Zao Debut New Song “Croatoan”


Ever since I first heard the story as a kid, the mystery of the vanished colony of Roanoke fascinated and scared the daylights outta me.

In case you don’t know the story, here’s how Zao describe it to Decibel:

“In 1587 a group of 115 English colonists arrived at Roanoke Island off the coast of what is now North Carolina. The group was led by their governor John White who later sailed back to England to gather more supplies. White and his ship were subsequently caught up in a war with Spain for three years. Upon finally returning to the colonies, White discovered that every single person from the initial journey, including his wife and children, were gone without a trace. The only clue left behind was a wooden post with a single word carved into it: ‘Croatoan.’  The whereabouts of the settlers are unsolved to this day.”

Fuckin’ CREEPY, right?

This unsettling chapter in America history is the subject of Zao’s new song, “Croatoan” — that bizarre, undefinable word that was carved into a wood post at Roanoke. The accompanying music is appropriately disturbing. “Croatoan” is the first single from Zao’s forthcoming album, The Crimson Corridor, and it bodes very, very well for the rest of the record.

Says Dan Weyandt of the track:

“Based off its origin and without clear definition, the word ‘Croatoan’ embodies an unsettling feeling of helplessness to me. This song is a vehicle for that feeling and relates it back to dissociation and being lost in strange dimensions and dreams.”

Drummer Jeff Gretz adds that the song “shaped the world that the rest of the record lived in: ethereal dread,” while guitarist Scott Mellinger concludes:

“I wanted to write a super-simple, heavy, plodding part. The first riff sounds like something is crawling towards you and you can’t get away.”

Check out “Croatoan” below. The Crimson Corridor will be released on April 9. Pre-orders begin tomorrow, Friday, March 5 at Zao’s Bandcamp page and Holy Mountain Printing.

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