"Awake?", the new album from the influential heavy music act ZAO, sold around 2,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The CD debuted at No. 19 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
Released on May 5 via Ferret Music, the follow-up to 2006's "The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here" was recorded in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (near Greensburg); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Encinitas, California; and San Marcos, California. AS I LAY DYING frontman Tim Lambesis and Daniel Castleman headed up the proceedings, along with ZAO's Scott Mellinger, for what is said to be another monumental ZAO album.
"Awake?" track listing:
01. 1,000,000 Outstretched Arms Of Nothing
03. The Eyes Behind The Throne
04. Human Cattle Masses Marching Forward
05. Romance Of The Southern Spirit
06. What Will You Find?
08. Quiet Passenger Pt. 1
10. Quiet Passenger Pt. 2/The World Caved In
ZAO's "Where Blood & Fire Bring Rest" was hailed as "one of the most the most influential albums of 1998" by Alternative Press magazine. That album, which introduced frontman Dan Weyandt to the heavy music scene, and follow-up "Liberate te ex Inferis", which introduced guitarist and songwriter Mellinger, continue to be cornerstone albums to a new generation of bands drawing influence from ZAO's dark, passionate and creative music.
The lineup for this ZAO album is the same as "The Fear...": Longtime co-conspirators Weyandt and Mellinger alongside bass player Martin Lunn and drummer Jeff Gretz (FROM AUTUMN TO ASHES). "Recording Jeff Gretz's drums was the most relaxing and professional studio experience I've ever been a part of," boasts Lambesis. "That guy is a true pro and the standard by which I will judge every other drummer I record at Lambesis Studios in the future."
ZAO's two Ferret Music albums, "The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here" (2006) and "The Funeral Of God" (2004), are among the biggest selling and most important in the band's impressive catalog. "Funeral" was produced by Erik Rachel (EVERY TIME I DIE) and "The Fear..." was recorded by Steve Albini (NIRVANA). The band has toured with IN FLAMES, TRIVIUM, SHADOWS FALL and in the past took bands like UNDEROATH and UNEARTH on tour as their opening acts.