Knut are a mathcore/sludge metal band from Geneva, Switzerland that formed in 1994. They started by playing in the local underground squat scene, publishing a couple of seven-inch releases as well as their first CD in 1997, titled Leftovers. This early material was put out on Snuff Records, which was run by Roderic and Didier. In 1998, Knut released their first full-length, Bastardiser, which showcased a sharper and more focused aggression, combining heavily distorted guitars, odd-time signatures, use of discordance and repetition, and harsh vocals. The band started touring Europe and shared the stage with bands like Zeni Geva, The Young Gods, Blockheads, Voivod and Neurosis. The year 1999 would prove crucial for Knut, with tours alongside Converge and Botch, both of whom had released records on the Hydra Head imprint. They brought Knut to the attention of label owners Aaron Turner and Mark Thompson, who quickly decided to reissue Bastardiser in the United States and invited them to tour. In August 2001, Knut completed an extensive trek on US soil opening for Isis, playing alongside Thrones, Converge, Keelhaul, Pelican, Premonitions of War, Anodyne, The Cancer Conspiracy, ending at New York's infamous CBGB club.