7 p.m. Monday, September 11. Creepy Crawl (3524 Washington Boulevard).

The history of Zao is as complex as the band's math-minded riffs, so we'll try to break it down for you. Originally together from 1993 to 1997, the outwardly Christian act tempered guttural vocals with black-metal riffs and hardcore breakdowns to create a metalcore hybrid that countless bands would be ripping off a decade later. While the band's latest disc, The Fear Is What Keeps Us Here, doesn't feature any original members (drummer/mastermind Jesse Smith left in 2004 to focus on Gods, who no longer exist), it continues Zao's tradition of personal takes on the theological — all set to music so brutal it sounds like it was recorded in the depths of Hades. Trust us, your pastor has never heard anything like this.

Speaking of Show Preview, Jesse Smith

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