Zatokrev | ‘Silk Spiders Underwater…’
I love it when bands make a leap of brilliance. When they make the jump from what they’ve been hinting at to who they truly are. When they bust the underground with that album.
Zatokrev, from Switzerland, have been more or less unheard of til now. Despite a great last album, and even the fact that they’ve already been to our own shores.
All this is about to change, for the simple reason that this album is about to catapult them to a great many of the ‘album of the year’ lists. That is, if there’s any justice in the world.
More than that though, it’s because they’ve just put out an album that fuses the pulsing, irresistable forward lean of Gojira with the atmospheric concentration and seriousness of Neurosis.
There are two factors you need to know to appreciate this album. The first is its weight and determination. The second is its beautifully underwaterness.
They got it right in the title. This is like a sort of submarine world sci-fi sound, full of strange creatures. You really want to hear ‘Loom’ for this – a beautiful, alien, wave-ripple-like beat underpins its main hook, building broodily to an absolutely slamming pulsation of pure metal pummel.
What most people wil latch on to however is the album’s most accessible and indeed most immediate track – the majestic, Gojira-esque ‘Bleeding Island’.
Make no mistake. On the strength of this colossal track, Zatokrev could command festivals, tour continents and reduce clubs to rubble. It’s that good. It contains a riff for the ages.
It’s enough of a reason to get this album. Yet though its the most initially satisfying, time reveals it not to be the best track on here. Between the aforementioned ‘Loom’ and ‘Phantom’ we see what Zatokrev are really about with this album.
And that is the link to the cover art. They’ve constrcuted a fantastical oddworld here, a sort of Poe or Jules Verne exploration that they allow us to visit. ‘Discoloration’s tremulous lead vamp hints also at this strange impending doom.
As I said at the start, I love it when a band reaches its breakthrough moment, and Zatokrev’s is here and now.
Everything about this album rules, from the beautiful expanse of warm, woozy tone in the instruments to the sheer amount of ideas they’ve got in here. From Neurosis to Gojira, Mastodon (‘Discoloration’) to True Widow all via so many more wonderful, immersive influences (Unmothered and You Judas), Zatokrev have really really caught a vibe with this album.
Then, when you think it cant get better, they only go and put the pedal to the metal way late in the album as a show of absolute confidence in their own construction. And how it kills! ‘Swallow The Teeth’ is absolutely flattening.
Like all the greats, it is wonderfully absorbed whole, and drunk. For it allows to you in to delight and almost feel around each track: getting into them with your whole head, you just want to look around and grope around the world of these sea-caves they create with the guitars.
So get it without delay. I cant recommend it highly enough. Albums like this are rare, and no matter what they do, their next one – even if its better – wont have this one’s charm. This is what we’re in the underground for.
5/5 – Earl Grey ::: 14/04/15