Negura Bunget "Varstele Pamantului"

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon ReviewsRating: 0.90/1
Negura Bunget "Varstele Pamantului"
  • Album: Varstele Pamantului
  • Year: 2010
  • Label: Code 666
  • Artist: 
  • Romania

Looks like I’ve finally got to listen to the new material in peace. A month and half ago, at the official audition organized by Negru in Bucharest, I remained easely puzzled, probably because I went ahead with a  preconceived idea…seeing how NEGURA BUNGET sounds without the two of them. And if I am to jusge things that way, the sound suffers… This is why best way would be to present the album from two points of view.

The first one, which refers to the band’s history and the music composed so far: we won’t talk about anything that was before, about anything that has something to do with the transcendental “Om”, the en-forced instrumentation, the guitars’ virtuosity or the imposing male voice !

The concept seems to be the same, the ancestral reference being more obvious, Folk becoming the sound’s main tool and the keyboard is more present than ever. So, it’s obvious, at least to me, the new NEGURA BUNGET has nothing to do with the “Om” album… maybe only with the first releases.

From an independent album’s point of view, I can firmly state that “Varstele Pamantului” will captivate faster a larger mass of people, because Folk/Pagan/Viking is highly enjoyed, the wave is in fashion, especially in the case of foreigners. And if we are to speak about the European market, Germany is the main stronghold to knock down!  And the superlative reviews already appeared there, thing that makes us feel proud about the music of these people from Timisoara.

Good thing is they didn’t followed the bands on whose music you can dance a pagan hop, the concept’s Experimental and austere flaw creating a dimension of spiritual decadence, if we might say that…

It is clear thing that the percussion is the one directing the songs’s “alchemy”, the keyboard completes the less inspired parts (let’s avoid calling them the more simple ones), the rest of Metal instruments being little above medium. The whole compositions are quite simple as structure, with multiple Folk inserts, with often normal male vocals, especially on the flowing narration but also on the aggressive voicals’ segment, which haven’t really convinced me…

The sound is centered on a lesser Metal atmospheric side. Or, it might be a virtuosity, but something is happening with the “coloristic panel” (plastic expression, of course) - out of that dark grey shade (because black is typical for only old school Black Metal bands), everything seems to become something colourful, with bright, playful shades…

It is not a bad thing…in contrary, the stylistic variety is welcome and we can clearly see that Metal isn’t stubborn enough to come and anchor only in classical phases. But still, too little Black and too much Folk (passages which could be compared with PHOENIX)…

Anyhow, it is a sound full of melody, with interesting interludes (similar to a movie directed by Sergiu Nicolaescu), with a highly mastered song, “Dacia Hiperboreana”, but also a spectacular and beautiful one, “Pamant” (the most well thought, structured and interpreted song from the material), with multiple chainsaw passages randomly inserted in the sequences’ dynamic, but doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the concept (too many dry and brutal passings from atmospheric to brutal)  and with lots of traditional  instruments: cimbalom, cobza, buhai, pipe, whistle, flute, xylophone.  I’m extremely curious to see how DIN BRAD will sound, because that is what I expected from Negru’s project !

NEGURA BUNGET managed to outline a “back in time” and creates that archaic aura, ancient, traditional, folkloric, with texts in Romanian treating the subject of our ancestors, the Dacians.

I didn’t like the mixing’s quality, it seems like something is missing… At such an atmospheric music with such long and loose blendings, everything should have resonated differently !

Despite the personal controversies between the ones who created the band many years ago, I have to mention the fact that Negru immensely struggled to keep this name alive, to show others as well that NEGURA BUNGET is a valuable name (created and consolidated through much work) and which is, without any doubts, Romania’s Metal Ambassador!

And also to mention is the fact that in less than a year he gathered around him a team with whom he managed to release an album (though this whole rush might be felt sometimes). I realize that this has been hard for him, but, if we are to judge from this point of view, the album is extremely good!

As I already mentioned, NEGURA BUNGET has started from zero, this ‘debut” being a special one, even remarkable for what lingers in today’s Metal scene. I’m glad that the reviews are superpositive (even maximals from great foreign magazines), that the band holds lots of concerts in the whole Europe, that they exist!

Continuity doesn’t exactly mean change, but mutation…or a new EVERYTHING. The new NEGURA BUNGET is still in the cocoon stadium, which has as advantage a name and a fantastic visibility lane. Pragmatically viewed, everything has been exploited perfectly so far… all what’s left is to decide whether they’ll manage to maintain themselves at the same musical level shown through “Om” or “Maiestrit”! Don’t forget, “Om” was placed by Terrorizer on the 6th position out of 100 Black Metal albums worldwide !