Atmospheric black metal pioneers Negură Bunget, an act from deep Timișoara, Romania initially settled at the end of 1994 under the name Wiccan Rede, as a duo consisting of Gabriel Mafa on drums and Edmond Karban on guitars, vocals, and keyboards, whose sonority embraces musical elements of progressive metal and traditional folk with peculiar nostalgic, by some means lethargic and perhaps strictly sinister melancholy, yet stylistically varied. In the news is that Negură Bunget, Romania’s darkest export have just confirmed their forthcoming North American Tour, which will earn place on this autumn equinox alongside with Icelandic atmospheric black metal sensation Dynfari (Reykjavik-based duo), and Romanian emotional metal troupe Grimegod as supporting acts.
Since their infamous release of the ‘OM’ studio album which was independently released on October 20th, 2006 and later reissued via Enucleation Records in 2008 as a double LP of the album featuring a bonus track, Negură Bunget have continuously shifted their entire lineup until 2010, the year they released ‘Vîrstele Pamîntului’ on March 5th through Aural Music.
Regardless of their dramatic and sometimes conflictual metamorphosis, Negură Bunget remain as the forefront representants of Romanian metal, which has been of late receiving positive criticism from the media press worldwide, especially by the British specialized publication, Metal Hammer Magazine that very recently published a confident review of their live performance which took place in London at the Boston Music Rooms on May 16th.
During this year, Negură Bunget took part in the British extreme metal publication Terrorizer Magazine, making it on the pages of issue 257. This particular issue also featured Enslaved, Ensiferum, Melechesh, Nile, Mastodon, Brutal Truth, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dødheimsgard, Moonspell plus many more.
As a side note, Israeli folk black metal act Melechesh will be playing live in Colombia on the 21th edition of Rock Al Parque Festival, this coming Saturday, August 15th. Their live performance is scheduled to take place at 5:20 pm at Escenario Plaza, Parque Simon Bolivar. We will of course, be reporting the event in our pages with both written content and a set of exclusive photographs.
Their latest studio record entitled ‘Tău’, was released on January 23rd, 2014 through German record label Prophecy Productions, and on March 3rd via Lupus Lounge, their North American division. ‘Tău’ is entirely focused in Transylvanian natural sceneries and the exploration of mythical landscapes and Romanian legends, while blending their traditions as an open gateway to their mythical past. With ‘Tău’, the act also gives initiation to their ambitious Transilvanian trilogy, a both sonic and visual concept rooted in their hometown of Jerusalem, and while the first part gives propentency to Romanian culture, the second part will entirely deal with the man’s dreamscapes, his honorable traditions and ancestral practices as well as spiritual segments. ‘Tău’ is of shamanistic compositions, a mysterious and obscure masterpiece sang in Romanian intonations which gives it a utter enchanting aura somehow obscured by a dormant atmosphere of ardent post-black metal.
- Izbucul Galbenei
- La Hotaru Cu Cinci Culmi
- Curgerea Muntelui
- Tarîm Vîlhovnicesc
- Împodobeala Timpului
- Picur Viu Foc
‘Tău’ has been released in numerous formats, including a limited edition in a wooden engraved box, and had unique collaborations from different musicians, among them being Rune Eriksen, the Spellemann-award winning musician and composer, best known as the former guitar player of Norwegian black metal act, Mayhem, and also counting with the dark guest backing vocals of Sakis Tolis, the frontman of symphonic Greek black metallers, Rotting Christ.
With the release of ‘Tău’, Negură Bunget did not only present the successor to the highly acclaimed ‘Vîrstele Pamîntului’, but surpassed the expectations with genuinely composed new material. According to the reviews I have read, ‘Tău’ draws influences from Dissection, Emperor, Samael, Bal-Sagoth, Rotting Christ, and even Dimmu Borgir with a slight reminiscent of Limbonic Art.
During this year, Negură Bunget gave initiation to their european tour which began in March, a tour that included their presence at inumerous renowned European summer solstice festivals, including most recently the Ragnarök Festival. The act was accompanied by Polish darkened Northern Plague, and doom masters Lacrima, Turkish black metallers Moribund Oblivion, German’s death’n’roll Agamendon, Netherlands death metallers Spartan, Belgian black metallers Saille and country mates Grimegod.
Previously, They also participated as support at during Rotting Christ’s European tour in 2013, which began on October 16th, and ended on November 5th, alongside Greek sensationalism Twilight Of The Gods, which by then were promoting their debut album, entitled ‘Fire On The Mountain’.
The act is preparing to invade the North American continent on September 2nd, crossing cities such as Baltimore, New Orleans, Dallas, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Quebec.
Negură Bunget also premiered the video ‘Nametenie’ on February 9th, a song taken from their latest album, ‘Tău’. The video has been directed by Romanian visual artist Daniel Dorobantu, a longstanding supporter of the act, and scenes were filmed by Negură Bunget in the mountains of Transylvania.
Curious facts is that Negură Bunget 2010’s ‘Vîrstele Pămîntului’, was also released in a limited special edition version. Each of the 555 copies, handmade to order, consisted of a handcrafted, roped wooden box with a burned finish containing an undisclosed amount of genuine soil from Transylvania, a poster, pin and deluxe digipack edition of the CD itself. Besides Gabriel Mafa’s activities as main composer of Negură Bunget, he is also the chief editor of the Central European ideological Negura Music Magazine.
The latest issue of Negura Music Magazine, if I am not mistaken, dates way back to 2002, featuring a spectrum of interviewed acts that tends to a greater scale of readers, from the irate ones to the most melancholic gothic, yet doom metal ones. You will be able to find some top-notch interviews with Emperor, Malevolence or Lux Occulta, articles referring to mythologies and ancient civilizations (North American and a first chapter about Dacians-Romania’s ancestors-) and also some simple less in-deep interviews with Rebaelliun, Blood Red Throne, Avrigus, Asmodeus, Indian Fall, Avenger, Thyrfing and Cruachan.
I am not entirely sure if the magazine is still active, at least regarding printing, however it is said that Negura Music Magazine’s most significant step achieved so far in the metallic underground press, at least at the debate-point, was when it excelled Oskorei Magazine regarding printed sales in 2001.