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NEGURA BUNGET

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Romania


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Negura Bunget biography
At the beginning of 1995 the underground Romanian Black metal scene saw first light of 'Negurã Bunget'. Forming as a duo under a different name 'Wiccan Rede', with Hupogrammos Disciple's on guitars / vocals / keyboards and Negru on drums. They utilized a raw, primitive, atmospheric style of black metal, which unfortunately failed to stir wide interest of the public. For the following 2 years the band went onto release their first full-length album, along with a scattering of demo's and an official mini-album (sometimes considered as their second album) under the official name of Negurã Bunget. During this time we also the see the introduction of their third solid member Spurctu, on guitar / bass; along with the bands spiritual exploration. The bands name was carefully chosen within the realms of their ideologies. Negurã Bunget means, "black foggy forest" in archaic Romanian.

"Negru: Negurã Bunget is a black fog coming from a deep dark dense forest. The name tries to picture somehow the kind of atmosphere, both musical and spiritual we'd want to create through our music. It has also a symbolical nature, standing for the inexpressible parts of our ideology. The two words are also from the Tracic substrate of the Romanian language (the oldest one, containing about 90 words) as the interest for our local history and spirituality is something of crucial importance and meanings for us as a band." **

It as not until their second official album the band came into their true colours, gifting us with three highly intelligent post-black metal albums; Maiastru Sfetnic, 'N Crugu Bradului and Om. Focusing intently on crafting personally charged albums, touching upon Transilvanian spirituality of their home country. After touring extensively throughout their home country, their second album 'Maiastru Sfetnic' made the black metal community stand up and listen, securing a three-album deal with the respected 'code666 record' label. Now reaching a wider audience they began their first European tours.

Their third album 'N Crugu Bradului (first on code666) is ranked as one of the bands crowning achievements, receiving acclaimed reviews from the wider metal community. The band under went hundreds of interviews, later to be published in established international magazines (Chronicles of Chaos, Ablaze, Ablazine, Ledo, Eternity, etc.); the band had now become an important/influential band in the Black Metal underground. This is also were we see their mo...
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Maiastru SfetnicMaiastru Sfetnic
Prophecy Productions 2010
Audio CD$10.41
$10.40 (used)
OmOm
AURAL MUSIC 2011
Audio CD$11.48
$8.71 (used)
From Transilvanian Forest CDFrom Transilvanian Forest CD
Prophecy Productions 2010
Audio CD$10.52
$10.54 (used)
ZiZi
Import
Prophecy Productions 2016
Audio CD$9.70
$6.30 (used)
Zirnindu-SaZirnindu-Sa
Prophecy Productions 2010
Audio CD$12.71
$12.72 (used)
Virstele PamintuluiVirstele Pamintului
AURAL MUSIC 2010
Audio CD$5.97
$5.96 (used)
TauTau
Prophecy Productions 2015
Audio CD$13.94
$15.29 (used)
MaiestritMaiestrit
Import
Prophecy Productions 2010
Audio CD$9.68
$7.95 (used)
'N Crugu Bradului'N Crugu Bradului
Import
AURAL MUSIC 2011
Audio CD$10.53
$9.56 (used)
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NEGURA BUNGET discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

NEGURA BUNGET top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 16 ratings
Zîrnindu-să
1996
3.46 | 18 ratings
Măiastru Sfetnic
2000
3.70 | 32 ratings
'N Crugu Bradului
2002
4.25 | 166 ratings
Om
2006
3.32 | 22 ratings
Maiestrit
2010
3.88 | 48 ratings
Virstele Pamintului
2010
3.57 | 9 ratings
TĂU
2015
4.25 | 4 ratings
Zi
2016

NEGURA BUNGET Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NEGURA BUNGET Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Focul Viu
2011

NEGURA BUNGET Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.05 | 3 ratings
Trilogy
2004

NEGURA BUNGET Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 6 ratings
Sala Molksa
1998
2.00 | 2 ratings
From Transilvanian Forest
2000
3.40 | 5 ratings
Inarborat Kosmos
2005
3.96 | 6 ratings
Poartă De Dincolo
2011

