EP Review: Negură Bunget – Poartă de Dincolo
Artist: Negură Bunget (Romania)
Album: Poartă de Dincolo (EP, 2011)
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Remember how we reviewedan album by the Romanian band Syn Ze Şase Tri? It was Black Metal from the legendary region of Transylvania that we came across through the efforts of the band’s Italian cult label, Code666.
Well, apparently these Italians have got a lead somewhere in Transylvania, as they recently sent me a promo package of the newly released EP of yet another Transylvanian Black Metal outfit. Like the last one, Negură Bunget seems to capitalize heavy on its home base’s mythical background. That means more highly tense symphonics-infused Black Metal that make you feel like you’re inside a fuckin’ Dracula movie.
The EP in question is titled Poartă de Dincolo, which means either ‘A Gate from the Above’ or ‘Carrying from the Other Side’. It was released on April 25th and focuses on “exploring the relation between worlds, either from above, under or beyond”. We’ve heard the full thing, so let us share what we’ve found.
First though, a little more background info. Negură Bunget, which is Romanian for ‘Dark Foggy Forest’ came to be in 1995, then a duo, and went straight into the history books as the first Black Metal band of Transylvania. Through its music, the band aims to “promote the Transylvanian Spirituality”. No fuckin’ clue what that is exactly, but it’s got something to do with their Romanian ancestors. In any case, they follow in the footsteps of Sweden’s Bathory, that was one of the first bands to take inspiration from their national (in their case Viking) legends.
Over the years a bunch of releases came out to achieve this aim, including five full-length records, of which the last two came out in March 15 and March 31 2010 respectively. Though that seems a lot more productive than it actually is – the first of the two was a “mere” reinterpretation of the band’s 2000 album Măiastru Sfetnic – the band has still been quite a productive one, having released a steady flow of albums and EPs. As said, the beginning of this week saw the release of yet another.
Poartă de Dincolo contains only four songs, yet manages to span nearly a full half hour of music, with the shortest song over five minutes and a half and the longest of eight and a half. Having listened to all these musical minutes, we’d like to start by saying that “spirituality” is well covered. Esoteric tunes, ancient whistles and instruments, bits of entranced speech, deep fuckin’ atmospherics. Once again, it’s like being in some kind of quality myth-based horror movie.
Consequently, this is an album that needs to be listened to in care and concentration, not carelessly while doing something else. Do that, and there’s a shitload of spiritual beauty to be enjoyed. About equally much as there is harsh and demonic Black Metal to be enjoyed. It’s not as harsh and demonic as we’re used to from BM though, as it’s not meant to despair or punish, but rather to induce moods of calmness and contemplation. At least that’s what it fuckin’ well does to me!
As usual we’ll slip you a piece of the audio pie and this time that piece is the EP’s title track. Why? No fuckin’ reason, first one we came across on YT. In any case, you’ll be able to hear what we described above. It’s Black Metal alright – what the fuck else would you call it? – but it’s definitely not comparable to the standard recipe of the genre. This goes well over and beyond that!
With the above track you’ll also have heard the awesome fuckin’ vocals that the band employs. Vocalist Ageru Pămîntului – which is a name I’m jealous of, as next to nobody is probably able to pronounce it – makes it sound like hell speak. Like an angry demon growls out his unspeakable anger at the world and humanity. It’s not threatening though, but sounds like ‘from the other side’ instead. Could be threatening if the veil breaks, but now “nothing more” than shit fuck awesome.
We’ll leave you with our conclusion as always. This time that spells: kick-fuckin’-ass piece of Metal! Though only four songs, it sounds complete and highly professional. You’d do well to check it out further. The band’s official Facebook is a proper place to start. Over and out!
My Grade: 8.5/10
Buy this when:
- you dig things deep and spiritual and shit
- you don’t mind your lyrics in Romanian for a change
- ”traditional” Black Metal is just too punishing for you