Type: CD Company: Independent Release: 2017 Genre: Black Reviewer: Greg Watson Published: 5/2/2017
An album that will inspire you and change your life
My tastes in metal this year have been all over the board. I typically am a genre whore and will just stick to one particular style for an extended period of time and will refuse to branch out of that. This year, I'm finding that I've been moving between genres pretty fluidly and have been finding even more metal that is wonderful and that I would have overlooked otherwise.
Artist Nhor, based out of the UK, is a bit of complicated artist to label. The old stuff is black metal with neo-classical influences that has gradually moved towards more instrumental, neo-classical material. But I feel that as music lovers, metal and otherwise, it is our responsibility to share music that is truly magnificent and wonderful. "Wildflowers: Spring", the first of a four album set revolving around the seasons, is just such an album. Now I had never heard of this band until a friend of mine made me aware of their existence. For that recommendation, I will be forever grateful. Nhor produces some of the most incredibly beautiful and hauntingly wonderful music that I have had the pleasure of listening to in my many years of being an audiophile.
"Wildflowers: Spring" is an album that makes you feel alive, makes you yearn to wipe the slate clean and start over again and an album that just makes you feel. Nhor plays the piano as if each key is an expression of emotion, intended to burrow deep inside of you and make your heart feel each keystroke, each note both individually and as a musical whole. Opening track "Windowpanes" starts out with this very subtle yet sublime melody that slowly winds its way through your mind. "I Knelt At the Altar That Lays Atop the Stars", my favorite track of the album, comes in with this beautiful piano melody that slowly builds in tempo before dropping off again just slightly. I cannot put into words how amazing this song is. It spoke to me on so many levels personally that trying to quantify it with words is just impossible for me.
I won't continue to go on through a track by track breakdown of the album, I figured explaining the first two tracks would do enough to give people an idea of what they are in for. I have listened to this album at least once a day for the last week or so and am thoroughly enamored and awed at the music that Nhor creates. Listening to each album has at times reduced me to a sobbing, shell of a person because I am just overwhelmed by the beauty of the message and the music in each song. But then I find myself upbeat and feeling as though I can conquer whatever is thrown my way. What is most prevalent however is just an overall massive appreciation for the music and the ability of Nhor to create such inspired sound. I haven't heard anything in a very, very long time that has caused me to be so gobsmacked and left speechless to the point that I didn't know how I could review it.
I know this review has a very personal touch to it and is completely remiss of bias but it was the best way for me to try and convey what the album was and what you can expect to hear from Nhor. I am beyond words at this point and will stop my mindless drivel before I go over that edge into the point of no return. Knowing that there are 3 more albums to come in the remainder of 2017 fills me with eager anticipation and I highly, highly recommend you to listen to any of Nhor's wonderful work. Hopefully you can find something hidden in it that speaks to you and awakens that sense of wonder and appreciation that we all search for in our musical journey.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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