NEGURA BUNGET Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 TĂU by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.57 | 9 ratings

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TĂU
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Tau' - Negură Bunget (61/100)

Following the fateful schism between Negru and the other core members of Negură Bunget in 2009, there has been question as to the legitimacy and substance of the band in its current incarnation. I don't write this as a critic, so much as a fan that remains disappointed by the way things turned out for them. I am almost certainly not alone in saying their fourth album OM had one of the most original and otherworldly atmospheres ever committed to the black metal artform. Estranged bandmates Hupogrammos and Sol Faur forged a suitably magical successor to OM when they released Dar de Duh as Dordeduh. In a turn of events not wholly incomparable to the more-recent debacle with Queensr'che, Negru hired a cast of fresh initiates and pushed onward. V'rstele păm'ntului was decent enough, but it pales in comparison to what the other side of NB have done since, nevermind the bold monuments that came before it.

With talks of a bold 'Transylvanian Trilogy' (of which Tau is the first installment), it seems as if the present- day Negură Bunget intends on making a statement as (if not more) ambitious as their old work. Completed trilogies tend to become landmarks in the discography of any band that attempts them. It's because of that promise of ambition that I'm so disappointed in Tau. I am disappointed because the other expectations I had for a post-schism Negură Bunget album have been met. Tau wanders. It dawdles. It is challenging without being rewarding in an enduring sense. It is enjoyable in spite of those things, but ultimately comes off as a contrived echo of the mastery genre-veterans should have come to associate the band's name with.

It is worthy to note that the lineup on Tau is nigh-indistinguishable from that of V'rstele păm'ntului. In other words, Mr. Negru is the sole proprietor of the direction the band takes; the rest of the musicians are largely there to fulfill the execution. Tau mirrors the band's trademark style well. The avant-garde laden mixture of folk and black metal is here in full. More importantly, the weird, indescribably mystical atmosphere-- the likes of which that made Negură Bunget such a challenging listen in the first place-- is still here. Even if the membership has given rise to the question whether this project warrants its name or not, the distinctive sound remains. If there is any issue to be taken with the album on a purely stylistic basis, it's that Mr. Negru hasn't seen fit to push the sound forward. Tau feels like an understated shadow of their past, rather than the bold new chapter that the Trilogy concept might have promised.

Yes, the sound is weird, though not in a way that demands proper understanding. Negură Bunget automatically sounds at least a little alien by their everpresent folk instrument. Slavic folk has informed the way melodies are shaped. Far less consonant than the folk of Northwestern Europe we most often see incorporated with black metal, Negură Bunget still earn points from the sense that they're making metal that is indelibly coloured by its folk influence. So many 'folk' metal bands could be heard just as well without the slathering of accordions and violins. Even without the swirling pan flutes and atmospheric touches, you would be able to hear significant traces of Negură Bunget's Romanian homeland. The style is comfortably described as avant- garde, but Tau still feels like the largely natural amalgamation of cultural influences. A few outlandish exceptions exist; the buzzing sound of theremin at the end of "Nametenie" cannot be explained by any traditional standard of folk music.

You can certainly hear the black metal at work on Tau, but it is made to seem like something else by the layers of clean vocals, folk orchestrations and alien experimentation. Regardless whether this is the 'true' Negură Bunget or not, Tau has a firm grasp of the adventurous and jarring style I've (slowly) grown to love about their music. Where Tau suffers most is the songwriting. There are great ideas, but only a couple of great songs. "Schiminiceste", for instance, is a suitably melancholic closing piece, armed with a perfectly mournful chorus and reprise. "La Hotaru Cu Cinci Culmi" is a beautiful showcase of their folk side, replete with enchanting pagan vocals and varied instrumentation. More often than not however, most of the great concepts on Tau feel the need of some better context. The songs do not make full use of their best ideas; they stray and wander, and only rarely sound like they're building up to something. Most times a promising momentum is kindled, it is stopped in its tracks by some misguided detour. "Taram Valhovnicesc" is a particularly jarring example of this; while the last two minutes is one of my favourite parts on the album, most of it sounds like cheap synthphonic black metal. There's a time and place for that sort of thing, but in the context of Tau, it serves to hurt the album's folk-infused atmosphere.

