Review Summary: to say so much with so few words
Somewhere between 2013’s Within the Darkness Between the Starlight
and 2015’s Momenta Quintae Essentiae
there was a shift in musical direction of UK’s Nhor. Going from an organic, atmospheric, black metal project to a more minimalistic, instrumental sound consisting of piano, acoustic guitar, strings, and faint croons, Nhor was able to carry over the same aural ethos of their previous sound into a new stripped down medium. Gone were the blast beats, shrieks, and tremolo riffs of old, yet ever present were the same wistful and sincere emotions contained within. This shift paved way to the idea of the four seasonal Wildflowers
EP releases, beginning with Spring
, and at the time of writing, into the current Summer
Continuing in the same stylistic direction as Spring
, and presumably the two future EPs, Summer
consists solely of a lone piano and the sound of skillful fingers carefully exploring its ivory landscape. Each note is a stroke of paint on a worn canvas, painting a picture of a familiar yet distant past. Traces of forgotten memories reemerge and overwhelming feelings of quietude and sadness linger throughout each track. The longest piece on the album, “I Have No Stars Left To Wish Upon”, exemplifies Nhor’s masterful respect of negative space. There are several moments throughout the album, the aforementioned track most notably, that will leave you hanging on to each note, patiently awaiting closure to the story being told. While the overall tone present on Summer
is tranquil in nature, the pinnacle moments of “Even In Dreams” will pull you up to their soaring heights before gently returning you to the ground. As the final sounds of “Sunlit Rest” resonate, a warm light shines down upon your face as the dying light slowly disappears over the horizon.
is more than just a collection of softly played notes. It’s the longing sensation hidden within an old framed photograph of loved ones. It’s the contemplation of watching an afternoon rain storm slowly roll in, just before quenching the earth. While this EP is just a quarter of the four piece Wildflowers
vision, it proudly stands alone as a testament to Nhor’s remarkable ability to say so much with so few words.