February alphabet of records Steve O - February 21, 2016


S is for Senmuth


Self-Released, 2014

So I missed yesterday because I went to the Milwaukee Public Museum to see a new special exhibit called Ultimate Dinosaurs, which is all about the dinosaurs of Gondwana, or the continents of the Southern Hemisphere. Those of you that know me are aware of my interest of paleontology, how much I enjoy talking about them, and pointing out all the pop cultures’ botches when it comes to portraying dinosaurs. I never grew up out of that 5-year-old-dinosaur-obssesed-kid stage. So you can imagine how excited I was to stumble upon Senmuth’s Mesozoic trilogy. For the uninformed, the Mesozoic is the Age of Dinosaurs, stretching 186 million years, starting with the greatest extinction event the planet has ever seen (the Permian Extinction) and ending with the most famous, which annihilated the non-avian Dinosaurs (known as the K-Pg, or K-T Extinction).

Senmuth is the “stage name” for the extremely prolific Valery Androsov. As of this writing, his full-length records, the first of which appeared in 2004, number 196. 2014, when his Mesozoic trilogy was released, he also released an additional twelve records! I guess with a one-man band you don’t have to wait on anyone else to hold up their end of the deal and you can run on your own timelines. And you can craft your own unique projects, of which the Mesozoic trilogy definitely counts.


The Jurassic was the second period of the Mesozoic Era and is the most famous (thank you Steven Spielberg), but it is also famous for some well-known dinosaurs, like Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, several sauropods like Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, and Apatosaurus (not Brontosaurus). Senmuth’s Jurassic is the theme music for this era. It’s all dark, ambient, industrial, instrumental music, evoking this primordial time. There’s the haunting roars of dinosaurs and the music’s intensity and pace reflects the story being told. “Atlasaurus vs Stormbergia” sounds like a face-off between battling dinosaurs, “Dilophosaurus Eat Thyreophora,” evokes a hunt, while both “Eretmosaurus in Sinemurian Era” and “Belemnitina Monster Ocean” give you insights into the monstrous creatures roaming the Jurassic waters. Then there’s the epic “Great Tithonian, End of Jurassic.” While the transition from the Jurassic to Cretaceous wasn’t as cataclysmic as others, during the nearly 13 minutes of “Great Tithonian, End of Jurassic,” you can hear the pained death roars from struggling gigantic creatures. It’s a transition to Cretaceous, as all three records flow together. Give it a listen on bandcamp and be taking back in time, immersed in the heart of the age of dinosaurs.