There isn't anything that really surprises me about the way this album turned out. Hupogrammos and Sol Faur were responsible for most of the writing before Negură Bunget went their separate ways. Mr. Negru has proven he can capably lead a band with all of the bells and whistles associated with this project, but songwriting is not among his stronger talents. With "Schiminiceste", Tau is very good. With "Taram Valhovnicesc", not so much. Most of the time, the album falls into that nondescript mid-range where the music is enjoyable without being immersive.

I do like this album, and hope the best for the next chapters in this 'Transylvanian Trilogy' they are working on. But, barring the non-possibility of some miraculous reconciliation, I think the best days of Negură Bunget are over, and have been now for quite a while.

 Virstele Pamintului by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.88 | 48 ratings

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Virstele Pamintului
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by AndyJ

5 stars Negura Bunget's 'Varstele Pamantului' is one of those rare albums which comes along from time to time which makes you completely re-think your perceptions of a particular musical genre. Whilst classified as extreme metal there is so much more to this album than violent guitars and pummelling drums. This is an album which transcendences any one genre of music and becomes something really unique and inspired.

Describing the music here is difficult - there are definitely plenty of extreme metal moments, make no mistake about that, and those sections are utterly glorious and crushing. But I wouldn't call metal the defining style of the album. What really dominates this record is the tribal, almost Neanderthal instrumental moments, demonstrated perfectly on the album opener 'Pamint' and carried on through the rest of the album. There is European folk, gypsy music, tribal drumming, Scandinavian black metal, modern post metal... A real fusing of styles.

The music here is raw, ethereal and deeply atmospheric - images of camp fires, foreboding woods and pagan rituals swirl around my mind as I listen to the music. The production is primitive, but I sense this is a stylistic choice rather than due to financial reasons. The music on this record wouldn't sound right with polished drums and crisp guitar lines - the muddiness of the production is all part of the listening experience.

This is an album which needs to be heard - but it needs an open mind and enough time to sink in. When I first heard this I didn't really "get it" - I needed half a dozen listens. I am thoroughly glad that I gave this record the time it needed, and I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys heavier progressive music. This has since become a treasured record in my collection. For its uniqueness and musical creativity I can't give this anything other than 5-stars.

 TĂU by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.57 | 9 ratings

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TĂU
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars In part a step down in quality from their earlier work, yet more atmospheric and grim than ever, Negura Bunget have created a fine, folky monster of an album. The sound does feel less powerful and inspired, much as it wonderfully balanced metallic sections and sparse, darkly ethereal sections complete with obligatory chants. The result has already turned off quite a few fans, and that is something to keep in mind when listening, but in all likelihood you will find enjoyment. In spite of splits in the band, this is still good work, and tracks like "Nametenie" make for good listens. Don't expect the next best thing to "OM", but expect some good atmospheric black folk metal.
 'N Crugu Bradului by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.70 | 32 ratings

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'N Crugu Bradului
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars According to the press release Negurã Bunget are the premier Black Metal band from Transylvania, so when the label states that their musical style is 'Primitive Transylvanian Metal' it can be argued that they don't really sound like anyone else. Negurã Bunget started life as a duo back in 1995 but have settled as a trio, with extra musicians added for live work. This is their third full-length album, but the first since signing to Code 666. It is divided into four, with the four songs representing the seasons and is presented through the eyes and mind of a shepherd, I will have to take the label's word at this as none of this album is in English, and so the vocals become another instrument.

Having read on the web about this band, they have much more of an ideological outlook than many of their contemporaries (i.e. they have one, which they publish). This comes across in the music which is inherently very complex and multi-layered, challenging the listener to make sense of what is going on. It isn't an album that can be played as background music but must be listened to intently to get the most out of it. It also helps to play it at a very loud volume indeed. While much of it is dramatic riffing in best Black Metal style there are also moments when the music is soft and gentle.

