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Senmuth - Narration of Time - 30%

ConorFynes, January 5th, 2011

At the beginning of Senmuth's career, I yearned to hear the lighter, more ambient and ethnic side of Senmuth's music over the crushing heaviness of his industrial metal work. With albums such as the 'Oracle Octave' duology and 'Path of Satiam' to ease me into multi- instrumentalist Valery Av's more atmospheric material, I was very excited to dive into the rest of what this talented and very prolific artist had to offer. Now, dozens of albums later, I have to say that I would much prefer a heavy album over yet another ethnic one. While 'Narration Of Time' may have a few saving graces, the flaws of Senmuth's ambient craft are catching up, and something with more direction, dynamic, and variety would be welcome any day over this.

'Narration Of Time' offers very little new material to the Senmuth saga. Sure, the compositions may be new, but their style is nothing new from the dozens of ambient albums that have come before it that Senmuth has made. While albums like 'Evolution: Exodus' took Senmuth's ethnic interest and sound and channeled it into something he had never done before, any of 'Narration's twelve long, brooding and ultimately boring tracks could be seamlessly interchangeable with the other albums. However, what generally keeps Senmuth's career interesting is that somehow, each album generally manages to throw in something new in, even if it's just a few strong tracks, or a new variation on his style he employs. The biggest issue with 'Narration Of Time' is that- simply put- nothing happens in it.

The album is not without it's saving graces however. As with all Senmuth albums, the music is quite well arranged, and there are always multiple things going on in the mix, despite very, very few of the ideas ever really latching any interest. The only two tracks here worthy of mention are 'Persepolise Gate Of Xerxes' and 'Leptis Magna,' which while not sounding completely different from the rest of the album, do have some melodic sensibility about them, and sound like actual compositions as opposed to listless instrumentalism.

Quite a weak release from Senmuth, but perhaps it is just that I have started taking Senmuth's consistent strengths for granted, and begun to only focus on the weaknesses.