Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Steve Von Till - 'A Life Unto Itself' (Album Review)

By: Chris Bull

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 12/05/2015
Label: Neurot Recordings


‘This album is about discovery. This album is both darkness and light. This album is a spirit animal that accompanies you on your own journey into your psyche. Album of the year may be an understatement; it could be an overstatement, whatever it is to you, to me, I have found God. His name is Steve Von Till.’



‘A Life Unto Itself’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. In Your Wings
2. A Life Unto Itself
3. A Language Of Blood
4. Night Of The Moon
5. Birch Bark Box
6. Chasing Ghosts
7. Known But Not Named

The Review:

'A Life Unto Itself' is the latest solo offering from Neurosis vocalist/guitarist and demigod Steve Von Till. This is a slightly more ethereal album than some of his other work but this is Steve Von fucking Till, he can rarely do wrong!

'In Your Wings' welcomes us in with its hypnotic ambience and simple guitar picking and Steve's voice, accompanied by some reverb, sets the tone for what is to come.  The title track, undoubtedly influenced by Townes Van Zandt with its lap steel overtones and occasional subtle overdriven guitar is simply beautiful. Steve's weighty voice carries the track and all the elements compliment each other to create a musical awakening.

Fans of Steve's previous solo offerings may notice the slight change stylistically; while the "one man, six strings" approach of 2008's 'A Grave Is A Grim Horse' album is still the back bone, 'A Life Unto Itself' expands with nods towards Americana and psychedelia with its use of varied textures provided by effects pedals and synths as documented on 'A Language Of Blood' with it's swirling, delayed guitars and slow building organ and my personal favourite 'Night Of The Moon' which starts with an intro strikingly familiar to fans of The Who (or CSI Miami). Steve's raspy yet ethereal vocals resonating and the subtle overdriven guitar sound carry the track to territories normally reserved for Neurosis albums.

'Birch Bark Box' and it's melancholic guitar and vocal pattern could be from a Johnny Cash tribute album and 'Chasing Ghosts' with its synth swirls and dreamy piano conjures up images of dilapidated log cabins and abandoned farm houses observed through old photographs. Final track 'Known But Not Named' finds Steve as a shaman performing a cleansing ritual after your journey through the spirit world. It's a brilliant closer, epic and haunting melodies, soulful yet earthy vocals and an air of spirituality that no one other than Mr Von Till himself can exude.

This album is about discovery. This album is both darkness and light. This album is a spirit animal that accompanies you on your own journey into your psyche. Album of the year may be an understatement; it could be an overstatement, whatever it is to you, to me, I have found God. His name is Steve Von Till.

‘A Life Unto Itself’ is available here

Artist info: Official | Facebook

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