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Senmuth - Akhet Mery Ra - 60%

ConorFynes, January 17th, 2011

Even as a listener and reviewer that is quite well-versed in the music and career of Russian experimental artist Senmth, this particular project blows my mind. It is not necessarily as a result of the music- which is not far from the typical Senmuth ordeal- but rather a matter of the sheer expanse of this one project. For a musician that has released nearly countless albums with this and other projects, the fact that even one of his albums would be lengthy is quite impressive. Now, the fact that this album 'Akhet Meri Ra' is three and a half hours long and comprises four discs is something that is both unbelievably ambitious, and more daunting than just about anything else you're going to find in metal. With a length and span that rivals most epic films, Senmuth's 57th album depicts the history of Ancient Egypt, through a heavy and symphonic form of metal. However, despite being arguably Senmuth's most ambitious project yet, the music ultimately fails to be interesting throughout, and lacks the diversity and dynamic needed to warrant such a time investment.

In terms of the music here, this is certainly one of Senmuth's heavier efforts. The music relies on simple, but crushingly distorted and downtuned guitar chords, with a host of different vocalists singing overtop. Stylistically, this is very similar to Senmuth's metal masterpiece 'Sebek', but lacks the same feeling of freshness and intention to it. Instead, while none of the music here is 'bad', there is the sense even twenty minutes into this leviathan, that things sound far too much the same. Along with the typically metal instruments are plenty of ethnic and pseudo-orchestral (computer generated) symphonic arrangements, that tie in the music with the theme and concept.

Vocally, there are at least four different voices that can be heard here. Along with the inconsistent delivery of Senmuth mastermind Valery Av himself, there are the death metal growls of one named Lefthander, the familiar operatic vocals of Annie Red Hat, and the male tenor voice of Eresh. While Senmuth's collaborative vocalists have been generally pretty hit-or-miss in the past, the guest stars here are all quite good, with Eresh especially adding a good deal to his parts with a smooth and melodic voice.

'Akhet Meri Ra' is certainly one of the more noteworthy Senmuth albums, for the sheer fact of how vast it is. On a musical level, things are fairly good, although a lack of variety can make the entire three and a half hours quite a chore to listen through. As it stands however, anyone looking for a truly 'epic' project to consume their afternoon or evening might want to look into the album.