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Senmuth - Kul't Meritseger - 50%

ConorFynes, February 4th, 2011

By the end of 2010, it can be safe to say that anyone keeping up with the Russian experimental project Senmuth and and the dozen-plus albums it released over the course of that year would undoubtedly be wearing thin. While the music has it's fair share of strengths, the music ultimately would start feeling very dry and recycled after Senmuth stretching his talent over so many works. 'Cult Meritseger' (or 'Meritseger Cult', however which way you want to call it) is a little different than the mainline ambient Senmuth we're used to hearing, but it unfortunately doesn't have the distinctiveness to really be considered anything past mediocre.

The music here is brooding, generally quiet and very minimalistic. While this formula has already been done to death by Senmuth in the past, he does take a different approach with this one, instead loosening up on the 'heavier' sections by creating a piece of music that has parts neither completely listless and ambient, or driven and percussive. Instead, the music generally keeps one flow throughout the entire piece without switching between these too sounds. While that can make 'Cult Meritseger' dreadfully boring at parts, it is a welcome change from the tired dynamics that contributed to Senmuth's ethno-ambient work wearing out it's welcome.

The music here is melodically driven by a harp-sound (all sounds are computer generated) and it gives a sort of celestial tone to the music, although things are still kept very eerie. 'Cult Meritseger' also makes better use of percussion than many other ambient Senmuth records, forcing the recycled tribal drum beats well into the background, so that the more harmonious instruments are kept in the limelight.

Strengths aside, the album is still very mediocre; while the music may be better produced that much of Senmuth's other stuff, there's no denying that the music keeps the same tone throughout, and each harp-driven, brooding track is virtually indistinguishable from the other. 'Cult Meritseger' is still a good piece of background music however, and a possible sign that Senmuth is finally beginning to move on with his style.