Saturday, February 7, 2015

Black Metal History Month: Negura Bunget's"Tau"

We will say the band is back after five years, since that ep they put out in 2011, just sounded like they were trying to be Enslaved. They have returned with what is to be the first album of a three album trilogy. They brought back the balance of ethnic folk sounds and metal are back in back. It can be debated as to if they are back playing black metal or not. I can say right from the opening song it's obvious that this is something that is going to take multiple listens to soak in all the layers. This  opens more along the lines of "Virstele Pamintului" which is impressive considering the drummer Negru is the only member of the band who played on that album. This new line-up has been intact since 2013 and features members of Grimegod and Din Brad.

"Izbucul galbenei"storms of more in that Enslaved direction with a very straight ahead metal attack. Some of the folk elements when they introduced on this album are more synth driven and less organic in feel than those on"Virstele Pamintului". The album does have more of an ebb and flow than any other folk metal album I have heard in recent years and even what sounds to be some electronic elements running as a strange undercurrent . This is very ambitious and it pays off more often than not. There is a darker vibe to this album. There is an almost Wardruna like pulse to the chant that opens "Curgerea Muntelui". The synths build the drama reluctantly bringing the metal back as the growls return. They continue to balance the two worlds as the epic chug to "Tarim Vilhovnicesc" carries a progressive slant against the scathing vocals screaming into the distance. The drumming on this album is phenomenal, and I don't normally get too excited about drummers.

There is an odd array of elements from almost a gypsy ska along the lines of Gogol Bordello mixing with dark prog metal. This makes for one of the albums most unique songs and opens new creative doors for the band. They ride on a graceful sweep further into metal with the melodic yet powerful"Picur Viu Foc". The growls rumble up from a dark place in the soul as the flutes attempt to offset this. There are more clean vocals on this album than in the past , yet they seem as if they are being handled differently this go around. On the last song they really take on a strong and commanding melody in the vein of Primordial. I'll round this up to a 9.5, though once I get use to some of the changes and the more epic and progressive way of apporaching the metal section rather than black metal, then it might even turn into the perfect album to me, but right now it's going to be getting repeat listens as I soak it all in. If this is the first album of a trilogy I can only hope the other two are this good.

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