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NEGURA BUNGET

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Romania


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Negura Bunget picture
Negura Bunget biography
Founded in Timișoara, Romania in 1995 - Splintered in 2009 - Disbanded in 2017

At the beginning of 1995 the underground Romanian Black metal scene saw first light of 'Negur„ 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 Negur„ 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. Negur„ Bunget means, "black foggy forest" in archaic Romanian.

"Negru: Negur„ 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 i...
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Om (10th Anniversary Edition)Om (10th Anniversary Edition)
Code666 2018
$12.88
$20.66 (used)
Zirnindu-SaZirnindu-Sa
Prophecy 2010
$13.75
$13.86 (used)
Virstele PamintuliVirstele Pamintuli
Edge Mus640 2011
$12.63
$11.21 (used)
Negura Bunget - OmNegura Bunget - Om
Edge Mus640 2007
$7.23 (used)
ZiZi
Prophecy 2016
$11.39
$11.36 (used)
'N Crugu Bradului'N Crugu Bradului
Spv Germany 2003
$10.99
$8.10 (used)
TauTau
Prophecy 2015
$10.49
$10.38 (used)
Maiastru SfetnicMaiastru Sfetnic
Prophecy 2010
$11.39
$11.36 (used)
MaiestritMaiestrit
Prophecy 2010
$11.39
$11.36 (used)
From Transilvanian Forest CDFrom Transilvanian Forest CD
CD-ROM
Prophecy 2010
$11.39
$11.36 (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)

2.29 | 21 ratings
ZÓrnindu-să
1996
3.56 | 23 ratings
Măiastru Sfetnic
2000
3.67 | 37 ratings
'N Crugu Bradului
2002
4.18 | 190 ratings
Om
2006
3.32 | 25 ratings
Maiestrit
2010
3.88 | 50 ratings
Virstele Pamintului
2010
3.53 | 11 ratings
TĂU
2015
3.70 | 10 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 | 5 ratings
Focul Viu
2011

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

2.17 | 4 ratings
Trilogy
2004

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

2.75 | 9 ratings
Sala Molksa
1998
2.03 | 4 ratings
From Transilvanian Forest
2000
3.29 | 7 ratings
Inarborat Kosmos
2005
3.93 | 7 ratings
Poartă De Dincolo
2011

NEGURA BUNGET Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Măiastru Sfetnic by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.56 | 23 ratings

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Măiastru Sfetnic
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars After the ho hum debut album "ZÓrnindu-să," the Romanian extreme metal band NEGURĂ BUNGET found the stars aligning on the following EP "Sala Molksa" with the addition of Sol Faur (Cristian Popescu) as the second guitarist which really lifted the band's sound up several notches. Add to that the more sophisticated progressive songwriting techniques as well as a better integrated strain of local folk music elements finding their way into the mix and the band had successfully strayed from mediocrity to becoming one of Eastern Europe's most innovative atmospheric black metal bands. This trend continued on the second full-length album MăIASTRU SFETNIC ("Masterful Guide").

This album shows an even more progressive development in the songwriting with six long tracks that stretch out over the 9 minute mark with the only exception being the 6 minute "A-vÓnt Ón abis." Once again Hupogrammos (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Negru (drums) and Sol Faur (bass, guitars) conjure up an aggressive mystical experience that uses aggressive black metal as the template to create lengthy progressive workouts that result in a creepy journey through the Transylvanian forests with spooky atmospheric embellishments coinciding with buzzsaw guitar riffs and pummeling bass and drum rhythmic sections. The experience is augmented with connections to antiquity through the use of Romanian folklore and traditional sounds that would continue to increase up to the band's most famous offering "Om."

