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In my journey through the vast expanse of albums that Senmuth has to offer, I have always made it my mission to search amidst the legions of mediocre releases, to hopefully find a handful of albums that stand out as being really great. While my experience with Senmuth thus far has been quite mixed, there have been a very gems among the rocks, and it just so happens that I've come across another great album in 'Bark Of Ra.'
The most popular of Senmuth's works by Last FM standards, 'Bark Of Ra' takes the sound typically associated with his more ambient and listless music, and an unprecedented level of direction and flow to it that makes for an engaging and satisfying experience. A purely instrumental album, the listener is left to their own devices to make their own story through the music here, and things do flow here in a much more intentional fashion than they usually do in a Senmuth work.
There is a great diversity in the emotions and timbres that are exercised in 'Bark Of Ra,' but what makes this stand out as an above-average Senmuth release is that alot of the compositions are alot tighter and well-thought out. This is certainly no structural masterpiece by any means; many of the songs do fall back into a state of being unengaging a little more than would be desirable. However, what's being shown here is Senmuth really consolidating his talents with writing, and being a little bit more careful and intentional in terms of where the music ends up going.
At times relaxing, exotic, frightening, and occasionally a mixture of all three, Senmuth's 'Bark Of Ra' is a clear statement that this Russian experimental project is making big steps in improving itself.
Bark Of Ra is only one of around 20 albums by the conceptual instrumental band Senmuth. It is actually probably only around 20% actual metal, with nothing extremely intense. The album does however, have a very strong surrealistic feel to it. The music is very deep and holds strong even without vocals to tie it down. With no restrictions to vocal harmonies or need to be brutal, Senmuth really goes anywhere they feel like. Sometimes the atmospheres bring to mind Pirates Of The Caribbean, only cranked up a notch. Sometimes the music goes completely folk. One thing’s for sure, this is no slouch of an album.
The best and worst thing about this album is that the music really doesn’t have anywhere to go. It’s a great listen to mellow out to or simply not concentrate on, but anyone looking for something with deep meaning should stay away. The doom metal elements of the album do bring some color to an otherwise red album. What I mean is that it’s fairly one dimensional from song to song, even though nothing sounds the same, it feels the same.
Though it’s nothing to jump up and down about, Senmuth provides some good tunes that make them a rather unique band. This being the only album I’ve heard from them, I can not say anything about their other music. Standout listens are Way Of Tortuga and Mantra Lost Sun.