Steve Von Till

As the Crow Flies

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After joining Neurosis in the late '80s, guitarist Steve Von Till helped restructure and flesh out the band's hardcore fury and gradually steered the ship into more panoramic territory, adding breadth and texture where there was once primarily bile and velocity. The succession of albums that followed resonated with greater depth and tragic grace. Von Till's As the Crow Flies is ostensibly a solo venture, but considering that Neurosis bandmembers subsume their individuality within the overarching umbrella of the whole, this disc is just part of the Neurot family. It is quiet, unassuming, melancholic, and only a bit less inscrutable lyrically then most Neurosis albums. Employing almost exclusively an acoustic guitar, the songs are basic folk material with added texture provided by delays, sound loops, and string instruments. It's not a bad album, but it's not as revealing as it intends to be, and the repetitive nature of the melodies, though probably also intended, tends to drag. Of course, that is often the Achilles heel of the solo musician apart from the band proper -- indulging whims he or she wouldn't normally essay, and perhaps coming up short.

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