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Senmuth - Aeonica Monumentarium - 50%

ConorFynes, December 21st, 2010

Here is yet another one of the Russian one-man experimental project Senmuth's more ambient and ethnic albums. As an act that has released a nearly unprecedented number of albums in a relatively short time of a few years, 'Aeonica Monumentarium' doesn't really feel as if it contributes anything truly unique to the discography of multi-instrumentalist Valery Av, but it is slightly more melodic than many of the other albums of similar ilk, and throws in a couple of tracks that stand out from the others.

The vast majority of the music here is either driven by the Indian sound of the sitar, or some Middle-Eastern guitar lead work. However, 'Aeonica' is far from being a traditional album of world music. As is typical of Senmuth's work, a significant portion of the music's sound is derived from heavy electronic and industrial sources, giving the otherwise exotic and cultural Eastern sound a much darker and cold feeling. In terms of 'Aeonica Monumentarium's position in the rest of Senmuth's discography, there is a bit of a more melodic pallour to the sound here, which is generally found lacking in many other Senmuth titles. While one would still do well to consider 'Aeonica' (and by extension- the majority of Senmuth's ethnic music) to be ambient over any other label, there are a few calming melodies that do leave their mark, seeming to have a bit more success at dragging the listener in. Tracks such as 'Rakchi' and the thirteen minute closer '' have recurring themes in the music that are quite memorable.

In terms of the execution here, things are pretty standard for Senmuth, sharing both the same strengths and flaws of other Senmuth work. The biggest issue here was and still is the fact that many of the instruments here are computer-synthesized, giving a pretty cold and dry sound to the music, where Senmuth may have done quite a bit better to put some extra human warmth into it. As always, Senmuth's lead guitar work pokes up here and there, but alot of the lead work feels a bit listless in nature, meandering around in some improvisation that ultimately contributes little to the mix itself.

As an album, there is not nearly enough new, fresh material and concepts to warrant such a long length; the album nearly reaches the 80 minute point. Senmuth has made a decent album with 'Aeonica Monumentarium,' but there are still a great many flaws here that the Russian composer has yet to solve with his music.