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Wildflowers: Winter
Type: CD
Company: Independent
Release: 2017
Genre: Gothic/Symphonic
Reviewer: Greg Watson
Published: 1/4/2018
Perfect final chapter of Nhor's seasonal offerings
It's no secret that I've become enamored with the work of Nhor. From the very first album through 'Wildflowers: Autumn' I have been immersed in all the releases and was waiting with baited breath for the final chapter of the Wildflowers anthology to arrive. Well, I finally got my hands on 'Wildflowers: Winter' and it was a moving and appropriate finale to this series of albums that was tinged with a bit of bittersweet sadness. Sadness that now I'm not sure what lies next for Nhor or how long the wait will be for another release from this musical maestro. But enough of my lamentations, let's dive in to the album now.

"Wildflowers: Winter" is another expertly crafted album that to me, captures the feeling and essence of winter in music and atmosphere. There are cold, lonely passages that allow you to imagine yourself being in a cabin in the middle of nowhere with a blizzard raging just outside your door. Other songs let you feel as though you are out walking through a forest after a light snowfall and you can feel the crunch of the snow under your feet as you move. And other tracks remind you of the coming of spring and the renewal of hope and brighter days ahead.

I won't go through each track as I have on most of the releases but would like to touch on two tracks in particular. Oddly enough, the two tracks that struck me the most were the final two of the album. Not to take away from the other tracks but these two really hit a nerve and resonated with me for reasons too lengthy to go into. First up is "They Leave No Trace". The slow, melancholic intro gives way to a faster moving body of music that is both uplifting and contemplative at the same time. As the track winds its way through this musical maze, I found myself really lost in the melody of the piano keys and the tones coming through. Then the track slowed down to the more melancholic pace that it had at the beginning, giving me pause to reflect on what I heard. This track is one of many that really works its way into your mind and causes you to think about whatever the music pulls out of you. The last track of the album, "Mercy", is hands down my favorite track off the album and is just an incredible song to close the album out with. The song lends itself to the coming of Spring and what lies ahead with that. It's one of the more subtly simple songs that Nhor has crafted but that simplicity makes it truly beautiful and magical in its own right. I couldn't think of a more perfect track to end not just the album but also the musical journey of seasons that Nhor has guided us on. The other tracks on the album are just as wondrous and perfect as the other tracks on the previous releases have been but I've always found myself drawn to specific songs from each release and hope that by focusing on those, it doesn't minimize the remaining tracks and relegate them to mediocrity as that is not the case.

I've been trying to get word out to family, friends and anyone who will listen to me about Nhor. I truly believe there is something everyone can find to enjoy about the music that Nhor has created on this Wildflowers series. For me, I will constantly be vigilant for the next offering from Nhor, whenever it might come because I know whatever the next release holds, it will be as incredible as each album that has been released. So do yourself a favor, head on over to Bandcamp and check out Nhor's discography. Who knows, you might find yourself wandering through the fields of "Wildflowers" and wondering where the road will take you.
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.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

Wildflowers: AutumnNhor
Greg Watson11/9/2017
Wildflowers: SpringNhor
Greg Watson5/2/2017
Wildflowers: SummerNhor
Greg Watson8/11/2017
Wildflowers: WinterNhor
Greg Watson1/4/2018


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NhorNhorGreg Watson9/13/2017


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