Steve Von Till

As The Crow Flies

Steve Von Till - As The Crow Flies ©2000 Neurot Recordings
1. Stained Glass
2. We All Fall
3. Remember
4. Warning Of A Storm
5. Twice Born
6. Midheaven
7. Shadows In Stone

Having spent much of the past decade and a half in sonic warfare in the crushing unit known as Neurosis, it might come to the surprise of some that singer/guitarist Steve von Till's solo album would be so quiet and subdued. Based almost entirely around acoustic instrumentation, such as guitar, cello and violin, As the Crow Flies is an extremely contemplative, grief stricken and introspective record that inexplicably retains much of the mood of latter day Neurosis without using the same destructive approach. Von Till's voice nearly aches with each utterance of his lyrics, as though the very act of expelling words is pain beyond description. The very nature of this music is made so much stronger by the minimalistic approach and complete construction of mood. In other words, this is amazing stuff. The songs utilize but the most bare bones approach with very modest guitar strumming, being fleshed out here and there by the other stringed instruments. There is some variance, such as the echoing delayed guitar of "Remember" or the enveloping melody of "Twice Born", which sees the most involvement of cello and violin.

As the Crow Flies is an incredibly naked and barren record but somehow contains more raw and honest emotion than just about any record you will find on the shelves. Steve Von Till, if nothing else, is capable of discarding all the extraneous elements of music to the rusting chassis and the result is one of the best albums of this year.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/2000

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