When I got my hands on Zaius’s new album for the first time, I was immediately interested in what makes such a band tick. They seemed firmly rooted in the emerging Chicago post metal/rock scene but also of their own type, their music infused in something unique. I jumped on the opportunity then to have the band over for an installment of our Anatomy Of series, where we ask them to display their influences to the wide world. Lo’ and behold, the band’s choices are indeed interesting and speak to the variety of their sound. From the more smoked out passages of Black Sabbath‘s career to the hectic chaos of System of a Down, their choices are an interesting palette of controlled mayhem, powerful choruses and a fair dose of heavy. Head on below to see their choices and, while you’re here, don’t forget to check out their album, Of Adoration. It’s quite a marvel.
Deftones – White Pony
Ian McConnell (Guitar): The greatest album ever made, in my (and 3/4 of Zaius’) eyes. As a young, close minded metalhead this record not only changed the way I thought about music but life as a whole. It has become more of a mentor than an album to me at this point.
Hopesfall – The Satellite Years
Dann Dolce (Guitar): Hopesfall changed a lot through their musical career but one thing all their albums had was killer, layered guitar work. They always knew how to keep things interesting and kept the songs moving with just the right amount of heaviness and technicality too. I still jam this album to this day.
Misery Signals – Of Malice and the Magnum Heart
Ian McConnell (Guitar): The track ’Worlds & Dreams’ was the catalyst that sparked my interest in instrumental music before falling down a post-rock rabbit hole; I had never heard anything like it (let alone sandwiched in the middle of a hardcore record). Ryan & Branden Morgan are some of the most criminally underrated musicians/songwriters of all time and it’s safe to say that Zaius would not exist without this album.
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Dann Dolce (guitar): I probably learned how to play every song off this album on guitar when I was in high school. My cousin Mike (also our drummer) and I used to jam to these songs in my aunt’s basement and we thought we were total bad asses. Sabbath songs — always good for a jam session!
System of a Down – System of a Down
Ian McConnell (guitar): Daron Malakian, in a roundabout way, taught me how to play the guitar. This album was easy enough for me to grasp as a self-taught guitarist but also contained important techniques/chops that I would need later on in my playing. Although I haven’t given it many spins in later years, I owe a lot to this record.
Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power
Dann Dolce (guitar): This album led me face-first into really heavy music. I sort of dabbled in heavier stuff before this but it finally clicked when I saw Dimebag shred a solo in their Vulgar Videos. I spent countless hours in my teens learning Pantera riffs before I realized I would never be half the guitar player Dimebag Darrell was.