ZVI "II: Death Stops Us All" CS
Zvi is the solo output of experimental guitarist/singer/songwriter Ron Varod. Zvi's self titled Debut in 2014 on digital and limited handmade CD-R formats and was recorded and mixed at home over the course of 2013 with help from Kayo Dot bandmate Toby Driver. The self released debut record feels as intimate as Nick Drake's swansong "Pink Moon" but with weight of Stephen O' Malley's guitar work and sprinkled with David Gilmour's sense of melody in Pink Floyd's more minimalist moments.
Zvi II: Death Stops Us All picks up where the debut left off but this time around Varod enlisted engineer Colin Marston (Gorguts, Krallice) and the mastering talents of James Plotkin (Khanate) to better capture his expansive sonic palate.
Zvi II begins with the shorter (by Zvi standards) "you've charmed me, i will stay" that slowly morphs into two long form compositions "black leaves" & "whale bone cage", two tracks that are the meat of the record. Both tracks fluctuate between bare reverbed electric guitar and build to cacophonous drone with thick heavy guitars.
There are even harsh noise moments reminiscent of fellow contemporary solo acts like Pharmakon and Prurient but feature brutal distorted guitars on top of all of it that makes for a sound unique to Zvi. Tying together the album are Varod's unrefined but honest vocal approach and memorable "pop"-esque melodies hidden between vast oceans of haunting instrumentals.
Cassette from HalfPear Records. Limited to 100 copies.