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Negură Bunget – Om

negură bunget – om


If there is one band that has been pushing the boundaries of black metal, and if there is one band that has been working their blackened asses off to get to the point where they’re at now and if there is one band that has been able to amaze both friend and foe with every release it is definitely Negura Bunget. It was with their 2003 release “’n Crugu Bradului” that they got major interest from a wider audience and ended their career as obscure band from Romania. For those who were unaware of this bands’ capacity were blown away and they got rave reviews from all over the world. That album’s atmosphere and incredible arrangements and song writing resulted in shock and awe and surely got the band an elitist status – achieved by delivering mere quality (unlike most so-called ‘elitist’ bands, who got their status from releasing shit on tapes numbered to five copies only). In 2005 the EP “Inarborat Kosmos” was released as an appetizer for the upcoming album, and it truly tasted incredibly good…

Now the album is released, early 2007, one can’t really imagine how this whole project was achieved. “OM” is truly the a breathtaking experience, not only musical. The first thing that catches the eye first is the great lay-out of the album, a fabulously looking double digipack album with great and stylish artwork that fit the music seamlessly – I wonder whether there will be a vinyl version coming up. But it is the music that counts, and that is nothing short of breathtaking. A colourful journey through the deepest feelings of what black metal is all about, put in a very melodic way, to achieve the best of progressive black metal outing released in the last years. People have had the tendency to compare these Romanians with Norwegian masters of melodic black metal Emperor, but it is a comparison that is not worth a buck as Negura Bunget truly outdo all of Emperor’s work in just one album. Blending the raw power of black metal with enchanting melodies (done with xylophones, keyboards and guitar picking) and true progressiveness in all instruments make them stand out of all the other (black) metal bands. The same hints we got from the “Inarborat Kosmos” EP in 2005 are to be found on this album as well, but with that EP the band proves not to be a band for EP kind of lengths, they really need the full length of an album to achieve the best atmosphere and experience for the listener. The whole thing is just something that needs to be experienced as a whole, without breaks or any other aspects that might distract the listener. The production is also a big part of the album, where loads of (black) metal bands try to be as minimal and ‘back to the roots’ as possible and try to get their production as raw as fuck, Negura Bunget gets their production raw and clean at the same time. Clean and clear enough to assure that none of the well-balanced details will drown in senseless muddy sound for the sake of ‘trueness’. But still raw enough to keep the powerful black metal vibe and atmosphere untouched. I could easily spend another thousand words on this album and still haven’t said enough, but I think I already have made my point clear…

The only logical and fair marking is giving “OM” full-score as this is nothing short of an incredible masterpiece that won’t be topped by anyone in the near future. Negura Bunget delivered a true milestone in (black) metal and made themselves an immortal force that is almost impossible to top or even equal. Still, “OM” left me with one question… How will the next album be? As it is near impossible, even for the band themselves, to come up with a successor that equals the impact of “OM”. Time will tell. (FelixS)

– – – – –

For those of you out there who want something that little bit different to satisfy your everlasting extreme music hunger, then without a shadow of a doubt Romania’s Negura Bunget are just the dish you have been searching for. Having been around for 11 years this bizarre trio have released four mind-blowing full lengths and a host of demos and EP’s of the most bewildering symphonic black metal you are ever likely to hear. Four years have past since the band released the criminally ignored ‘N Crugu Bradului’ so for those of you who thought that the band were dead and buried can think again because new opus ‘Om’ is just about as good as this stuff gets.

Likely to be in the top 10 of many a magazine’s album polls of 2006, the music contained within sears, soars and glides creating an atmosphere that will savage your soul and melt your heart at the same time. Much more than just a collection of songs ‘Om’ transports you into a fantastic realm of darkness and ice, with the dense guitars and swirling synths creating a blizzard of such epic and magnificent proportions it is almost impossible to transcribe in words. Think Vinterikket at his most euphoric and Enslaved at their most magnificent and your somewhere close to how unbelievable this music is, managing to compile a cleansing yet suffocating experience that will bring the extreme music world to its knees. Easily one of the best albums to rear its beautifully ugly head from the underground realms, it ranks, for this writer at least as the finest hour since hearing ‘In The Nightside Eclipse’ for the first time. As an added bonus, ‘Om’ comes with a bonus DVD featuring stunning video clips of the tracks “Cunoaºterea Tãcutã” and “Norilor”, some live recordings and an interview with intense frontman Hupogrammos Disciple’s (Edmond Karban) and drummer Negru so you can be sure to get your money’s worth here as well. Absolutely amazing stuff that will be ignored no longer. (Dave Waite)