After a minute and a half of musical prelude, Zao explode into a vicious attack. The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here is loud, it’s fast, and scary to say the least, no, wait… the word is brutal. Not brutal as in a fugly, brutal as in, ahhhhh!

Everything from the titles on the back of the Steve Albini-produce CD to the lyrics in the liner notes are backwards, which, if you’re smart, you would just hold up to a mirror to read. Or you can cheat and Google the lyrics. The thank you’s are written normally.

Who would have thought Zao started out as a Christian Hardcore outfit? But let’s get one thing straight, you could be Jewish, but your album doesn’t have to reflect that, you know what I mean? Everything surrounding this album from the art to the titles is all in reference to death, or ways to die, or endings. Pretty creepy if you ask me, but don’t discount its musical talent.

Fast drums, amazing and creative guitar riffs, and solid vocals are what this album is all about. Everything ties in together and it’s their most thrasy album to date. It’s harder-sounding and craftier than the last and the combination of death metal, thrash, and metal in general is what keeps fans coming back. Zao reinvent themselves with every release, thus keeping their music different and “fresh” every time. The vocals range from very high to very low. A very chaotic album to say the least!

What once have been hardcore are now a full-fledged reputable metal band. And with approximately 15 line-up changes, each one of those members had to have left a mark. If heavy metal is what you want, heavy metalcore is what you’re going to get!

The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here Track Listing:

01. Cancer Eater
02. Physician Heal Thyself
03. Everything You Love Will Soon Fly Away
04. It’s Hard Not to Shake With a Gun in Your Mouth
05. Kingdom of Thieves
06. Killing Time ’til it’s Time to Die
07. There is no Such Thing as Paranoia
08. Pudgy Young Blondes With Lobotomy Eyes
09. My Love, My Love
10. American Sheets on the Deathbed
11. A Last Time for Everything

Run Time: 37:52
Release Date: June 12, 2006
Record Label: Ferret