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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars18
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on October 15, 2009
Decent album, but I must admit I miss the pre-2000 Zao. To me it seems they changed their direction too much with the release of their Self-Titled album.

I've been following Zao since the Splinter Shards days, and even started a music venue with the hopes of having Zao, one day, come and play a show (we ended up having them play three times actually). To me, the best albums were Liberate Te Ex Inferis and Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest. Those two albums alone completely changed the way we know hardcore music. But since then, I feel the band has changed direction too much. Is it because of their constant line-up changes? Or maybe it's because Daniel is getting burned out?

I still enjoy every Zao album, and with each upcoming release I get excited in anticipation for them. But, maybe I'm hoping for something that will never return.

But I digress, this is indeed a good album, and it's great to hear Zao is back at it again. However, I would say, fans of Parade of Chaos will enjoy this album, but fans of Liberate and Blood and Fire might not. I would suggest listening to the full album [...] before buying it.
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on May 7, 2009
After making their most intense and harsh album, Zao disappeared for a while. Awake? marks their return with a friendlier album that still remains haunting. The music is somewhere in between the ferocity of The Fear is What Keeps Us Here and the melody of The Funeral of God. There is an acoustic ending track which trounces the one on Parade of Chaos. If you like Zao, you will be delighted by this album. If you are expecting another Fear... you will be disappointed.
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on July 6, 2009
I am fairly big Zao fan and own most of their albums. I would place this one at the same level as The Funeral of God. It has a similar overall sound, so if you liked that album, you will probably like this one as well. The music is fairly good, and the clean vocals are basically like Funeral of God, but I did not really find any of the songs particularly memorable, in a good or bad way.

For whatever reason, the physical release of this album is a limited edition. The linear notes are on separate pieces of thicker paper (not stapled together or folded), with the idea that you can pick your own cover. There are six pages/covers.

Personally, I am still waiting for a return to "Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest," and this album is nowhere near there, but it is not terrible, either.
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on May 23, 2016
Not really my favorite Zao album, but all Zao is awesome, so it gets 4 stars. Romance of the Southern Spirit is a pretty interesting song for Zao, mixes the heaviness and melody well. 1,000,000 Outstretched Arms Of Nothing and Quiet Passenger Pt. 2 are also standouts.
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on June 2, 2009
where do I start? this is the 3rd Zao album that I have purchased and I have yet to be disappointed. it is still extreme, although they added some clean singing to it. I only have one minor complaint and that is the booklet was not stapled together. this flaw didn't keep me from enjoying the music though. a good five star release.
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on March 16, 2013
Zao is one of the best metalcore bands of all time and Zao has great albums like The Funeral of God, The Fear is What Keeps Us Here, All Else Failed, When Blood Brings to Rest, Parade of Chaos, (Self-Titled) and My favorite 3 albums Awake? and the album Awake? is sound similar to The Funeral of God but more screaming vocals and clean vocals Dan Weyandt is an awesome screaming vocalist the best of the best i love Zao's best albums like TFOG THE FEAR IS WHAT KEEPS US HERE WHEN BLOOD BRINGS TO REST ALL ELSE FAILED SELF TITLED AND AWAKE? ZAO GOOD LUCK!!!
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on August 2, 2011
Awake? was definately worth the wait. I got into Zao shortly after they put out The Funeral Of God. I wasn't into such rough screaming vocals at the time but it quickly became one of my favorite albums. The Fear Keeps Us Here had a much different musical style (I wasn't a fan of it) than the TFOG so I wasn't sure how this album would sound.

Awake? has a musical stlye similar to TFOG, but it wasn't a cookie cutter version by any means. Dan Weyandt's vocals are much cleaner and he sings a bit more too. However, his screaming vocals that Zao fans liked from TFOG haven't lost any of their intensity on this album.

I think all songs on this album are great. The best being: Entropica, What Will You Find?, Romance Of The Southern Spirit, and Quiet Passenger Pt2.

Zao's a great band. If you like this album, check out some of their older ones too. The Funeral of God is my favorite
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on August 9, 2010
My first Zao album was Liberate Te EX Inferis, which I bought shortly after its release. Since then I've had an undying thirst for more and more Zao. Unfortunately I was not around for the Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest days, (though I did get the CD later), and when I got Liberate I was far to young to even care what the album did for metal and hardcore. So because of that, most likely, I've found mysef drawn to the later Ferret Records releases as my favorites of the bands work, with the addition of Liberate.

When I first got this album, the first thing I did, of course, was throw it in the CD player. My jaw just dropped at the quality of this album. Never before has Zao had such a clean and polished sound. Dan's vocals are much more clear than anyone of the past albums. Jeff's drumming seemed to be a bit more held back than it was in The Fear is What Keeps Us Here, and in turn are more distinct and direct. Entropica has that metal with clean vocal sound the band has seemed to develop while on Ferret. What Will You Find is a classic Zao mosh-metal piece. Romance of the Southern Spirit has the same sound as most of the bands recent work, but with a lighter, poppier sound. The Quiet Passenger pt.1, and pt.2/The World Caved In, are both works of genius. Scott's vocals on both tracks have a bit of a darker feel, as well as the music itself.

Lyrically it is a classic Zao album. The reason I fell in love so much with the band rings just as true on this album as any other, with the exception of The Fear... Dan's lyrics are not just simply lyrics. They transport you into a completely different, and more darkened world with slivers of hope, and redemption. Though his lyrics have gotten darker through the years, I've still been able to look at their meanings and not just see a dark and depressing world, but a darkened place that is always provided with a way out.

Awake? is a great work for Zao, and hopefully we can see much more in years to come.
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on July 24, 2009
Zao has been pioneering metal and (just as importantly) doing their own thing in one incarnation or another for 14 or so years. Awake? is the most recent album from an older Zao, the first one released without a tour to back it up. To me, that's a pretty bold move by the band and the label(Ferret Records) since it relies on Zao's pre-existing fan base. Enough about all that.

I have and enjoy something about all of Zao's albums, and AWAKE? is no different! I love the higher sound quality(though "The Fear"s raw style was awesome too) and, in all honesty, Scott's clean vocals aren't really that new to Zao songs (A Parade of Chaos and The Funeral of God feature him plenty) and they just sound great here.

Although the album doesn't stick to me as well as some of the others, it is its own creature and is a fantastic one at that. The fact that this album exists is a testament of Zao's dedication to music, and the fans. This fan is not disappointed!
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on November 17, 2009
Yes ladies and gentlemen, Zao is back with more face-melting, heart pumping, intense metal that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the album is over. I've listened to Zao ever since Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest, and they have many songs that parallel all of the things they, and myself have been going through. Don't just write these guys off as "just another metal band" because they're not. This new album by Zao is all heartfelt with songs that have MEANING, they aren't just songs to be heard, but rather listened to. Zao is still one of my favorite bands to this day and I hope to hear more from them in the future, especially if Russ Cogdell is going to continue to play with them
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