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Senmuth - Cognitive Discord CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.10 | 8 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Cognitive Discord' - Senmuth (7/10)

Thinking there would be no better place to dive into a discography, this debut album 'Cognitive Discord,' is my first complete experience with the one-man musical project Senmuth. Taking a multitude of different music styles underneath his belt (including industrial, metal, and ethnic, among others,) dozens upon dozens of releases have spawned from this Moscow, Russia based act. While later works by Senmuth would focus more on the ambient, subtle side of his music, this debut rests firmly within the wild realm of industrial metal.

The first chapter of an admittedly daunting discography, 'Cognitive Discord' shows alot of promise, and serves to excite me for all of the other music the man has produced. Coming across as a very upbeat and energetic, beat-driven form of metal I've been scarcely exposed to, my first impression upon listening to the opening moments of the album was that of a 'crazy robot dance party.' Taking the concept of 'dance metal' popularized by Teutonic rockers Rammstein and adding some flair of his own, the music is an even combination of electronica and metal qualities, with an added touch of oriental folk to give the music an even more unique and exotic vibe.

Being an industrial metal album first and foremost, it should not come as a surprise to hear that the music is very dense; layers of sound give a very chaotic atmosphere, to levels of mixed success. While it might seem too overwhelming and noisy to some, I realized a few listens in that the music (instrumentally) bears a striking resemblence to some of the heavier music that metal icon Devin Townsend has done in the past. With this in mind, most of the instrumental work is very pleasant, exotic and well-executed.

Perhaps the greatest flaw to this album is the vocal work. While the female guest vocal appearance by a woman credited as 'Annie Red Hat' in the second track is relatively enjoyable, the eternally distorted vocal work of Senmuth himself passes me as being a bit too nasal, although for all intents and purposes, it fits into the Eurodance vibe of the music perfectly. While I have no doubts that the vocal work will improve over the course of albums, the singing here puts a whiny tinge on the otherwise strong music that at times, makes it indistinguishable from the legions of disposable dance-industrial groups coming out of Russia lately.

When it comes down to it however, Senmuth's debut has done to me, exactly what a debut should do; provoke me to check out more music from the artist. While I have never been enthusiastic about industrial music, Senmuth is indeed a talented multi-instrumentalist, and while 'Cognitive Discord' is undoubtedly a flawed work, it reveals worlds of potential for this talented artist. However, for a listener hoping to get a more progressive and atmospheric side out of Senmuth, it may be best to overlook this album and go for a latter release instead.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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