I’m always fascinated by the conscious decision bands make to be extremely religious, anti-religious or political (or decidedly avoid any such messages). It’s an age-old argument whether it’s an entertainer’s duty, let alone right, to be actively involved in social issues, or if they should just “shut up and entertain”.
Zao has always been in an interesting position, featuring very Christian members in a band lumped in with the Christian metal community, yet spreading a message of modern spirituality and breaking away from established religion. That’s certainly not an easy distinction to grasp right away. Our pals at Noisecreep have a very interesting piece with guitarist Scott Mellinger, where he discusses how quickly people glaze over the “Christian” label, either to write the band off or blindly support them:
People don’t realize that if you listen to ‘(Where) Blood and Fire (Bring Rest),’ ‘Ravage Ritual’ is about the church and how wrong and dead it is. It was different in those guys still had a Christian belief system but I wasn’t offended by that either. A lot of people just thought once I joined the band, ‘Oh, Scott’s a Christian now,’ but it’s all so more complex than that.
The whole interview is seriously worth a read, check it out here.