Chaotic and emotional. A perfect synopsis. Few bands can say that they've mixed the two and won. Their sound is un-caged ferocity, it is powerful . . . DEVASTATINGLY powerful. Supervised chaos.
I judge all hardcore bands by Zao. They are the pinnacle of metalcore, this album being their most pure and prime example. Their only work that could be classified as better than any song on this album would be found on their split with training for utopia. Dan's voice was never better. His lyrics on this album are unparalleled. Pitch harmonics and huge riffs make for some of the best guitar work I've heard in a long time, though no soloing (but this IS a hardcore band). No matter what my mood this disc fits, it is in constant rotation in my collection.
When you see these guys live, all the songs off this album are spine tingling. The sound takes a hold of you, it will pump you up and in its closing track it will calm you back down. From the opening riff of "lies of serpents a river of tears", to the final respects in "a fall farewell", the savagery of "ravage ritual", the shear intensity and perfection of "the latter rain" followed by the massaging calm of "violet" it is a full frontal attack upon the senses.
This is not an album it is an experience.
Five stars without a doubt.
Also if you love this bands sound you should check out "Redeem - a Diadem of Beauty".