‘Pyrrhic Victory’ the latest EP release (November 3rd, 2017) by the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Metal band Zao, (Observer Recordings) is their latest outstanding showing of gritty, hostile sound that is helping create a name for themselves in the underground metal scene. The EP was recorded and mixed by Dave Hidek at Treelady Studios and The Church Recording Studio. This EP is the follow up to their 2016 album, ‘The Well-Intentioned Virus’. After being together for more than 18 years, they are still bringing heavy doses of abhorrence and animosity.
Jumping right in, you will hear “Drifting Shadows In Walking Dreams”, an onslaught of riffs and thunderous drums, on top of high pitches on vocals, they waste no time showing why after all their years creating music they still have what it takes to bring the heavy, progressing into the end of the song with breakdowns and in-your-face grooves. “Clawing, Clawing, Never Cutting Through”, doesn’t let the momentum stop. Coming through with melodic guitar riffs under Dan Weyandt’s clean vocals, they’re not shy about showing other styles of metal within their songs. A ripping guitar solo at the end of the song brings everything up to this point together, but, the pain doesn’t stop there. It hasn’t slowed down up to this point, and, “Feed It Pain,” the closing track of the EP, isn’t even a starting point. Lightning fast grooves throughout the EP, this track is no exception. A minute and a half through, a new ambiance occurs. Slowing down eerily, pulling you closer to the EP’s epic, raging close.
Overall, the feel of this EP is genuinely aggressive with its gut-wrenching breakdowns, scratchy highs and guttural low vocals, soaring guitar riffs and uptempo playing. After 18 plus years of being together, Zao are still creating some of the best Pittsburgh metal. They show no signs of slowing down and aren’t afraid to show it in their music.