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Senmuth - Rain Eclipse - 60%

ConorFynes, December 21st, 2010

Here is another exotic charge of world music from the one-man Russian project Senmuth. To anyone who hasn't heard the name before, Senmuth is an experimental music outlet that covers a great many styles of music over an even greater number of albums. With dozens of albums under his belt, it's undeniable that Senmuth has travelled quite a distance in terms of his music. While indeed a very talented individual verging on genius, alot of his music ends up a bit undercooked, as if he didn't take enough time to properly work it out. With that in mind, Senmuth's 'Rain Eclipse' is a rather pleasant surprise for this period in Senmuth's work. While the style is pretty similar to alot of the other work the man released in 2007, there is something here that lacked in the others of this sound; a sense of inspired composition.

The expected norm for an ethnic/ambient Senmuth album is to be pleasant, but a bit listless and meandering. For whatever reason, 'Rain Eclipse' instead turns out to have quite a bit more direction than it's contemporaries, although there are still certainly sections that revert back to the loose structure.

Most of the tracks have at least one memorable idea going for them, although some songs certainly have alot more going for them than others. The opener 'SamAdhAnam' might be my favourite; an exotic acoustic riff is played and repeated, with interspersed female vocal loops washing over the sound beautifully. The next track then proceeds to make things a bit more towering and 'heavy,' giving a heavily symphonic track that could easily a soundtrack for a film.

There are alot of guitar solos in 'Rain Eclipse,' which are used to mixed success. Some of the loose sections benefit well from Senmuth's melodic style of lead playing, but the soloing seems to deter from the already-solid sound of the structured pieces.

All in all, quite a good work in the overall scope of Senmuth's productions over the years. While Senmuth seems to have lulled me into the belief that his ethno/ambient work was a bit boring and listless, 'Rain Eclipse' proves that there is a great deal of potential for this particular sound to be used beautifully. If only it was a bit more consistent, 'Rain Eclipse' could possibly rank among Senmuth's best work.