: ''For other uses of the term "zao," see Zao (disambiguation).''
"Zao" is a metalcore band from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, which is widely considered to have pioneered the boundaries of Christian metal music. Founded in 1993 in Parkersburg, West Virginia, Zao has hosted several musicians and endured numerous roster changes to a point where no original members remain.
Christianity has been a key influence in the band's work, mostly because the founding members have a strong relationship with God, they were considered a devoted Christian band, which changed as time passed. Jesse Smith slowly changed his vision for the band, preferring it to be not a 100% Christian band. As Dan Weyandt enters the band, the lyrics change drastically, mostly leaving a message that he is alive because of God, not with the intention of spreading the religion, but to let know how it helped him in his personal struggles. Their reception among believers has not always been positive. Many church leaders and other practitioners have condemned Zao as detrimental and "demonic," viewing the harsh nature of the band's music as a contrast to the message of comfort typically offered by the religion. Beca...
|origin||Parkersburg, West Virginia, United States|
|current members|| Daniel Weyandt|
|past members||See #Personnel|