In my professional ineptitude I have failed to keep up to date on some of my favorite albums lately, and am seeking to cure that slowly but surely. We start our game of catch up with an older Pause release from the laid back Zan-zan-zawa-veia. Their new release came out a few months back and is Fell Plot.
An occult shadow government dissolves messily, its members left trying frantically to remove themselves from every list that matters before the sun comes up. Eight oppressive and complex pieces of expanded NES music hint obliquely at the story behind the collapse of a generation’s fell plots.
So goes the story of Zan-zan-zawa-veia's latest release, an album that creates a sepia toned mood of old phonographs, slow waltzes, and deteriorating brick and wood metropolises. The album kicks off with Koff Koff, a track that sounds as if things are spiralling out of control in a cacophony of sounds and swirling effects. This is followed up by the dreary Rose Wood, the slow, foreboding track starts off calmly, but lurches toward a frustrating tone, as if someone is slowly working on an increasingly difficult, and secretive objective.
We skip ahead to two of my particular favorite tunes from the album. The first of which is the moody tune Rest Easy, which is a bit more ominous than the name implies. The lo-fi crackling along with the slightly too slow rhythm creates a mood of almost ease, but not quite. As if, even though all things are done, and every enemy dealt with, something is still amiss in the recesses of your mind. The track breaks down and leads directly into Fish Food. This track starts out with an almost incoherent series of beeps which slowly struggle to make a tune, as if it's a brain itself waking up from a daze and trying to piece together the sounds around it. Once we regain our composure the song quickly turns into a heart pounding theme somewhere between the sounds of a Game Over theme and the build to a final boss fight. The sounds continue to build until we reach that boss and a catchy but ever changing theme that keeps us on edge the entire time.
Of course we can't conclude this short write up without mentioning the ten minute final opus of the album, the self titled Fell Plot. Fading in with a simple melody before being surrounded by crunches, it then breaks forth into a gentle lullaby, only broken by the always ominous tones that lie beneath it. The song takes many turns and break downs along it's journey. Things really build to a head in the last moments of the track though, just before slowly falling apart into another sea of seemingly meaningless buzzes and chirps.
This album is not a head bobbing rock out, nor simple relaxed listening to get your homework done to. For those willing to stick with it though, Zan-zan-zawa-veia tell a deep story with many twists and turns. Remember you can grab the album free through the official Fell Plot album page.