Negură Bunget


Written by: EW on 14/04/2010 11:41:27

With the implosion of the core trio of Romanian black metallers Negură Bunget last year it seemed we would not be hearing any new music to follow on from the earth-shattering "Om" opus of 2006, but here we are not even half way through 2010 and there are two new releases for us enjoy to savour already. "Măiestrit" is not strictly brand new material however; it is a re-interpretation of 2000's "Măiastru Sfetnic", an album drowned in mud and poor production, rendering much of the band's potential so phenomenally achieved on it's two successor albums near inaudible.

Let's make one thing clear: "Maiestrit" is not to "Măiastru Sfetnic" what Exodus' "Let There Be Blood" is to their thrash classic "Bonded by Blood". Where that, and other albums, have been re-recorded for the sake of giving them a pristine modern production, and thus ruining them completely in the process, "Măiastru Sfetnic" NEEDED re-working to realise it's full potential, yet the end result here still possesses a sizable chunk of atmosphere and gloomy primitivism, in keeping with the ethos of these Transilvanians.

One listen to opening track "Vremea Locului Sortit" will tell all you need to know about Negură Bunget. Bombarded with scintillating riff after another, deep murky layers of synth and guitars, and a production job full of aura, Negură Bunget are simply better than everyone else in the BM field. I'm not even exaggurating, it's that simple. In "Bruiestru" and "In-zvicnirea Apusului", long complex structures are woven into grand tapestries of continual movement and decadence, where the sense of over-whelming artistic passion and creativity hits you at every junction through adept concentration of backing synth and a knowledge of how different tempos can be used to expand the pallette of mysticism Negură Bunget paint in. I can count on one hand the number of black metal bands who stand close to these Romanians; most won't get so far as ever even reaching their gigantic shadow.

Before you know it the 55 minutes proper of "Maiestrit" have finished and you're left reeling at how such a whirlwind of devastation could have emerged from the dissonance of "Măiastru Sfetnic". As an addition two very intriguing acoustic versions of "A-vint In Abis" and "Plecaciunea Mortii" are adjoined, as if to show that even without electricity they have the knack of writing eeriely complex, beautiful songs. It says something about the quality of Negură Bunget that I would still only rate "Maiestrit" as their third best album - "'n Crugu Bradului" and "Om" are exceptional pieces of art, fully deserving the continual plaudits they receive. As a closing chapter to Negură Bunget mk. I they have managed to achieve the same level of artistic integrity as witnessed before; now let's hope this form continues through mk. II.


Download: Vremea locului sortit, Bruiestru
For the fans of: The best BM has to offer.
Listen: Myspace

Release date 15.03.2010
Lupus Lounge/Prophecy

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