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Zao: Lesser Lights of Heaven
Zao Lesser Lights of Heaven
Actors: Zao, Dan Weyandt, Scott Mellinger, Russ Cogdell, Marty Lunn
Director: Ryan Downey
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2005     6hr 0min

In their 10+ years of existence, one could say that ZAO has definitely had enough highs and lows to make for a great documentary. Now with over 200,000 records sold over their career, that time has finally come as Ferret ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Zao, Dan Weyandt, Scott Mellinger, Russ Cogdell, Marty Lunn
Director: Ryan Downey
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Hard Rock & Metal
Studio: Ferret Records
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/15/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 6hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

Movie Reviews

Only for hardcore, got to own everything Zao has touched, fa
Anthony R. White | Allen, TX | 12/10/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I give this two starts, one for the documentary and one for the live footage.

I think xxxfreekxxx works for Ferret because "totatlly engaging" does not describe this DVD. I'm a hardcore Zao fan but I was a little worried when I bought this DVD off eBay for $12. There are copies being sold on eBay with a description that reads, "watched once. Didn't like." After getting my copy in, I could see why.

Let's start with the live shows (because that's the DVD I popped in first). The quality of the fan submitted shows isn't that great, but that's to be expected from one person and a camcorder. To record some of those shows on a camera phone would have been a step up, seriously. The full sets recorded this year, 2005, were a huge disappointment. They play "At Zero" in one fo the sets and Dan in on his knees giving it his all and you can't hear him at all over the drums. When the drums let up for a bit you can hear the guitars but back in come the drums and the song is over. In the age where you can get a live CD of the show you just watched this is a huge disappointment (and don't tell me that's only a big record label thing. Check out Matisyahu - Live at Stubbs, for some spirit filled reggae [/end local band plug]).

On to the documentary. Where do I start. I'm not bagging it because I didn't like what I heard out of the band's mouth, because it was the cold hard history of the band, but the overall quality of the documentary. 1.) I don't like the flow of the documentary. It starts off with how the current line up meet each other. To me it would've made more since to start at the beginning with Eric, instead of going back to that point, then working their way back up to the current line up, where they tell the story of how they came together, again. 2.) It's censored for cuss words... sort of. In one chapter Jesse's is edited for saying the s-word, but the next chapter he drops a f-bomb that goes unedited but in the chapter after that, he tries the f-word again and it's censored. 3.) It's too long, I didn't even watch it all the way through. I am dead serious when I tell you there is a scene in there, while they are interviewing Jesse, that he stops, pulls his sleeve up and looks at his watch! That should've been edited out. 4.) The guys at Ferret comment on their signing Zao. They say, and I quote, "that we're not backstroking in money [off of Zao] but we're doing good." That made sick. As soon as I heard that I felt like they just called me a sucker for buying this DVD set that they slapped together to make a few extra dollars. This was thrown together at the last minute and it shows.

I take that back; I only give it one star."
Absolutely Essential!!!
xxxfreekxxx | San Diego,Ca | 11/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD is perfect. If you are a Zao fan at all you need this. The 3 1/2 hour documentary is totally engaging. I watched it all the way through in one sitting and wasn't even the slightest bit bored. It tells you everything you've always wanted to know and more. It starts with the first incarnation of zao and also talks about what current members were doing at the time. It even talks about past bands they were in ( Seasons in the Field, Pensive, Creation is Crucifixion, Chapter). The live footage is great too although it's secondary to the great documentary. If you are a little too pc, you may be shocked with the foul language, drinking, smoking, etc., but get over it and enjoy this. I can't recommend this enough for anybody with even the slightest interest in Zao. Amazing."
For Hardcore Zao Fans Who Know Their Stuff
Reed C. Schiff | 01/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD definitely isn't for everyone, it's all about your tastes. I've been a longtime Zao fan and have seen them in concert, as well as Dan being a huge influence on me when it comes to my vocals. So here's my review.

Disc 1 - The Documentary
Okay so this is really, REALLY, lengthy, and it's hard to watch all in one sitting. I broke it into segments (for example when I saw the part for a new album come up I turned it off did something else then came back) but personally, I loved it. Not the greatest production quality, but if you want to be informed on literally EVERYTHING about Zao, then this is for you. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I know a lot more about this amazing band then I did before. It also might get you into some other bands that are featured on this DVD, so hey, it works.

Disc 2 - The Live Stuff
The Glasshouse show, it is friggin incredible. The sound is great, although the vocal mixing is a little, shall I say, uneven I guess would be the best word for it. Sometimes you can hear Dan really well, other times it kind of cuts off, and the snare drum is way too overpowering. But this way, if you've never seen them live, it's incredible. It just sounds like they didn't take a constant sound source, it seems that they just cut the clips up and used whatever sound was going into that certain camera, which is kind of unfortunate.
Live at the Soma, umm yeah. It does not sound well at all. Just watch the Glasshouse show and you'll be set, besides, both sets are almost the same.

It's an interesting DVD and it's inexpensive. If you're a hardcore Zao fan, buy it. If you only kind of know them, then it can go either way. If you're new to them, don't even think about it because I guarantee you will not appreciate it."