Who are Zetra? Meet the mysterious London duo your favourite bands love

Every time we’ve seen Zetra they’ve put a spell on us. But when we tried to contact the enigmatic synth-metal pair, we found only riddles, questions and warnings…

Who are Zetra? Meet the mysterious London duo your favourite bands love
Nick Ruskell

“You have knocked upon a door. A locked door must be answered, but you know not what you do…”

So comes the spooky voice note that dropped into K!’s emails while trying to track down Zetra. It shouldn’t be a surprise – the duo’s mystery precedes them. Onstage, the pair look like black metal meets Blade Runner, clad in cloaks, corpse paint and chains, flanked by stacks of TV monitors displaying bizarre visuals. Between them, a guitar, a keyboard and an old Atari sequencer, they sound like Type O Negative gone synth-pop, a goth Pet Shop Boys with deliciously heavy, dark riffs. We have no idea who they are.

“You seek answers from beyond,” continues the message, “but find only acolytes.”

One such devotee, Gabe Franco of U.S. goth metallers Unto Others, recounts discovering them while travelling in the Far East and getting lost down an alleyway in the middle of the night. Encountering an “old man, sitting in the lamplight edge, half his face covered in darkness,” he was bid over to the stranger. “It was then he whispered to me one word, and my beer dropped from my hand and shattered in the thoroughfare: ‘Zetra.’”

Employed To Serve guitarist Sammy Urwin, meanwhile, says he found them when “I looked toward the sun and two silhouettes stood against the illumination of the dying star. It felt as if I were levitating.”

“We heard a rumour that they started making music together after witnessing Halley’s Comet pass over their homes as children,” says Puppy’s Billy Howard Price. “Other theories involve a violent encounter after a particularly gruelling session of Dungeons & Dragons, and a chance meeting outside Forbidden Planet in Leicester city centre. We suspect Zetra cultivate these mythologies to keep the authorities off their tails.”

Having both toured with Zetra, Gabe and Sammy have been closer to this mysterious force than most. The latter describes them as “like a sword slicing through velvet”. When asked about what he expects in the future, Sammy simply says, “I for one will follow where they choose to lead.”

For Gabe, the band are, “A spirit in human form, tiger-like in appearance, yet whimsical in their majesty.” He also offers something of a warning about seeking them too hard: “Simply, Zetra is. Do not look further, there is danger.”

But there is also desire and temptation in forbidden things. Those who have seen and heard them this summer will already be under their spell. Despite the warning, the last part of their enigmatic message intrigues and allures.

“Zetra can be found,” they whisper before the audible click of a tape machine cutting out. “Follow the thread…”

Zetra will support Creeper at The Roundhouse on November 4, and then headline The Black Heart on December 1.

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