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Senmuth - Summarium Symphony - 50%

ConorFynes, December 21st, 2010

First introduced to me by another listener as being Senmuth's stab at Genesis-prog, I was quite excited to give this album a good listen. Typically, anytime that the man behind the music of this vast project decides to do something other than his trademark industrial metal, it's bound to be a refreshing and interesting journey to take. With Senmuth's take at orchestral classical music, Senmuth proves he has no shortage of talent and skill at arranging instruments together and creating complex compositions. However, the music itself seems to lack a sense of overall direction, and real dynamic.

First off, all of the instruments here (barring a little bit of guitar work thrown in here and there) is artificial, meaning they are pre-sampled sounds from a computer. While Senmuth himself cannot be held to blame for not having the funds necessary to hire a full orchestra, it does evidently affect the strength of the music. Without the musical touches only a real musician can make, this sounds more like an orchestral composition demo than anything else.

That being said, it is still possible to craft a compositional masterpiece, even if the delivery is off. However, despite the album's labelling as being 'neoclassical,' the music still suffers from many of the same composition flaws that many of the other Senmuth works have had in the past. There are still clear 'rhythm' sections which play chords or repeat ideas, while a 'lead' plays overtop. It just feels like the writing of the album could be transposed to any of Senmuth's various styles, and isn't actually 'classical' at all, barring the sound samples used.

It's flaws aside however, Senmuth does provide an interesting listen with 'Summarium Symphony.' While the album is meant to be orchestral in nature, many other styles are mixed in, to provide a more unique experience. Electronica thrives here amongst the classical-sounding sounds. 'Summarium Symphony' is certainly not a symphony by any measure; moreso a collection of songs that are mixed in an orchestral sound. While the album is only a partial success and moreso interesting for the fact that Senmuth is experimenting around with things, a greater fan than I of symphonic music should find more to appreciate here.