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A view on multiple aspects of the Japanese culture - 79%

kluseba, August 10th, 2011

Our culturally skilled Russian multi-instrumentalist Senmuth heads for a new topic on this release and creates a quite diversified album about Japanese culture, history and modern life. A part of a few Japanese vocal samples, there are no vocals on this short record that rather concentrates on the music itself.

The record can easily be divided into two parts. In the beginning, Senmuth uses for the first time a pumping bass guitar with many gripping passages like in the brilliant opener “Tsukiyosi”. The first songs generally concentrate on electronic instruments and remind of the early industrial metal sounds of the project. A positive exception is maybe the diversified album highlight “Amaterasu”.

Towards the end of the record, Senmuth leaves the metal territory more and more. He focuses on folk sounds and adds more atmosphere and passion than before into his songs. The guitar solos are no more similar to the gothic or industrial scene but remind me more of the works of another famous multi-instrumental genius which is Mike Oldfield. Senmuth really proves here that he can not only play many instruments but play them actually very well. The mysterious guitar sounds are way more interesting than the standard industrial riffs that he usually uses.

Nevertheless, this division into two quite distinctive parts is a disadvantage and slows the coherent flow of this album down. It would have been better to write more songs and separate the two genres on two different records. I must also admit that the album employs some Japanese sound and vocal samples but not as much as I expected. They even don’t always sound very Japanese to me and could also describe the sound and culture of other Asian countries. I feel slightly disappointed that Senmuth only scratches the surface of the culture of this impressive country and isn’t able to create an addicting atmosphere all over this record even if he improves towards the end of the album with tracks such as the dreamy “Shakjamuni”. This might sound a little severe as this is the first time he musically gets in touch with the Japanese culture but I think he did a better job for the Indian sounds on “Swadhistanha” or the Chinese concept on “Vdol’ Puti K Podnebesnoy”. Still, this is a humble beginning and respective first essay.

In the end, this album has still two interesting sides and styles to offer. It entertains actually very well and has a strong beginning and great finale. I’m looking forward for more works about the Japanese topic coming from Senmuth and will continue to follow the works of this gifted genius even though this one in here is one of his offerings that are only somewhere in between the ladder of mediocre and quite good works but not among his most brilliant or outstanding offerings.