Metalcore mainstay and Solid State Records alum Zao is preparing to dispatch their first new full-length in seven years, The Well-Intentioned Virus. Following last year’s comeback single from the cacophonous crew, “Xenophobe” b/w “Fear Itself,” the new album will be released on Dec. 9 via the band’s own Observed/Observer Recordings. “Xenophobe” will appear on the record in a newly-mixed form along with ten other fresh tracks. The Well-Intentioned Virus was recorded and mixed by Dave Hidek at Pennsylvania’s Treelady Studios.

Zao currently includes longtime vocalist Daniel Weyandt and veteran guitarists Scott Mellinger and Russ Cogdell along with drummer Jeff Gretz and bassist Martin Lunn. The same lineup played on their last album, 2009’s Awake? (minus Cogdell), who was in and out of Zao for the past few years. Prior to Awake?, the band released The Fear is What Keeps Us Here (2006) and The Funeral of God (2004) on Ferret Music, succeeding their now-legendary seven-album run on Solid State/Tooth and Nail that contained the seminal “2nd Era” trilogy of Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest (1998), Liberate Te Ex Inferis (1999), and Self-Titled (2001).


HM covers from over the years

HM Magazine Turns 35

In 1985, Doug Van Pelt photocopied a letter-sized sheets of paper, bound them together, and handed them out in person on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It's all digital now, but, along the way, Van Pelt stirred up quite a few waves, played some seriously heavy music, and made a few friends along the way. Here: A quick look back at the magazine's 35-year history with Van Pelt and new owner, David Stagg.


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Comrades 2020

Becoming Comrades

The trio of Comrades – husband and wife Joe and Laura McElroy alongside drummer John Gaskil – is used to living in a van and touring the country. Now, their new normal has provided them with a moment to "be adults" for once. We recently sat down with the McElroys to talk more about the spiritual reality within life, how soon they'll be able to release new music, and how koalas are their new normal.


Photo by Quinsey Sablan

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A Disparate Vintage

On Tigerwine's latest, 'Nothing is for You,' vocalist and lyricist Trobee departs from the band's last effort as a concept record to write about an array subjects. Notably, Trobee tackles his evolution from rigid belief system to an acceptance and understanding of other ideas: "Through touring and becoming close with those very people I was taught to be afraid of, I realized how untrue it all is."


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