Album Review

Album Review: Nhor – ‘Momenta Quintae Essentiae’

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 10:03 AM (PST)
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The UK’s elusive and deeply talented Nhor returns with another record that encompasses a certain holistic wholeness of self, from artwork, naturalism and awareness of space that is a hallmark of each release from this artist. Whether nature illustrations with attention to every line to black metal that mines a stone strong heart for courage to a philosophical current between the records of a respect for the massive, interconnected Universe, this project could easilly find fans among the appalachian meets black metal set or wolves in the throne room types or traditional fans of pagan metal. There is nary a hint of dogma here, orthodox and anti-cosmic types be damned (which, they’d be into, haha)

Momenta Quintae Essentiae is a beautiful, sparse and contemplative record. It’s closest cousin in the Nhor catalogue is Upon Which Was Written In The Stars, an early, gentle piano driven EP.

Momenta Quintae… is equally thoughtful yet more seasoned. The effortlessness of the compositions is pretty astounding, as you really sort of by default slip into allowing the music to happen as an experience without picking it apart. “Ante Primam Lucem”, for example, rolls calmly for 6:09 of very unselfconscious and to the matter piano playing. Fans of Helen Money, Solstafir, Alcest or other bands who develop through tempo control will appreciate the lack of a rush to the material. It exists, almost like classical compositions, on its own firm terms. Unlike some classical, however, nothing is ever overstated. “Hedera” is simple and beautiful enough to be part of a hand binding ceremony. I also like “Nosce Te Ipsum” because the music slightly reminds me of the quiet intro riff to “One” by Metallica.

This is a much less dark release than the brilliant and breath taking Within The Darkness Between The Starlight, a BM record I’d highly recommend as an all time favorite of recent years. However, the light play of music here is a welcome body of work, like ripples on a lake you are relaxed and burdens can be released in a less abrasive and more natural way.

Another big creative victory for Nhor and perfect for reading at 2am or a lonely autumn day.


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