Zatokrev: The Bat, The Wheel And A Long Road To Nowhere

Post-metallers veer off the road widely travelled

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The title is a headscratcher but the sounds emitting from this Swiss four-piece aren’t. That’s because mysteries don’t usually come in the form of gigantic walls of collapsing sonic cinder, where ears are ground by guitar and distorted bass like a pharmacist’s pestle.

Plying a noise similar to early Isis and Neurosis, before they got in touch with their feelings and obscure Teutonic prog, Zatokrev throw some disparate spice into the thunder. The slide guitar on 9 and Medium’s horrific fade-out may seem the sort of in-studio light bulb moment that comes after too many frosty Feldschlösschens, but it’s those little experiments that keep The Bat… sounding fresh and unique.

The parts that anyone with the post-metal essentials in their collection have already heard aren’t bad – the tectonic riffing of Angels Of Cross, for instance – just familiar. But then you hear the melodic sludge of The Wheel, which is like Mouth Of The Architect playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and everything balances out.