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Negura Bunget - 'N Crugu Bradului CD (album) cover

'N CRUGU BRADULUI

Negura Bunget

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.63 | 27 ratings

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colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'N Crugu Bradului seems to be the album where Negura Bunget really set off on creating their metal in a more progressive vein. Although this album doesn't contain as many eccentric or avant-garde elements as OM, this is still a sufficiently melodic progressive black metal album.

The four long compositions, each representing a season (starting with Spring), ebb and flow from softer ambient passages to all-out metal aggression, but always maintain a level of energy expected from black metal, progressive or otherwise. Much like the more interesting progressive black metal bands from various parts of Europe, the songs on 'N Crugu Bradului do not contain much, if any, repetition of verses and there don't seem to be any immediately recognizable choruses, but this creates an engaging listening experience that only this type of composition style could offer. This album also marks an increase in Romanian folk influence that plays a big part in some of the heavy melodies and also with the use of traditional folk instruments in the quieter passages.

Though engaging, none of the four tracks contain any sincerity, which can either be because the band was uninspired or because the production is rather muddy and incomprehensible (I understand this to be one of the hallmarks of true black metal). Even though there is a large variety of riffs that move this mid-paced progressive black metal excursion along, it often seems very randomly put together -- the time signature changes and loud/soft dynamic changes occur suddenly and stick out like a sore thumb.

The musicianship is better than what is usually expected from black metal, but isn't as commendable as the band's more popular progressive black metal contemporaries such as Deathspell Omega or Blut Aus Nord, but Negura Bunget have their own style and are not easily comparable to the aforementioned groups in any other terms than being at least slightly avant-garde. Because they are a unique band, I'd say they warrant at least one listen from any fan of extreme progressive metal. But because the follow up to this album, OM is widely considered Negura Bunget's magnus opus and it contains many more of both avant-garde and Romanian folk influences in addition to better production and better songwriting, that album may be a better place to start. Otherwise, this is a decent and engaging listen, even if slightly bland at times.

colorofmoney91 | 3/5 |

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