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Senmuth Contextual album cover
4.00 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

01. Fields Contextual
02. Ancient Mysteries
03. Sattvam Antaram
04. Nerpa
05. The Channeling Knowledge
06. New Age is Now Age
07. Dying Birds & Crying Ecology
08. Sahasra
09. Convergo
10. Cold November Days
11. Kundalini Ascent
12. Dihotomia

Total Time 1:00:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Senmuth / Guitars, Programming

Releases information

self released

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
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SENMUTH Contextual ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(100%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SENMUTH Contextual reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Contextual' - Senmuth (8/10)

After one of Senmuth's lowest points with 'Calendar Complex,' I was admittedly not expecting much for that album's heir apparent, titled simply 'Contextual.' With very similar album artwork to tie the two together, I was expecting more of the same rather listless ethnic ambient noise that I found somewhat atmospheric at best, and downright irritating at worst. With 'Contextual' however, it seems that Senmuth's best side has come out once again, making an album that takes his staple sound, but gives the eclectic instrumental music some considerate composition and intelligent songwriting, arguably resulting in one of Senmuth's best releases yet.

This is certainly one of my biggest surprises from Senmuth, but at the same time, it isn't a great deal dissimilar from the work the man behind Senmuth has done in the past. With Eastern ethnic, rock, and electronic sounds all in equal measure, it is a very unique sound, made only familiar by the dozens of albums Senmuth has produced in the vein. This album is thankfully distinguished however, for it's focus on songwriting. Unlike some of the other better Senmuth albums that excel through longer, more complex compositions, 'Contextual' succeeds through shorter songs that are similar to the structures of his earliest metal stuff, except this time through, there are no vocals or excessive heaviness to detract from the instrumental power.

On top of some great melodies presented through the ethnic and electronic instrumentation, 'Contextual' also has the most soulful lead work from Valery Av I have yet heard. Specifically on the sitar-heavy track 'Convergo', Senmuth sounds very similar to Steve Vai, and makes the most of his skill with the guitar through clever use of effects and delay.

If only every Senmuth album was like this, I would not be happier than to listen to each and every Senmuth album many times. However, while 'Contextual' may still not be considered a masterpiece, the talent here has never been so apparent.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars After a couple of listens without a particular attention I realized that I like this album. It's probably because I'm now familiar with Senmuth's music so I can listen to it as background when I'm doing something else.

This album follows one of the less interesting of his huge production so it comes quite unexpected.

The opener "Fields Contextual" belong to the usual dark-ethnic genre, but there's something in the melodic line that reminds me to the Wright's parts of Ummagumma.

"Ancient Mysteries" is darker with a metal base and somewhat melody played by an unusual sound. There are some ethnic interludes but this is an industrial-metal track close to the genre of his debut.

"Sattvam Antaram" features a female vocalist and it's the first highlight of the album. There's again an industrial base over a disco tempo. The distortion is huge as in the first albums but the melodies are more consistent. In general I don't like disco or techno, but this track is a good fusion of those commercial genres with metal and ethnic.

"Nerpa (Tears In Ice)" has a symphonic mood. Full organ, strings and bird's cheeps with a sitar in the background. The dark side of Vangelis I may say. A bit of chill-out after the "rave" of the previous track.

It's followed by "The Channeling Knowledge". it's opened by an acoustic guitar, something that's always good in a Senmuth's album. I think he's an excellent guitarist and I'm always happy when he puts some guitar in his compositions. However the track evolves into an electronic piece that when guitar is absent makes me think to Jarre. A very good track indeed.

"New Age is Now Age" is a title that made me curious. Even if the rhythm is slow and it's full of sitar, tablas and other indian stuff this isn't properly newage or ethnic as most of Senmuth's production. Anotehr highlight.

"Dying Birds & Crying Ecology" is dark, as one can expect from its title. Uptime techno drumming, dramatic organs and great guitars, without losing the background distortion. Even when melodic this music doesn't want to be relaxing. This is a track full of good ideas.

"Sahasra" starts with cello/violin and organ. Of course I'm speaking of electronic instruments. The distorted bass gives it the metal accent otherwise this would be effectively a newage track. The organ sound is not very common with Senmuth. This is the new of this track.

"Convergo" is one of the best things of the album. Percussions and keyboards for an ethnic start until the electric guitar suddenly comes in. This is one of the rare moments on which Valery Av remembers to be a guitarist and indulge in a guitar solo. Then he alternates keyboard's light and guitar's darkness.

"Cold November Days" is an interlude made of percussion, classical and electric guitars. A simple base of chords, but the result is quite good.

"Kundalini Ascent" is a percussions-driven track with some melodic parts in the first half and a more dramatic and dark second half which features a guitar solo before returning to the initial athmospheres.

The closer, "Dihotomia", Is another good track even if not a highlight.

This album doesn't deserve the status of masterpiece, but it's one of the few Senmuth's albums that can be suggested also to an audience not familiar with this genre of music.

In terms of stars it's 4-.

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