Background & Album Breakdown: This year, iconic metalcore act Zao, whom are based out of the east coast US, are releasing a follow-up EP to last year's album. Pyrrhic Victory, an eighteen minute, five track offering released under Observed/Observer Recordings, has all the makings of a modern metalcore release. It's got its chugging, breakdown sections, fast-paced riffs and drumming patterns, as well as a dynamic vocal performance, per usual.
The Pros: The vocals have a ton of raw emotion to them throughout this brief venture. The EP has some parts that serve as intermissions between the madness and build up the sound and dramatic influence in the long run. Guitar parts transition adequately into each other, and the mixing sections of the instruments are blended well. The melodic sections are a fine break from the overall destruction, as well. But make no mistake, for what it's worth, Pyrrhic Victory is a hard-hitting and exceptionally loud core composition from start to finish.
The Cons: The production quality seems a tad bit shoddy or unclear at times, especially with the string (guitar/bass) aspects of the recording. Vocals themselves are fine, but overshadow the mix at times as well. In addition, the guitar tone could've been better or more crisp-sounding.
The Verdict: Zao's latest EP addition Pyrrhic Victory is a worthy asset and a decent step-up from the last extended play. The release carries on the band's classic sound and is a subtle, yet lively addition to the band's noteworthy discography.
Fave Tracks: 'The Weeping Vessel', 'Clawing, Clawing, Never Cutting Through'
**Zao's EP Pyrrhic Victory is available today at:**
Review by: Dave Raffy
-Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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