At this point the band exists in a rawer form of adrenalized second wave black metal however the music is enshrouded in a mystical brume of symphonic and artistic touches and overall comes off as rather hypnotic despite the orotundity and rage seeping out of every cadence ready to go in for the kill. The opener "Vremea Locului Sortit" sets the stage for the lengthy black metal workouts but tracks such as the idiosyncratic "In-Zvicnirea Apusului" add surprisingly incongruent extras, in this case the inclusion of theremin sounds which as far as i know had never been used in a black metal context up to this point. Despite the second wave black metal template, the compositions are carefully thought out with the atmospheric elements not simply playing in tandem with the aggressive guitar, bass and drums but rather playing together as partners with a greater focus in mind.

While many an extreme metal band with its eye on the progressive prize were implementing more elements of avant-prog and jazzy dissonance, NEGURĂ BUNGET was taking a different route altogether. This band was opting to retain the melodic and aggressive aspects of bands like Emperor and simply tease them out into much more epic runs, therefore the playing times were lengthening and the compositional sophistication came through the variations between the nooks and crannies. The production while filthy and raw, still feels frosted over by a fresh falling of icy cold snow but also portends that monsters are at large and awaiting any unsuspecting passers-by to succumb to their predatory nature. The music all in all is ominous and creepy but maintains an easily accessible stylistic approach. The vocals while exclusively in the raspy shouted camp are buried beneath the din and emerge from the pits of hell to deliver an anguished torturous frenzy.

There are many atmospheric metal albums that can sound cheesy but not the case with MăIASTRU SFETNIC which successfully integrates the elements into the filthy rawness without ruining their menacing effect. This is a great album to get lost in as the repetitive tracks meander on but change things up just enough as to prevent tedium from setting in. This is actually a really great black metal album that paved the way for the 21st century scene and single handedly put Romanian black metal on the map. While not as masterful and mind-blowingly beautiful as the band's magnum opus "Om," MăIASTRU SFETNIC is an excellent slice of amazingly consistent black metal that cops an Eastern European epic flair and displays the vast improvement of musicianship since the band's 90s output.

 Sala Molksa by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1998
2.75 | 9 ratings

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Sala Molksa
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars After the debut album 'Z'rnindu-să' was released in 1996, NEGURĂ BUNGET went from a duo to a trio after guitarist Sol Faur (Cristian Popescu) joined the group and offered his own sensibilities which heightened the Romanian folklore and creativity clearly absent from the debut. The new lineup released their first material in 1998 in the form of the EP titled SALA MOLKSA which found not only a better production job that allowed the atmospheric possibilities to match the creepiness of the darkened Carpathian fog from which the band took its name but also found the band incorporating the wealth of Romanian folk music into the compositions that teased the synthesizers into emulating traditional flutes as well as adding more diverse dynamics, tempos and variation.

SALA MOLKSA consisted of five tracks each titled in the impenetrable Romanian language which makes it all the more mysterious and as nebulous as the cloud covered forest that surround the band's native city of Timişoara. With a second guitarist, NEGURĂ BUNGET took the extreme metal to new heights. The guitar fury was turned up to the max, the bass lines were now separated as to be heard under the buzzsaw guitar feedback and the drumming became more ferocious with a new found purpose rather than just keeping the beat. Most importantly the compositions were more nuanced with more progressive developments and most importantly the keyboards were balanced as to provide an eerie sonic haze and evolving light years beyond the cheesy kid stuff from the debut album.

Not only had NEGURĂ BUNGET turned up the black metal riffage to Bathory level but achieved a balance with the atmospheric touches that would make Emperor proud as the symphonic orchestration mix harmoniously with nary a flaw. Best of all the tracks were no longer predictable second wave black metal and each track stood proud on its own as it ferociously fused the fury of the Scandinavian northlands with the dark and macabre folklore of the Carpathian occult world. On SALA MOLKSA, NEGURĂ BUNGET displayed their potential well and were finally hinting at the magical musical mojo was lurking beneath the surface and awaiting a more refined approach that would result in albums like 'OM.' Add to that a huge leap in technical proficiency that showed the musicianship hitting their stride.

