Finally, five years since the band’s last full-length studio album- Vîrstele Pămîntului– Negură Bunget release the first installment to their Transylvanian Trilogy– Tău. Negură Bunget has always combined Romanian history and folklore into their music-creating a unique and almost mystical blackened folk musical experience. The Transylvanian Trilogy will very literally use their homeland as inspiration for their music.
Tău will take listeners on a journey through the Romanian landscape. The second and third installments will deal with the Wandering and desolate. The opening track Nameteine, is the longest track coming in at 10:14 and sets the tone for the entire album. It is a slow and patient introduction, clean guitars and winds swirl and mingle to create the feeling of emptiness and desolation before the first of assault of distorted guitars and grim vocals ensue. Negură Bunget expertly intertwines folk instruments and vocals with the black metal passages using unique instrumentation that one comes to expect. Izbucu Galbenei, another track that showcases their ability to blend the black and folk metal genres, and it feels like a continuation of the struggle that is presented in the first track.
Brighter pure folk moments break up the desolation and darkness of this album. La Hotaru Cu Cinci Culmi and Impodobeala Timpului are probably the most heavily folk influenced tracks presented. La Hotaru Cu Cinci is a straight-forward acoustic track with flutes and gentle clean choruses that turn and bounce with the fluidity of a stream. Where as the keyboards of Curgerea Muntelui bring us back to a more majestic and serene place before the black metal onslaught of Taram Valhovnicesc begins.
However, the only thing that makes this album not perfect is typically this band’s strongest asset. Using traditional Romanian folk song structures and avant-garde approach, Negură Bunget already contrasts with other bands in the folk metal genre. The addition of brass is uncommon in this genre and was a rather unexpected addition, but they were a magnificent adding to the textures and majesty of the album’s sound. Not all daring choices are successful. There were a few other odd choices and one particularly strange guitar solo in Impodobeala Timpului that seemed to only disrupt the atmosphere of the rest of the track.
With at times wandering song writing. Negură Bunget was successful in presenting an album that not only captures the essence of their homeland’s landscape, but the visuals and textures as well. Since the project is so conceptual, I can’t help but thing that the moments when the songs feel lost that it is not entirely intentional. In order to complete this visual and sonic experience, the accompanying videos for Nametenie, Curgerea Muntelui, and Schiminiceste need to be watched.
Who knows maybe after the second and third installments are released those odd choices will no longer seem that way. Time to patiently wait.
4 out of 5 Rating:
2. Izbucul Galbenei
3. La Hotaru Cu Cinci Culmi
4. Curgerea Muntelui
5. Tarim Vilhovnicesc
6. Impodobeala Timpului
7. Picur Viu Foc
Bonus CD (only artbook)
1. La Hotaru Cu Cinci Culmi (alternate version)
2. Impodobeala Timpului (alternate version)
Bonus DVD (only artbook)
1. Nametenie (video clip)
2. Curgerea Muntelui (video clip)
3. Schimniceste (video clip)
– CD Digipak
– Gatefold LP (180g vinyl, black) incl. special vinyl mastering, poster, printed inner sleeves and PVD protection sleeve (500 copies)
– 2CD+DVD Artbook, hardcover, 28×28 cm, 72 pages with additional artwork, texts and English translations of the lyrics plus bonus CD with two songs and bonus DVD with three video clips and interview(1.000 copies)
Release date: 03.03.2015
Record Label: Prophecy Productions/Lupus Lounge
Negru- Drums, Percussion
Tibor Kati- Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Programming
OQ- Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
Petrică Ionuţescu- Pipes, Horns, Pan Flute
Ovidiu Corodan- Bass
Rune Eriksen- Guitars
Sakis Tolis- Vocals