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Partially interesting. - 60%

oneyoudontknow, May 21st, 2009

Senmuth, the band with more releases in handful of years than some throw out in their entire career, are the Russian pedant to the legendary French underground raw noise black metal Zarach 'Baal' Tharagh, with the exception of creating that is actually listenable. Rstw, presumably an abbreviation for rum, sugar, tea, water, offers fifty minutes or nine tracks of ethno ambient stuff.

It is not easy to describe the approach of the band in a nutshell as a lot of things are going on here. Each composition is different in some respect and each comes with anew set of arrangements, atmospheres and influences; which are Arabian respectively Middle Eastern when it comes to this piece of music. A characteristic of the oeuvre is the reliance on textures in the background and repetition of certain segments and motives. The impression that every track is loaded with a variety of longer or shorter fragments is created through their repetition, which is further fostered by the linear song-writing by the band; this enables them to avoid certain aspects of a chorus/rhyme scheme. Hence, is some kind of hypnotic atmosphere apparent, but it depends on the listener's preferences as well as the actual mood if they would be able to unfold themselves.

A huge number of different instruments (are they all real?) can be identified and they had been arranged in a lot of sets, each with their own atmosphere and touch; even metal guitars appear on some rare occasions. Drums, keyboard textures, some Arabian instruments and the sort, so at least something new and fresh is guaranteed. Together some form of rather inoffensive music is created, something calm some might want to listen to in the background, with textures and melodies which might lure them into a world far off reality; create an imagery in their heads and something that might work as a counter-point to the hastiness and complexity of their every day’s existence. Such is certainly possible with this release, as there are citations of Arabian music now and then, yet they do not come forced or too powerful. Their part is rather gentle and more oriented on the ears of people from Western civilizations.

The music of Senmuth switches between instrumental Enigma and more complex-arranged art by Andreas Vollenweider and is pretty good to listen to. Yet, the short-comings are rather the inconsistency in as well as the absence of a general concept that would take the listener by the hand and guide this person through the realms and atmospheres of the release. Instead, it is like a jungle of a variety of impression, which do not create a coherent picture; due to the extremes in the normal as well as ‘heavy’ facets; to explain the latter part: some songs revolve around a metal basis. The message of this release remains bland and misunderstood. Rstw could (partially) work as ambient in the background, but maybe the heavier guitars parts prohibit such.

Recommended: Netjerikhet's Collection