In some ways Code 666 compare them to Rakoth (of whom I am a huge fan), and to that end have given this release some very impressive packaging (according to the press release, I've not seen it). Each CD comes in a handmade box measuring 22 x 17 cm and also contains a leaf from the tree that saw the birth and composition of their album. This is not music for the fainthearted but is worth seeking out if you want something out of the ordinary.

Originally appeared in Feedback #72, Feb 03

 Om by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.25 | 166 ratings

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Om
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Negura Bunget's OM combines intriguing, experimental music with metaphysical lyrics which avoid the controversial subject matter usually associated with black metal in favour of spiritual speculation. Most of the album takes a progressive black metal direction, but by incorporating quieter (occasionally ambient) moments into their compositions, which often extends to including traditional Romanian instruments in their repertoire, the band create an atmosphere unique to this album. At points it sounds like a particularly stirring movie soundtrack, which I guess is a high compliment when applied to concept albums; either way, it's an intriguing little album which rewards multiple careful listens and an open mind.
 Om by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.25 | 166 ratings

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Om
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The Grand-Daddy of Atmospheric Black

Over the last few years, the black metal amoeba has extended its tendrils to include north European folk, swallowed some post-rock, and oozed around some prog ideas. "Atmospheric Black" is an established genre now, as is Folk / Pagan metal. Most of these bands bore me to the point of plucking nose hairs to stay awake. But as I've traced some of these sounds to their true roots, I've found some quite amazing music. The first was Ulver's BERGTATT, which basically makes Agalloch's entire discography moot. But the crown jewel of my search is this, Negura Bunget's OM.

Where much black metal tries to evoke a cold wintry forest, brittle and bleak, OM is a blazing forest fire. Danger surrounds the listener whether it's the coming onslaught of the flames in the form of textured black metal riffing, the Uru-kai on the march orchestral sounds of "Norilor" or satyrs dancing to wild flutes in "Hora Soarelui." Unlike so many prog bands that band-aid different styles together, the enormous range of sounds on this album flow together effortlessly, purposefully.

Many groups have tried to create an album long work that coheres from start to finish. Very very few have succeeded. Opeth's great STILL LIFE has its ebbs and flows. Even Queensryche's classic masterpiece OPERATION: MINDCRIME runs out of steam on side two. Green Carnation's LIGHT OF DAY, DAY OF DARKNESS has great moments but is clearly overlong. But along with Edge of Sanity's CRIMSON, OM is one of the few metal albums that presents more like a completely realized symphony. Along with phenomenally well paced orchestration, there are signature passages that hold the piece together masterfully. The almost mandolin-ish tremolo picking late in "beasrul De Lumini" comes to mind.

The energy on this album is so intense. There are thick layers of sound which include horns, strings, mallets, folk instruments, and of course the typical metal guitar/bass drums. At the same time, we always have the organic, earthy, gritty black ethic which some of the more progressive or technical acts sometimes lose. It's hard to say whether I would get more out of this album if I understood Romanian. Musically, the album does everything I want it to, and if the lyrics weren't quite there it might actually detract from the experience.

Bottom line: one of the best extreme art metal albums ever made.

 'N Crugu Bradului by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.70 | 32 ratings

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'N Crugu Bradului
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by 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.

 Poartă  De Dincolo by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.96 | 6 ratings

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Poartă De Dincolo
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Any Colour You Like
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I don't speak Romanian, so it's hardly likely that I can explain to you what Poartă De Dincolo is all about. So I won't.

Instead, here is a collection of words that form sentences, which somewhat describe this latest EP release form Romanian dark metal overlords, Negura Bunget. Mix one part ambient, a dash of folk, a mix of black metal and a pinch of paganism, and you have Poartă De Dincolo. This 27 minute EP consists of four tracks, each of which combines the aforementioned mix of musical parts. The result is relatively similar to 2006's Om, often considered as the band's creative zenith. The cerebral ambience and spiritual content of Negura Bunget's music invokes images of pagan rituals, forest seances and Transylvanian mountain scenes. While still firmly rooted in earthly black metal, Poartă De Dincolo once again delves into dark ambient territory, with crisp percussion, distant guitar tones and gruff wails. It's not exactly re-inventive, but that's firmly missing the point of Negura Bunget. Like Agalloch, Wolves in the Throne Room and other contemporaries, Negura Bunget is all about creating a spiritual connection to places and temporal planes. Plus, listening to their music gives you, the listener the excuse to prance around in forests, and other cool stuff.

