When the first thing you see on an album cover is a bat wearing a monocle, this is a pretty big clue that this is not going to be a standard affair. Coupled with the not very catchy album title of “The Bat, The Wheel And The Long Road To Nowhere” this makes out that this is going to be absolutely barmy. Quite misleading really as this isn’t quite the mind-fuck that you may have expected, although it is quite a deep record.
Zatokrev’s sound draws upon the more thought provoking sludge acts. Certainly there are links in sound with the likes of Mastodon and pre “Yellow And Green” Baroness; many riffs definitely bring the former to mind particularly, with the latter’s shared trait of really drawing a song out. But there is a prominent vicious streak, especially vocally that makes it all the more crushing; Frederyk’s harsh vocals being quite akin to a black metal act. There are also some post rock elements and uses of psychedelia in there as well but these are very subtle and not overpowering.
Where this does begin to become challenging is in the song’s duration, where they often breach the 8 minute mark, and often they begin to sound stretched and prolonged, but impressively they never feel like a chore to continue with. In fact, you find yourself very much drawn to it throughout.
“The Bat, The Wheel And The Long Road To Nowhere” is a very vast album that is brutal yet engaging all at once. A masterful work.