"Within the Darkness Between the Starlight"

by Octopi Mills

Nhor have brought an atmospheric album that endeavors to conjure old woods and starlight, and things from night and dark through a nearly black metal medium. The strings work a spider-like web that is melodic and sorrowful, not unlike heard in most contemporary music in such a similar genre, though done a little differently than most, but overdone at times it seems, after time unfolds. The piano parts come in here and there, adding another mood to the affair. "Patient Hunter, Patient Night" has such a part that is dreamy and calm in the motions it takes, almost like staring into the waters of a still pond. Then it becomes metal music for its own reasons, and continues the motion in a like manner. The strings take on a similar sad and thick syrupy melancholy that is a bit too much at times, and wallowing in so many mires of the modern shoe-gazer conspiracy. It holds a consanguinity that likens it to the last song, and becomes an epic wallowing affair in the ten minute mark, as if launching to the same heights as before, and only such things are brought lower again with a predictable crash.

This crash I foresaw is "The Fall of Orion", making my presentiment of such omens relevant. I take a sad delight in watching this fall, feeling as if watching a celestial crashing, and realize it is cold outside, and wintry, a curious dreary scape for this listening, and I become a wallow-er myself, because of my duties of review. I realize it has a power to make one feel depressed, when coupled with the dark and cold night I face, but there is something wrong about the nature of the mood I do not like and cannot compare to other sombre works that give a more noble feel of this said mood. The ambient parts I seem to enjoy more, but they are overbearing and wallowing themselves, setting one up for the vocals, which are throaty screams more like an instrument and layered with some kind of chanting, that is of course sad and wallowing. Time passes one by as the "epic" grandiose plodding goes on and on, each time to a ten minute mark it feels, and never reaching anywhere new really, as if the same song is being strung out and wrung from endless mires.

 "An Awakening Earth" is on me now, a shorter piece that wallows in the smearing holes made bigger by its ancestor compositions, though in a lesser sense as before. As time goes on it's all overdone to vast, limitless depths of the same, and I focus on the percussion, which beats a dead horse and keeps time with the music to which it is chained. It is the damnedest mess i have ever saw, the way the music burrows a hole into my spirit, almost like one is being massaged into overwhelming oblivion; suffocating and somehow claustrophobic after running for such a length of time. It is unbearable, and I wonder what sort of nature or starlight this fellow in Nhor sees that i do not, and i am left feeling he is closer to some black hole or void too abysmal in artistic senses for me to fathom.

 A lot of metal music gets this sort of relationship to nature, as if suffering from seasonal affective disorder, perhaps. There;s no big hurry here and it makes for a long night indeed; an all night affair that is choking and unhealthy. And it runs on and on and words fail to measure what has already been said, smearing colors or shades that turn back to brown and always back to gray. It is as if there is a supreme loathing instead of nature loving or outright star gazing here, by God! Loafing and wallowing taken to the point of overflow. I read there are pieces of literature that accompany these works, and i have them not. Perhaps it would make for a better understanding or listening, so I will not completely shoot this work down, though I feel it is perhaps too late as I am drained like a car battery struck by a specter. The piano work is good, as is the music, though it is overwhelming. High points are this, and the artistic nature of the work, the overall atmosphere. Low points are crashing, wallowing, loafing and whopping waves of sorrow. "Doleful" is a great understatement. Perhaps this is the power here.