Steve Von Till
No Wilderness Deep Enough


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (347 Reviews)
August 23rd, 2020 | 23 replies


Release Date: 08/07/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: No mountain high…

When most people think of Mr. Von Till it’s normally in the context of electric guitars, undisclosed amounts of distortion and typical preconceptions of what makes Neurosis...well, Neurosis. Considering the particular brand of music attributed to the likes of Neurosis and the prestige an act like that would achieve (if you’ll forgive some level of reader assumption as far as what “Band A” sounds like) you could be forgiven in overlooking a completely guitar-less endeavor from the Neurosis leading member, especially considering the larger contrast in styles. Still, the man’s solo works aren’t without their merits, separate from the sludge-based affairs to which he’s more prolifically known. Without getting myself dragged to far into the world of Times Of Grace or the more recent Fires Within Fires it’s important to note that No Wilderness Deep Enough isn’t Steve’s first foray into anti-Neurosis material. Dating back twenty years, Steve Von Till has been trading the gravel, throaty remarks of his more “well-known” works for loose folk and flourishing, darker Americana. Comparably, No Wilderness Deep Enough is as much of a promising experiment in music as the pieces that prelude it.

The overall mood and atmosphere of Steve Von Till’s 2020 piece hides most of the vocal efforts in plain sight. While Steve’s contributions are lyrically grim, wandering from forlorn mood to somber atmosphere, the opening “Dreams Of Trees” could stand majestically without a lyrical interaction. Simple piano melodies sweep under climbing strings and lush synth work. Steve doesn’t ‘force’ a vocal point, opting to add another layer in an unfolding story instead of narrating over it. The album largely stays true to this course, floating from one moment of nuance to a similar moment. Imagine a sailor on a calm sea gazing into the depths of a starlit sky. No two patterns are the same, and yet there’s a natural feeling of abundance, of being part of something much larger than you could comprehend with a naked eye. “Indifferent Eyes” reinforces this feeling of insignificant significance. The leaf you lead may be your own, but you're lost to the whims of an uncaring universe. The calm sea you may find yourself in could quickly turn to rage and turmoil - whether you want it or not...

As the record continues its journey from start to finish the individuality of Von Till’s latest solo venture tests the bounds between lush orchestral composition and moody melancholia. The likes of “Shadows on the Run” is clearly different to the hope-laced dirge of “Dreams Of Trees” and yet, the album runs a paradoxical course charted by its swooning atmospherics and transient ebbing compositions to which the Neurosis frontman features. “Shadows On The Run” takes on a too even phrasing; discomforting the distance between twinkling cello, and the haunting purr of Steve’s deeper vocal range. Maybe the lull of these compositions incite a deeper meaning as No Wilderness Deep Enough moves towards its more final moments, but the larger than life and natural death themes Steve laps and against the crescendo and decrescendo lose some of their larger impact, even if it’s only marginal.

The album’s close however unveils the true pensive nature of No Wilderness Deep Enough’s larger scheme. “Wild Iron” takes the synth led compositions and wraps more light piano work around Von Till’s baritone. The song itself takes the familiarity of the tracks that came before it, fading out into meditative silence. A stark, but not unwelcome reminder of what’s left for everyone at the end of their respective journeys. As a whole, No Wilderness Deep Enough is an entity of its own not anchored down by the stereotypes for the artist that creates it. In featuring even amounts of synth, cello and piano, Steve Von Till has laid a canvas not defined by what an electric guitar or throaty yell can unveil. Instead, music as an art, as a way of life, or a way of death triumphs and bows out gracefully - ready to be born again.



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user ratings (10)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2020


12989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listen here:



https://stevevontill.bandcamp.com/album/no-wilderness-deep-enough

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2020


22311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So glad you reviewed this Rob, great job as always.



It's not my favorite of his but still, it's a beautiful album.



Digging: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - K.G.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2020


12989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm still not happy/satisfied with my output at the moment, but there was no way I was not not doing this one a write up.



edit: those three contrib ratings stacked together look neato, hopefully we can keep that going in some sort of impromptu listening party.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2020


22311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well at least you have an output. My last review was last month. I guess work, real life commitments and the insane heat are to blame. Oh and the PS4.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2020


12989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

--I guess work, real life commitments--



I can more than sympathize with this. Covid's basically kicked my work's ass and I've spent the last month trying to double my workload so peeps can keep their jobs (and other reasons). I feel like it's sort of working but there's way too many variables to cover and anticipate.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2020


22311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It really has destroyed the world as we knew it. The fact that you can keep writing in spite of that it's commendable dude. I've been defeated but I will go back to it sometime soon.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2020


12989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To be fair, this one should have been up a couple weeks ago.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2020


15305 Comments


Nice work Nocte.

I don't think I've ever heard anything from him, as a matter of fact, I barely know Neurosis.



Digging: Sodom - Genesis XIX

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2020


22311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Times of Grace is your gate into the Neurosis realm Notrap.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2020


15305 Comments


I'll check that gateway Dewinged. I listened Through Silver in Blood a couple of years ago and another handful of tracks, but that's about it.

DominionMM1
August 23rd 2020


19279 Comments


nice review

don’t enjoy this one as much as his prior albums

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2020


12989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Times of Grace [2]



Gotta keep the listening party going though Fern, give this one a spin.

Demon of the Fall
August 23rd 2020


17457 Comments


Love Neurosis but not sure if I’d like this, am nonetheless intrigued.

Digging: Sonic Youth - Goo

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 24th 2020


12989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's definitely a contrast between the two projects. Let us know how you go.

Storm In A Teacup
August 24th 2020


30802 Comments


Good review friend! This looks like something I'll like and can probably rec to my dad

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
August 24th 2020


12989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

--can probably rec to my dad--



Sounds like you've got an interesting relationship with your old man. This doesn't have anywhere near enough guitars or yelling to fit my dad's taste. I guess we'll have to sit around listening to U2 and Talking Heads until he kicks it.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 24th 2020


22311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this would bore my old man to death, he is more of a prog kind of guy.

Storm In A Teacup
August 24th 2020


30802 Comments


I could be wrong lol. My dad is also more prog than anything. The Steven Wilson remixes have been a high topic of conversation since they came out.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 24th 2020


22311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Then this will bore him lol

Sunnyvale
August 24th 2020


1851 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listening to this now, his last album was fantastic



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