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Senmuth - Antiquatorial CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.00 | 1 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars The album title appears to be the fusion of the words "Antique" and "Equatorial", but only Valery Av knows. It may also be the fusion of "Antiquate" and "editorial", who knows.

However this is one of the Senmuth's albums that I like reviewing because of the reference to history and geography contained in the tracks titles. It's also one of the ambient oriented albums of the Senmuth's enormous discography that's the aspect that I like more of his music.

In the 2nd Century AD the Greek Pausania mentions the tombs of Argolides. They are little pyramids, very similar in the structure to the Egyptians and the one of "Hellinikon" is the only still standing. That pyramid is dated around 2500BC, the same period of the ancient Egyptian dinasties. An intriguing mistery for a track that's a mixture of ethnic music with different influences, not the usual sitar and tablas. and well fused with the electronics.

"Dolchiste" is more powerful. The usual darkness is mitigated by the mandolin sound that is reminding of the Mediterranean sea. It's because Dolchiste is a now desert island Wikipedia says that Stephanus of Byzantium wrote: "The island is a narrow ridge of rock, incapable of yielding a constant supply of water; each house had therefore a tank hollowed in the rock, and lined with stucco". The music is close to Vangelis.

"Phaselis" is a city in today's Turkey, which had three harbours and a necropolis (the thing which interests Senmuth more). The fast rhythm and the vocals below, that I can't understand if are human or not, give the idea of a busy city. The melody is on an unusual number of major chords (for Senmuth's standards). Far from Egypt the Mediterranean sea brings positive sensations, it seems.

"Illyrian" is a sort of mini-suite, a composition of many short parts more or less dark in which we can find the usual "Senmuth"'s sonorities so also the usual darkness. It was part of todays Albany on the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea.

Now let's go East. "Tanais" is the ancient name of a city nrear the Russian famous river "Don". And effectively we can hear a Balalaika. Wikipedia says "A necropolis of over 300 burial mounds near the ancient city show that the site had already been occupied since the Bronze Age" The ethnic element, however, is not so strong and what prevails is the ambient side.

Let's start from this sentence "In the mountains of nowadays Armenia (in the south, close to town Goris), the first observatory Carahunge (Car-means stone, hunge-means voice, sound) was created. It has a history of 7.500 years and scientists believe, that there is a tight connection between the observatory in Armenia and Stonehenge in Britain," Which explains why Carahunge is of interest for Senmuth. I have to say that I have learned a lot about the mysteries of the ancient cultures following Senmuth. The track is dark and the rhythm is slow but obsessive....let's say hypnotic. Looking at a photo of the site found on the web I think that the music is very appropriate.

Unfortunately I haven't found any information about that "Germenitsiya" thast should be burned down on fire. IN the album is just a bit more o than two minutes of percussion, wind and electronics. Not bad, anyway, the two heaviest minutes of the album with the usual ethnic interlude.

Pausanias is back again. He reports of Greek magical formulas made of meaningless words. "Temptation of Ephesia" is slow and based on a dark melody made on minor chords. Coming from 5th century BC...

"Varna Zlato" is the Necropolis of Varna (Bulgaria) accidentally discovered by a worker. A very rich necropolis full of golden manufacts and jewels. The tombs are dated around the 4600 BC. The music, with the exception of some passages typical of Senmuth could have been written by Vangelis. It consists in a base of piano mainly on major chords with "strings" providing the melody.

To close the album we spend a "Night Over A Agora". I assume that everybody knows what the Agora is, but just to be sure, it was the economical and commercial center of the ancient Greek cities. It's another ambient track based mainly on the percussion, just a standard Senmuth's track.

It's a nice album between 3 and 4 stars that I round down this time even though some tracks are very good. The reason is that it promises a lot but still sticks too much into the standard, even if the standard has been set by Valery himself.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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