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A minimalistic masterpiece with magic moments - 96%

kluseba, September 23rd, 2011

"Weird" is the only Senmuth record to date that has known a semi-professional release that is physically available all around the world. I don't know why this album was chosen out of almost one hundred releases but I'm happy with this choice.

In my humble opinion, "Weird" is amongst Senmuth's ultimate masterpieces with Oracle Octave I: Orion Mystery and Great Oppositions Of Mars and convinces with nine detailed and well worked out little masterpieces. The instrumental parts may seem minimal at first contact and this album is one of his most calm and spiritual ones but every single song has progressive changes in style, gripping atmospheric passages and the certain kind of magic that not every album in his collection has. As this album is easy to purchase, I would consider it as an absolute must have and highlight in any collection of a fan of progressive ambient music.

To go further into details, I might as well point out my favourite songs for the moment on this consistent record. There is the really haunting "Raido" that finishes with an amazingly eerie piano melody that sends shivers down my spine and reminds me of the darker moments of some gothic metal bands such as The Vision Bleak minus the heaviness of those bands. I also adore the mechanical industrial sounds that open and close the gripping "Isa" which is maybe the best song on here. I also admire the majestic male choirs in the stunning "Uruz". Concerning the diversity I would though point out the track "Perth" which is practically as profound and amazing as "Isa" that has many progressive changes and mixes natural folk sounds, minimalistic tribal drum rhythms and a floating spiritual atmosphere in one single song and unites many key elements of previous essential Senmuth records which means that this album even gives you a great overview.

In the end, there really is no reason to not purchase this record. Go on his homepage, download his record free and legally and get convinced by this underrated atmospheric masterpiece and then go and support this unique musician by purchasing his record. I really hope that there will be more Senmuth albums available in this form in the near future as the idea kicked off in a nearly perfect way with "Weird" that is not as strange as the title suggests but simply another peak of brilliantly executed diversity signed by our culturally inspired multi-instrumentalist Senmuth.

Senmuth - Weird - 40%

ConorFynes, January 5th, 2011

From a man with such a large number of albums as Valery Av of Senmuth has produced, one might assume that there isn't thought put into each one. While many of the albums are indeed mere collections of songs and studio experiments, there are a handful that can be considered 'concept albums' of sorts. His more conceptual pieces like the ethno-ambient rock piece 'Weird' might pass a listener unnoticed in the meaning behind them, but with a little digging and explanation from Senmuth himself, the man's intention behind his music can be shown to be more than simply tribute after tribute to long lost cultures. Unfortunately, despite it's interesting premise, the music on 'Weird' is rarely engaging, and almost immediately disappoints.

When speaking of concepts, each song here represents and is named after a particular rune, and the alternating track lengths of six minutes and nine minutes (no track is beyond and below either of those two lengths), which despite adding little to the practical enjoyment of the album, are both interesting details that Senmuth has thoughtfully added here. When speaking of the album in particular and it's deeper meaning, Senmuth described it as a journey through hard times, with the prospect of reward at the end. For someone that has been used to Senmuth simply writing about ancient mythology and ethnic cultures, this is a very welcome and intriguing change of pace for the project. Unfortunately, for the most part, the praise ends there for 'Weird'.

There is a bit more of a rock feel here than on most of the ethno-inspired albums of Senmuth's career, which can be heard through the heavier rhythms and percussion. Ironically enough however, there is very little actual electric guitar throughout, only really used for the sake of doing pseudo-melodic leads here and there to give some degree of human feeling to the music. The compositions make up the majority of the issue here, being generally very meandering, loose, yet without any passionate improvisation to give some spice to the music. While I would not necessarily consider any of the songs here to be any real standout in Senmuth's career, the nine minute closer 'Ehwaz' does manage to grab my attention a little more than the others, through it's one or two memorable musical themes.

'Weird' may show an interesting new direction for Senmuth in terms of his inspiration and meaning, but the sad truth is that the music ultimately doesn't do the promising concept justice.