A confession: when I was in high school I was totally into the metal scene. Even today I've had a hard time parting with some of my favourite metal albums. One of my favourite bands from this time period was Zao, a band who I just recently got back into. Zao was unlike any other metalcore band at the time; they wore their wide-ranging influences on their sleeves at a time when metal was getting boring. Indeed, several of the members who played in the band have went on to create an array of completely different sounding bands (the Juliana Theory anyone?). The band went through so many lineup changes that the recently released documentary created by Ferret Records on the band lasts three hours. The new line-up features none of the original members, but it features a lot of the members who helped create the band's best albums. While I originally was sceptical, I decided to pick up the album because it was produced by Steve Albini, an odd choice for a metalcore band, but which speaks to the range of influences the band has, and no doubt the band makes some of their best music in years. I may have to start throwing down again.
Bonus Track - American Sheets On The Deathbed