The Funeral of God is the seventh full-length album by metalcore band Zao. Released on July 13, 2004 through Ferret Records in the US, and on July 12, 2004 through Roadrunner and Ferret in Europe and Asia. It saw the return of guitarist, Russ Cogdell, and the addition of bassist Shawn Koschik and drummer Stephen Peck after the departure of Jesse Smith. A music video was made for the song "The Rising End (The First Prophecy)".
Originally the album was going to be called, Live... From the Funeral of God, but the band's management was concerned that fans might construe that to mean it's a live recording, so the title was shortened.
The album is a concept album, narrating an apocalyptic story in which God, fed up with the path chosen by humanity, decides to disappear, leaving humanity to its fate. Subsequently, the world falls into a state of war and self-destruction. However, man soon reverts to a state in which he waits for God to return.
Sounding different from most albums Zao have released, this record is a swing towards bands such as Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall. It also goes for a more melodic sound than their past albums, such as in the song "Psalm of the City of the Dead".
"The story is unique, the vocals are vicious, the guitars are cacophonic, and the barrage is relentless. Zao has returned with a preeminent fury and have outdone themselves once again." - Outburn (9/10)
"If the melodic end of the genre has been taken by Killswitch Engage then the extreme end of the Kingdom belongs to Zao. No question." - Metal Hammer UK (9/10)