 Poartă  De Dincolo by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.96 | 6 ratings

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Poartă De Dincolo
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Poarta de Dincolo" is a 4 track, 28:35 minutes long EP release by Romanian black metal act Negura Bunget. The EP was released in April 2011 by code666. There's been a couple of lineup changes since "V'rstele Pam'ntului (2010)" as guitarists Spin and Corb have left Negura Bunget to focus on their own act Syn Ze Sase Tri (who released their debut full-length studio album "'ntre Doua Lumi" in early 2011). They are replaced here by Fulmineos (guitars, vocals) and Urzit (guitars).

The music on "Poarta de Dincolo" is atmospheric black metal with ethnic folky elements and instrumentation. The vocals are raw, raspy and almost shouting desperate. The tempo is mostly slow or mid-paced. There's a an earthy and organic atmosphere to the music but also an epic edge created by keyboards. The sound production is equally earthy and organic and make the whole concept work well.

Personally I think that "Poarta de Dincolo" is a step up from "V'rstele Pam'ntului" both in terms of production but also because "Poarta de Dincolo" features less of those almost new age like elements that mared parts of "V'rstele Pam'ntului". It's a quality release this one and therefore fully deserves a 3.5 - 4 star rating.

 Măiastru Sfetnic by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.46 | 18 ratings

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Măiastru Sfetnic
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Măiastru Sfetnic' - Negura Bunget (7/10)

Negura Bunget is widely regarded to be Romania's greatest metal export, and although I did not always think of them this way, they have been steadily growing on me recently. 'Măiastru Sfetnic' is the band's second album, and although receiving only limited attention, some of the more dedicated followers of the band have since considered it a classic. While now having been re-recorded under the title 'Maiestrit', 'Măiastru Sfetnic' would have been all but lost in time. Luckily, this is a gem of Eastern European metal, and while the odds may have been stacked against it, its quality will keep it going. Negura Bunget creates a convincing and incredbly atmospheric dark metal sound on this second album.

For someone already familiarized with the black metal sound, Negura Bunget does not stray far form three. Instead of focusing on how heavy they can be, Negura Bunget instead aims for atmosphere, the feeling of despair and romanticism I am sure only a Transylvanian forest can evoke. Everything is given a dreamy lo-fi production, which will turn some listeners off, but for me, it obscures the sound just enough to leave a part of 'Măiastru Sfetnic' up to the listener's imagination. Along with fast drumming, raspy vocals and a feeling of decay of sadness, the band is not so far flung from other black metal acts. There is a difference here from Negura and say, the Scandinavian black metal bands however. This difference in style most gets across through the band's moderate use of folk influences here. Folk in metal may not have been a new thing by the year 2000, but there is certainly a different, more haunting vibe that Eastern European folk gives as opposed to its warmer Western counterpart.

The highlight track here for me is the absolutely majestic 'Al Locului'; a slow building monster which ascends the mountain with ambient vocals and a repetitive atmospheric riff that keeps the dramatic tension rising. 'Măiastru Sfetnic' reaches its ultimate point when the music bursts out into nearly inhuman howls in tandem with the melodic guitars. Not all parts of this album have the same memorable feel to them, and I would say that some of these songs (most of which lurk around the ten minute mark) could be cut down a bit in order to keep some of the less melodic moments from growing stale.

'Măiastru Sfetnic' is a great album though, and one that took me a few listens to sink in. The symphonic and folk undertones to this harsh music give it an added dimension that I find very intriguing, and as far as this rehash of the album released a decade later, its difficult to beat this recording's bitter sense of atmosphere.

Thanks to Black Velvet for the artist addition. and to CCVP for the last updates

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