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Senmuth - Neocortex CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

2.54 | 3 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars After the poorest album released by Senmuth, that's "Tishina Posle Vspleska", this one must be better, I thought. Well, it's better but not so much.

The opener "New Zodiacal Cycle" is a slow piano track that starts like a canon alternating a trivial turn of chords with one less trivial but not very good. Three minutes are too much for this intro.

The second track, "My Catharsis" sees Senmuth reusing his vocal distortion kit. It's an industrial metal song of his usual kind in which the ethnic sounds are replaced by electronics. It's quite good also because he wasn't making this kind of songs since a while.

Track 3 "Chips and Patterns" is on the same mood of the previous. The chorus is interesting but the stanzas are monotonal. Half-good. The techno-electronic interlude is not bad.

Track 4 has a title that Google translates as "Flying to a". Whatever it means it's opened by percussion and a string acoustic instrument similar to a guitar. The opening is ethnic but it's soon replaced by a quite good rocking approach. Good until the singing. Another half- good song, with captivating instrumental parts.

The next track is "Stones of Arabia". It's not based on ethnic sounds as the title could suggest, but the rhythm can remind to a caravan of camels in the desert. The distorted vocals add a touch of weirdness. I have the impression that there's another vocalist on this track other than Valery. Some parts are unusually melodic, also. This is a complex track and one of the best things of the album.

"Authoritarianism" is the sixth track. The opening is Techno-Trance-How the hell is called this stuff.... I would skip it if it wasn't for the screamed/growled vocals that make it rock. At the end it's not a bad track. In the chorus it acquires a bit of melody that reminds to other Senmuth's side projects like Tenochtitlan or NeNasty. I can't say if the two vocalists are Valery and Lefthander or just Valery.

Track 7 has two possible translations. "Dogmatism and Knowledge" seems the more appropriate. It starts unusually with "brasses like" sounds. If it wasn't for the heavily distorted guitar it could seem an attempt to symphonic. But when the vocals start with the usual distorted screaming we are back in the standard industrial metal.

"Burning Raven" is an interesting track, not as good as Stones Of Arabia but not bad. At least it's different from the others on the instrumental base. The singing technique is the same and this makes it a bit flat. It could have been better but it's not bad.

"Son of Stone" has an ethnic start reminding of South-Eastern Europe but could be also Mediterranean with its concertina sound. The singing is less distorted than usual (more than one vocalist?) and the melodic line makes me think to Greece or nearby. Unusual.

"Destruction Of Illusions" opens electronic, quite spacey. Not as spacey as "Planetary Dust" but spacey enough for my tastes. Unfortunately the singing is still in the industrial metal style and it destroys the spacey mood. Too terrestrial.

"Work Like An Egyptian" is a parody of Bangles' "Walk Like An Egyptian". After more than 50 very dark albums a bit of Humour. Even Senmuth can smile....It's probably the first time that I hear a Senmuth's song that's suitable for radio passages.

"Come To The Sabbath" is a cover...without reading Conor's review I wouldn't have known it. I don't know the original but effectively it doesn't sound like the other Senmuth's stuff even if the growl and the sounds used are typical. I don't know who is the powerful female vocalist. She has a very interesting voice. The song speaks of Tezcatlipoka, the aztec God of Death.

"Via Combusta" is an astrological concept."The combust way is the last part of Libra and the first of Scorpio". Wehn the Moon or Mars are there it's a very bad thing, it seems. The track is a dark instrumental closer to the most recent (in 2009) Senmuth's things and one of the best tracks of the album.

So even if not all the tracks are good, the few highlights makes it good enough., I'm rounding it up a bit but I rate it with three stars.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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