Metalcore stalwarts ZAO have revealed a new video for “Transitions” from the quintet’s first full-length in five years, The Crimson Corridor, out this Friday via the band’s own Observed/Observer Recordings.
Lyrically inspired by the Isaac Asimov quote, Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome,” “Transitions” takes the prolific American writer’s concept and builds upon it. “It’s about eternal return and my place within it,” notes vocalist Dan Weyandt.
“Transitions” was directed by Eric “First Church of the Void” Livingston (Dead Cross, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk). “In general, we are extremely hands-off with artists and video directors,” says drummer Jeff Gretz. “We find people we like and tell them to just do their thing. There is a level of trust there that is extremely important to us. We have been fans of Eric Livingston for a long time and were always looking for a reason to work with him. We sent him the song along with very vague descriptions of ‘Birth, Death, Decay, Nature, Agoraphobic Skies.’ He wrote us back within minutes and said, ‘Got it! Oh, and I think there will be claymation.’ What more could you ask for?”
ZAO’s new 60-minute, 11-song opus ranks as the near-three-decade-old group’s longest record since 2004’s The Funeral Of God, offering themes surrounding the manifestation of depression, anxiety and anger. Musically speaking The Crimson Corridor is all about extremes. While there are plenty of the band’s signature crushing riffs and abrasive vocals there are also a lot of moments of quiet tension. ZAO is not in a hurry and is not afraid to drop back and build quiet tension only to slam back roaring louder than before.
Recorded with Dave Hidek at The Church Studio in Pittsburgh and packaged with the horror photography of Christopher McKenney, The Crimson Corridor was delayed almost a year due to COVID. The band spent that year in isolation digging even more into the music to see what else could be done to make the music the surreal horror landscape that they had initially set out to achieve.
Pre-orders for The Crimson Corridor digital/CD/Double LP and cassette are available through the ZAO’s Bandcamp store
and through the band’s merchandise partner Holy Mountain Printing
ZAO’s last album, the critically acclaimed The Well-Intentioned Virus, was released in 2016. Since then, the band has been releasing EPs, remix albums, Nintendo cartridges with actual music on them and concept 7 inches packaged in mirrors, yet still found time to oversee reissues of their back catalog and an album of archival demos from 1995.
Daniel Weyandt – Vocals
Scott Mellinger – Guitar/Vocals
Russ Cogdell – Guitar
Martin Lunn – Bass
Jeff Gretz – Drums