SALA MOLKSA is a frenetic beast that no longer feels like the ugly stepchild of the bigger, badder and better produced black metal leaders of the north but rather a declaration that a new brand of black metal has stepped into the ring and taking the roller coaster ride in a new direction. This EP was that statement that launched NEGURĂ BUNGET into the position as Romania's best musical output Timişoara's other claim to fame, the 70s progressive rock band Phoenix. While 'Z'rnindu-să' showed a fledgling band getting its feet wet, SALA MOLKSA shows a band coming of age and although not creating the magnum opus of their career, nevertheless conjured up an excellent slab of atmospherically fueled black metal fury that crafted four strong ferocious tracks and a short ending track that pointed listeners into the direction of where things were going.

Everything about SALA MOLSKA is a step up from its predecessor. The melodies are more hauntingly beautiful, the black metal ferociousness is unhinged and electrified manyfold and the pacing of the tracks keeps this one interesting for its entire run. The EP was released initially on cassette in Romania and the following year found a release on CD. It also was included on the 2004 Box Set in its entirety and after NEGURĂ BUNGET rise to success was re-recorded and released once again in 2008. The EP appears on the band's Bandcamp page and both versions are presented side by side for comparison. Frankly i'm not too keen on re-recordings but whatever. This original is just fine by me. Black metal doesn't need to be and on the contrary actually works better in a lo-fi setting. Musically this one is brilliant and sonically the textures meld together perfectly. A huge leap forward indeed.

 ZÓrnindu-să by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.29 | 21 ratings

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ZÓrnindu-să
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Emerging from the Carpathian forests of Western Romania in the city of Timişoara, the early makings of NEGURĂ BUNGET were forged from the ashes of a band called Makrothumia when the two members: Negru (Gabriel Mafa) on drums and Hupogrammos Disciple (Edmond Karban) on guitars, vocals, and keyboards joined forces to create the new band Wiccan Rede in 1994. Under this early moniker, the duo released the "From Transilvanian Forests" demo before changing their name to the more familiar NEGURĂ BUNGET. The new name was taken from the black fog coming from the surrounding forests and thus the band's goal was to construct an atmospheric style of black metal that reflected that concept.

Sallying forth to fulfill their mission, Negru and Hupogrammos Disciple crafted their debut album ZőRNINDU-SĂ (Nightshade) which was recorded in only 20 hours at the Magic Sound Studio in Bucharest which explains why this album sounds a tad rushed. Initially released as a cassette only in their native Romania, the album saw a US release in 1998 on CD but wouldn't find a newer release until it appeared on the 2004 Box Set where it was remastered. Another re-recorded version emerged in 008 with a bonus CD that included both the old and new versions. Both versions exist side by side on the band's Bandcamp page for comparison but basically this debut gives little clues as to the progressive black metal mastery that NEGURĂ BUNGET would conjure up on the following albums "'n crugu bradului" and "OM" as it chugs out fairly standard black metal mileage of the era.

Following in the wake of the Scandinavian dominance of the second wave of 90s black metal, NEGURĂ BUNGET was very much playing keep up with their brethren to the north. While ZőRNINDU-SĂ already displays a fairly unique atmospheric backdrop that would continue to evolve, the aggressive buzzsaw guitar distortion with frantic tremolo picking, a blastbeat drumming style and raspy vocals set below the distorted orotundity was pretty much the status quo of black metal by the year 1996 when this was released. While the progressive touches are light years away from the magnanimity of the future releases, there were already a few more complex riffing styles and compositional tricks that made this a tad more progressive than the likes of what Darkthrone, Immortal or Mayhem were doing at the time.

The album consists of eight tracks that exercise the same formulaic approach for the entire run. While the duo are more than competent with the mechanical chops of the guitar riffing, buried bass and melodic constructs, the biggest problem is that the keyboards are set too high in the mix and sound a bit cheesy as they fail to resemble the darkened misty forest that they claim to draw inspiration from but rather like cheap thrift store keys used for a grade school project. Likewise the songs themselves fail to ignite any excitement as they all tend to sound the same half way through the album with melodic developments that pretty much copy and paste and add a few screams in different places.

