Review by Adam M on June 16, 2016.
Maestro offers a ton of variety from the get-go with references to many symphonic black metal acts, but also those of the avant-garde genre. Winterhorde offer a unique viewpoint of the music at hand.
There are several shifts and momentum changes within each song, which leads to all types of cool highs and lows. This could be easily compared to the likes of Emperor and Enslaved, but also could be compared to Borkanagar or something even more avant-garde like Opeth. The result is a bombastic and ever-shifting musical work that has it’s own identity and drive. There are moments to be found that are heavily influenced by classical music and that makes them all the more complex and interesting. The endless shifting of the music to different territories makes it always compelling to listen to. The symphonic portions are always done tastefully in a manner to complement the remainder of the music being performed. This is a somewhat theatrical release as well that could give Arcturus a run for their money, though I do hear the most in the Emperor and Enslaved comparison. This is because there is a black metal slant to the proceedings that is more often than not in the foreground. This is a neat album no matter which genre you attempt to pin to it. In terms of progressive releases, this gives serious competition to the likes of Haken and Ihsahn that released albums earlier this year.
In terms of instrumentation, the correct usage of strings along with the standard guitars and drums elevates this above the norm. There is a strong use of any instruments that are used in the manner that is most complementary to the remainder of the music. The added complexity is nice, but never over-indulgent to any degree. However, there are certainly some moments that overshadow others on the disc. Maestro is mostly a progressive music lovers dream come true.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10