Sunday, April 15, 2007

This Ain't Vivaldi's Four Seasons ...

Negura Bunget are pushing the boundaries of contemporary black metal as we learned with my first posting of their EP "Inarborat Kosmos". That EP was released between "N Crugu Bradului" (2004) and their latest "Om" (2006) and it shows a significant growth/transition in the bands work. That said, "N Crugu Bradului" is nothing short of primeval epic darkness.

"N Crugu Bradului" (translated as "Through The Depths Of The Fir Tree Heights") is the very definition of raw black metal. The guitars are thick and sharply heavy and the vocals are scratchy and sickeningly intense. The album doesn't stop there though. With symphonic keys and traditional style interludes these 4 epic tracks (each around 12 + minutes each) along with dark, eerie passages creates an environment of music. I can almost see the thick dense fog as it drifts through ancient forests of Romania (FYI Negura Bunget translates as a black fog coming from a dark dense forest).

To describe each track individually seems silly, but I'll do it anyway. Each track represents one of the 4 seasons as well as the principle of 4, "the natural form of the Universe to manifest itself". Sounds complex, but so is the music "N Crugu Bradului" strives to be. "I" is mid-paced to fast black metal inter-mixed with the afore mentioned folk/symphonic elements. "II" is chunkier with scratch your eyes out intensity and a touch of gothiness in part to some clean vocals and symphonic atmosphere. A really vivid song.

"III" is melodic, and darkly uplifting. The folk elements create an almost tribal sound. And lastly "IIII" is bleak, raw black metal steeped with creepy, ambient and eerie music.

The main theme here is raw darkness. The music feels old and primitive, but the keyboards and folk parts bring an air of awakening consciousness to the `mystery' that is "N Crugu Bradului". The music varies progressively without losing focus or intensity and it feels rooted in Romanian culture and spirituality.

Up next is the bands crowning achievement "Om" as well as the last of the albums I own by Negura Bunget.


Blogger dschalek said...

NG never ceases to amaze. Would they ever play the U.S?

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to agree that "'N Crugu Bradului" is rather good...always nice to find lo-fi black metal bands that do not equate "raw" or "primitive" recording with sounding like utter garbage.

9:27 AM  

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