IF I SHOULD FALL TO THE FIELD
Original Issue: 2002 Neurot (NR020) Buy it here!
Margot-meter: 4,5 moons / 5
1 Breathe (5:41)
2 To The Field (6:36)
3 My Work Is Done (2:45)
4 Hallowed Ground (5:15)
5 This River (5:08)
6 Running Dry (4:53)
7 The Wild Hunt (5:27)
8 Am I Born To Die (4:05)
9 Dawn (3:54)
10 The Harpy (2:28)
from Rolling Stone:
Grandly ethereal solo efforts are rarely endowed with the kind of eerily personal magic that's cast here.
No less weighty and brash than his heavy, rich sludgework in seminal ambient metal outfit Neurosis, If I Should Fall to the Field reveals Von Till urgently searching for the past's effect on his present through the marriage of traditionally textural folk acoustics and moody, current rock orchestration.
While the exploration of aging, spirituality and universal human connectivity isn't a new exercise in songwriting, Von Till's respect for and nod towards historic American roots music is so smart, honest and engaging that it may as well be.
Rugged vocals emerge from the throat with such fluid, confessional ease that listening feels like voyeurism. Creepiest is the album's climax, "The Harpy" -- a chilling recording of Von Till's grandfather passionately reciting ancient rhyme over his grandson's somber backdrop.
grandfather's funeral... rural despair... at first i giggled at it, but when i checked the music out, i found it just about appropriate. but don't let that have you expecting some alt country drivel, this is some truly dark, poetic and evocative stuff right here.
what separates this guy from the rest of the "pack" for me (although the music IS quite original in and of itself) is that he's not some skinny and scrappy quasi-bohemian alcoholic, but rather a heavy-set and shaven dude (that somehow makes his pain more "credible" and "unique" for me) with a deep, somber, masculine croon that doesn't sound the tiniest bit forced. just a naturally powerful voice that sends shivers down your spine. he's got that "whispering in your ear at normal pitch" thing going on, for lack of a better way to describe it.
apart from that, expect slow-paced songs that consist mostly of acoustic guitars, with some distant humming sounds etc. and occasional drums. the topics are dark explorations of life, death, etc. but quite poetic, IMHO.
occasionally, the dude "let's it rip" vocally (the end of the "breathe" chorus, etc.) and that's when the shivers REALLY set it. i don't know what else to say, this stuff is so emotional, unique, dark and moving that it's almost bizarre.
screw elliott smith, this is the real deal, folks. listen on headphones, at dusk/night, alone.
p.s. and don't expect no neurosis here.
K. Goettlicher "the_last_of_the_idealists"