed ideas for this list, although there wasn’t much consensus about which song from each album was the most deserving.

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Apr 052021

(Andy Synn couldn’t wait any longer to share his thoughts on the new Zao album, set for release this Friday)

For those unfamiliar with the “Ship of Theseus” paradox, this two thousand year old thought experiment asks the following question:

If an object (in this case, the infamous ship) has all its parts and pieces (first its oars, then its planks, its mast, its keel, so on and so forth) replaced as time passes, at what point does it cease to be itself?

Or is it still, fundamentally, the same object? Is there some essential soul or essence which maintains continuity, even as all the individual components wear out and are replaced?

So it’s more than a little appropriate that Zao’s new album, the second since their fantastic 2016 comeback The Well-Intentioned Virus, features a song named “Ship of Theseus” right at the start, because The Crimson Corridor showcases a strikingly different – fundamentally darker, denser, and borderline doomier – version of the band than the one you might be familiar with…

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Jul 132019

Zao 2018 – Photo by Jered Scott


(For this week’s edition of WAXING LYRICAL Andy Synn questioned Dan Weyandt, lyricist/vocalist of the long-running American metal band Zao.)

It’s no exaggeration to say that Zao are one of my all-time favourite, most-listened-to, bands.

I first came across their punchy, endearingly scrappy form of Metallic Hardcore/proto-Metalcore early on in my transition towards heavier music, and immediately liked what I heard.

By chance, however, I actually lost touch with the band for a while, only to rediscover them a few albums later, by which point, to my great pleasure, their sound had metamorphosed into an even more aggressive and metallic form.

Not only have a I been a major fan ever since, but the biting vocals and cathartic lyrics of Dan Weyandt have been a major influence on me as a singer/writer myself, so I am doubly-pleased to be be able to speak to him for this latest edition of Waxing Lyrical. Continue reading »

Oct 312017


(We present Andy Synn’s review of the new EP by Pennsylvania-based Zao, which will be released this coming Friday and is streaming in full as of today.)

Zao’s fantastic comeback album, The Well-Intentioned Virus, was easily one of the best and brightest releases of last year, even if its December release date kept it from appearing on most end of year lists.

Regardless of this, the band are clearly keen on capitalising on the momentum of their return, and are already working on their next full-length… while also set to drop a brand new EP, the five-track Pyrrhic Victory this Friday.

Well, you know what they say about striking while the iron is hot, right? Continue reading »

Jul 212017


(In the fifth and final part of a week-long series of interviews by Andy Synn, he talks with Scott Mellinger of the Pittsburgh band Zao, whose late-2016 album The Well-Intentioned Virus was reviewed by Andy here.)

Last, but by no means least, in my retrospective on some of 2016’s unsung heroes we have a band who are probably the most well-known out of all five, though still nowhere near enough in my estimation!

After a seven year break Zao returned in 2016 with The Well-Intentioned Virus, their tenth/eleventh full-length album (depending on whether or not you count the 2003 re-recording of All Else Failed), which proved to be one of the finest slabs of music the band had ever produced.

Now, a little over half a year later, I wanted to catch up with the band and welcome them back to the land of the living, as well as grill them on their time away, and what it took to produce an album which may well go down as their magnum opus. Continue reading »

Jan 052017


(Andy Synn reviews the latest album by the band Zao.)

Remember when the word “Metalcore” actually meant something? Those halcyon days when it referred to bands mixing the breakneck emotional intensity of Hardcore with the prodigious sonic power of Metal, rather than being a watchword for formulaic, anodyne angst-merchants desperate for their fifteen minutes of dubious fame?

NoCleanSinging remembers.

And so, it seems, do Zao, who returned at the tail-end of 2016 with what could very well be the best thing they’ve ever released. Continue reading »