Entering into the world of Senmuth can be quite intimidating for any new listener. The combination of his gigantic (and growing) discography, an Egyptian-influenced homepage, and occasionally Russian album titles can be enough to make most people run to the hills before experiencing any of the man's wonderful music. Picking an album out of his discography is just about as random as a game of "pin the tail on the donkey", considering the fact that he's released somewhere in the 90 album range within the last six years. If you think I'm joking, check out his website and you'll be surprised. All of his albums are available for free, so choosing which release to download first can be quite a challenge. Although Секененра isn't the first album I heard by Senmuth, it is the first album in his discography that I truly gave a lot of attention to. I've heard many more Senmuth albums by now, and it's pretty safe to consider Секененра among his best. This is a very heavy, dark, and industrial journey that should appeal to fans of Senmuth's unique ethnic take on metal.
In the last year Senmuth has released more and more ambient albums, but Секененра is very far from that. This is a heavy album with a strong emphasis on dark and haunting atmospheres. There is a distinct Egyptian influence in Senmuth's music, and that even creeps its way in along with the growled vocals and metal atmospheres. Songs like "Под знаменами Тэтишери" especially highlight the seamless meld between ethnic music and industrial metal. It is Senmuth's ambitious attitude on this album that really sets it apart from many of its companions. Although this is still a somewhat flawed album, I can really see fans of industrial metal enjoying Секененра. Compositionally, this album is a bit middle-of-the-road. There are some jaw-dropping moments, and then there are a handful of parts where my mind wanders a bit. There's a bit of filler, but I think that, in the end, the positive moments far outweigh the negative ones. Of course, the musicianship is great from this one-man-act. Although it occasionally sounds a bit sterile, there is plenty of life in the more symphonic sections. Just listen to a song "Секененра Taa II", which is extremely inspired and is often beautiful. A few more guitar solos would've been nice (when they are present, they are excellent), but it's not a major detriment or anything.
The production is wonderful. It has a heavy emphasis on power and atmosphere, and the mix sounds terrific. Although the programmed drums may turn off some people, this is one of the few cases where I think they sound great.
Секененра is a really good album by Senmuth, and is surely among the better releases in his massive discography. If you like industrial metal with that touch of Egyptian and ethnic music that Senmuth is know for, I highly recommend downloading this from his homepage. I'll go with a 3.5 star rating for this one. It really is amazing how much high-quality music Senmuth can release in such a short amount of time, and Секененра is further proof of that. This is a good entry point into the newer releases from the world's most prolific composer.
1. Прорицание Хемхепры
2. Hqa xAswt
3. Под знаменами Тэтишери
4. Секененра Таа II
5. Хор Ка-ем-Уасет
6. Победная Стела