This was clearly a rough draft that was simply pumped out to get a product on the market. When compared to the following "Sala Molksa EP" that came out two years later that began to add the Romanian folk musical touches, this one just sounds too generic for its own good but it's not really that bad either. This debut while not essential by any means is certainly an interesting listen as to ascertain how quickly NEGURĂ BUNGET evolved from a meh extreme metal band to the hottest item in all of Dracula's Carpathian empire. The band would emerge as Romanian metal band #1 in a few short years but as far as this debut was concerned, you can pretty much skip to the following EP to get to the good stuff.

 Om by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.18 | 190 ratings

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Om
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Since last year (2017 as of this writing), I have been enjoying catching up on a lot of the extreme metal that I missed out on after basically leaving the extreme metal scene back in the early nineties. Two years ago, I had no interest in black metal; however, in the last 16 months or so, I have been checking out classic old school albums and becoming familiar mostly with the Norwegian scene of the nineties. Though this I have garnered a pretty decent understanding of how things were sounding at that time. To help me on further into the dark atmospheric realms of black metal, I recently consulted several lists of top 10, 25, 50 and 100 black metal albums of all time in an effort to find which albums were the most frequently included. One such album was "Om" by Negura Bunget.

I'll admit that the album cover intrigued me ? a curious and distorted human form that, as it turns out, is just exposed grass below a melted and dirty spring snow cover. Having never heard of the band, I looked them up on Wikipedia and as well read a review of the album. When I learned that they were a Romanian band that utilized Romanian folk music and symphonic elements in their music, I knew I had to order this album right away! How curious I was to hear it.

What I have to say now in favour of this album are two things. The first is that I am in no way disappointed with the music on this release. While black metal remains the constant core, there are frequent surprises such as ominously dark-sounding brass parts as well as a string orchestra, and there are also moments of those Romanian folk instruments, most notably the hand percussion instruments. Add to that some cathedral chanting of "Om" in ominous tones, some guitar-less symphonic sections, and some post rock/metal parts and you get an album that plays more like a musical journey than a simple collection of songs.

I'm finding that I really love albums that have a basic sound that I enjoy but then reveals surprises that contrast with the extreme metal music or complement it. With the awesome over-distorted but well-controlled guitars, the clean and almost pretty moments, and all the extra instrumentation, and you've got an album that keeps turning you head.

Now, a lot of the old school black metal albums have intentionally lo-fi quality recording. As it was, I bought Marduk's "Opus Nocturne" and put it on the playlist right after "Om". Listening to "Om" was just how I love to listen to music. The sound was beautifully rich and clear. I could see myself drifting through a dim and dense but clear atmosphere of guitar distortion and gravelly vocals while various instruments and sounds passed by me in solid, 3D form or flashes of light. But when "Opus Nocturne" came on, I suddenly felt like I was standing in a shallow stream of cold water up to my ankles. In contrast, "Opus Nocturne" sounded just like a young band in the scene of the time putting out an extreme album with shoddy production (or mastering) while "Om" was like someone with a good studio budget had taken time to craft an album that was a work of art.

The version I bought is a double-disc digipak that has another, more recently recorded album on the second disc. It's a beautiful package with great design and artwork. I'm curious to hear more from this band, though most sadly the one member holding the band together passed away a few years back and the band subsequently dissolved. "Om" is a fantastic album and it's easy to understand why it makes a few of those all-time best black metal lists.

 TĂU by NEGURA BUNGET album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.53 | 11 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 | 50 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
3.53 | 11 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
3.67 | 37 ratings

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'N Crugu Bradului
Negura Bunget Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars According to the press release Negur„ 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. Negur„ 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
4.18 | 190 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
4.18 | 190 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.

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

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