Steve Von Till - No Wilderness Deep Enough review




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Reviewer:
8.0

12 users:
6.17
Band: Steve Von Till
Album: No Wilderness Deep Enough
Release date: August 2020


01. Dreams Of Trees
02. The Old Straight Track
03. Indifferent Eyes
04. Trail The Silent Hours
05. Shadows On The Run
06. Wild Iron


You may know Steve Von Till from his pensive and forlorn metal outfit Neurosis, but it seems that his solo output is just as pensive and forlorn, just sans the metal.

It isn't any secret that Neurosis is one of my favorite bands of all time, but for as much as I like them, I haven't really gotten around to listening to any related projects until recently. I still haven't gotten around to Tribes Of Neurot (I will), but since the release of this album was on the horizon, it was due time to get deeper into Steve's work, both with his solo output, his Harvestman project, even his pre-Neurosis thrash band. Aside from the latter, his music always had a very somber mood, whether the folkier solo albums or the more psychedelic soundscapes of Harvestman. No Wilderness Deep Enough doesn't really fit neatly into what came before it, feeling a bit more like a blend of the two projects. And that makes sense considering how it came to be.

Started out of a creative spur caused by a jetlag in a family home in Germany with some digital pianos, it never was clear whether the compositions would end up as a new solo album, a new Harvestman record, or even a new project altogether. Getting together with Randall Dunn, they began to engineer those into an ambient project, replacing the digital compositions with analog ones, with some extra cellos french horn and percussion, but somewhere along the way Randall convinced Steve that his (Steve's not Randall's) vocals belong on the record. The result is something a bit unusual for such a sound: a folk record where the music clearly came before the lyrics. I am more of a music than a poetry fan anyway, so this worked out well for me, but considering that Steve also released his book of poetry today, I had no reason to doubt that this album would fulfill its lyrical side as well.

With his previous solo albums being more acoustic guitar focused, as is often the case with folk records, this one having a somewhat more synthy industrial soundscapes almost taken straight out of an Agalloch record mixed with some Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds pianos and cellos to make it as ethereal and melancholic as possible, especially when mixed with Steve's crooning vocals and pastoral lyrics. The latter come as no surprise considering the album being recorded in his studio/residence in Idaho, and if I know anything about that huge chunk of the US that is barely inhabited is that the wilderness there is magnificent. But there is no wilderness deep enough that the human emotion doesn't get to traverse it in this record. For such a bleak record, it doesn't sound as empty and negative as one would expect, instead feeling warm and as in awe and contemplation of the greatness of nature and our place within it.

The six songs map out an emotional journey with their rich soundscapes and evocative vocals, though the album still feels very minimalist. The glacial pace and the heaviness of heart feel constant all throughout it, as well as the warm tone of the vocals, which does really push hard on the album's emotional impact even though it makes the six songs blur into each other a bit too much. So if you wanted a catchy album, you're not in luck, but No Wilderness Deep Enough has its strengths and it plays them very gracefully. This is really the type of album that envelops you, with its quite perfect production, and its great sense of ambiance and emotion. I just wish I wasn't at my desk in the city when listening to it.

In the end, things worked out for the better, with the soundscapes and the vocals complementing each other, and we have Randall to thank both for the musical contributions as well as for the convincing part. But it's still Steve's compositions, vocals and lyrics that really melt me.



 



Written on 07.08.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 3   Visited by: 53 users
07.08.2020 - 16:16
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
There wont be new Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan or Neil young, but this easely can be their music, better as his main band. Good songs, lyrics, decent album.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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08.08.2020 - 02:12
DeliciousDishes
doesn't use salt
Makes a lot of sense that the music came first, cause I think it's the best part. I really like Steve's voice, but for some reason here it doesn't fit so much for me... I don't know why.

As for Neurosis people side material, the Townes van Zandt covers I really liked. Mirrors for Psychic Warfare is great.
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You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
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09.08.2020 - 00:28
zoller
Written by DeliciousDishes on 08.08.2020 at 02:12

Makes a lot of sense that the music came first, cause I think it's the best part. I really like Steve's voice, but for some reason here it doesn't fit so much for me... I don't know why.

As for Neurosis people side material, the Townes van Zandt covers I really liked. Mirrors for Psychic Warfare is great.


I tend to disagree with everything you wrote here, lol
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