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Exclusive Track Premiere: Zao’s “The Final Ghost”

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If you handed Joe Duplantier a guitar at the end of the worst day of his life and told him to write a new song, the results might sound something like Zao‘s “The Final Ghost.” Slow, crunchy, and corrosive — it doesn’t have pick scrapes so much as it has pick skinnings — “Ghost” is the soundtrack to crawling beneath electrified barbed wire on your stomach in a leech-infested swamp littered with mines.

In fact, according to vocalist Dany Weyandt, if this song makes you think and long and hard about your own demise, well, that’s what it’s supposed to do:

“This song begins as a recollection of two separate events that I witnessed and interpreted as great testaments to the illusion of power. It then shifts to the idea that even the most powerful entities on Earth are always at the mercy of death and nature as well as questioning the core reasons behind our need to survive as individuals.” 

As for that drag-yourself-to-survival-after-your-legs-have-just-been-chopped-off pacing, drummer Jeff Gretz says:

“Some songs just fall into place. The mid-tempo driving ‘Zao plod,’ as I like to call it, is us in our natural state. This is just one of those songs that pretty much never really changed from the early writing/demos until the end. It just always was.”

Guitarist Scott Mellinger concurs that the song came about easily and organically:

“I was trying so hard to write a simple super crunchy riff but did not want to do the typical palm muted stuff. I started experimenting with layering a bunch of pick scrapes and string scraping stuff. Totally came out better than I expected. The little guitar melody in the chorus was another one of those parts that seem to just magically come into existence without trying. Some parts take days to work out and others minutes.”

MetalSucks is chuffed to premiere “The Final Ghost,” which you can check out via the below lyric video. It’s the latest single from the band’s first full-length album in more than four years, The Crimson Corridor. That will be released on April 9; pre-order it at Zao’s Bandcamp page and Holy Mountain Printing!

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