May 14, 2014

Zatokrev - The Bat, the Wheel and a Long Road to Nowhere

Written by Natalie Zina Walschots. Originally published here by Exclaim.

Based in Basel-Stadt, Switzerland, sludge-laden, blackened doom band Zatokrev have released a writhing, shattered slab of sound for their third full-length, The Bat, the Wheel and a Long Road to Nowhere. There is an Eastern European influence to the sound that extends beyond the vocals, giving this record a Byzantine edge that works to their advantage, sharpening their riffs and imbuing the darker, more melancholic passages with exotic smokiness.

Photo by Pedro Roque.

Opening track "Goddamn Lights" is nothing short of stunning, and the rest of the album's admittedly vast 76 minutes unfurl from there. There are passages that drag here and there, almost as if the songs have wandered off and become distracted by their winding, meditative structures, but this is forgivable for the moments when the storm gathers and a glorious doom crescendo rains down.

Photo by Pedro Roque.

The acidic vocals — thin and rasping — form an excellent counterpoint to the deep, baritone choral moments, as well as the ponderously thick, fat guitar tones. Strong, sinuous and strange as any tentacled beast, Zatokrev should be proud of this surprising and ambitious release.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

  1. Fantastic record. Way better than anyone could expect.

    1. I just had my first listen (with no expectations), and I like it a lot. Slide guitar is always a good sell to me.