Negură Bunget - ZI review




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Reviewer:
7.0

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7.25
Band: Negură Bunget
Album: ZI
Release date: September 2016


Disc I
01. Tul-ni-că-rînd
02. Grădina Stelelor
03. Brazdă Dă Foc
04. Baciu Moşneag
05. Stanciu Gruiul
06. Marea Cea Mare

Disc II[Limited Edition bonus]
01. Tul-ni-că-rînd [Remix by Daniel Dorobanțu]
02. Brazdă Dă Foc [Remix by Silent Strike]
03. Schimnicește [Remix by Tibor Kati & Ionuț Cârja]
04. Baciu Moșneag [Remix by Adrian "Oq" Neagoe & Tragacanth]

Disc III[Limited Edition bonus][DVD]
01. Zi [Album short film]
02. Tul-ni-că-rînd [Visual]
03. Stanciu Gruiul [Visual]


One of the unquestionable masterpieces of Romanian black metal, and indeed black metal as a whole, would have to be Negură Bunget's OM. As things would turn out for the band however, not long after crafting this masterpiece, some of the chief architects of its sound would depart, leaving the group's future murky and uncertain. After several attempts to regain some momentum and craft a capable new identity for themselves, it seems as though Negură Bunget are finally doing so with ZI.

WARNING: If you're expecting OM 2.0 out of this album, you can probably go ahead and stop reading right here.
Are they gone now? Okay, good.


Since the departure of Edmond Karban and Christian Popescu that considerably undermined the songwriting abilities of the band, Negură Bunget have been exploring new musical dimensions in an attempt to somewhat redefine themselves. The biggest challenge seems to have be balancing the folk and black metal aspects of the band's music. On 2015's Tau, the folk seemed to dominate the black metal, leaving a wanting for more intensity, and the not-too-shabby predecessor, Vîrstele Pămîntului, although an all around better release in my book, did much of the same.

Suddenly this year, however, ZI appears to have found the happy medium, or at the very least represents Negură Bunget's closest approach to it post-OM. Here the band really seem to manage to make their music beautiful and epic, yet also aurally intense and heavy once again, as was lacking on the somewhat unimpressive Tau and the more relaxed Vîrstele Pămîntului. "Baciu Mosneag" is truly a shining example, almost Enslaved-like in a way: while blasts and some crunchy riffs tear into you, sublime chants, melodic guitars, and the usual folk instrumentation embellish the mood underneath, for the best fusion of the two approaches that Negură Bunget have achieved in a while. The music here is still firmly inclined more towards folk than towards metal, but the latter simply feels much better infused with the former than previously.

It may have taken a while to say so, but with ZI Negură Bunget have solidly grounded themselves in a new form. This album is certainly not OM. But in many ways it doesn't feel as though it even needs to be, for not only is it often better for bands to explore new roads over trying to reproduce watershed releases, but here Negură Bunget manage to do so while still making their music serene, hard hitting, and even quite memorable at some points. Clearly some of the "trial and error" approaches on the band's previous two efforts have paid off here for a much better mix of sounds and mood. ZI is an album that has, quite simply, reinvigorated my interest in Negură Bunget, and it feels wonderful to say that I'm greatly anticipating what they do from here.

Those Romanian forests are calling again. Enter.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 13.11.2016 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments

Comments: 14   Visited by: 263 users
13.11.2016 - 01:01
Bad English
Masterchief
I disagree, tried thins one I did not liked, Like I told after old BM days seems you need to be Romanian to get this band .... its not Vazduh
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13.11.2016 - 01:04
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Bad English on 13.11.2016 at 01:01

After old BM days seems you need to be Romanian to get this band

Surely not only the inhabitants of a particular country can come to enjoy the traditional sounds and instrumentation of that country
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This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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13.11.2016 - 12:47
EthicaOdini85
I am from Romania and I am telling the absolute truth: after the main vocalist along with the guitar players (bass + guitar), sincer they've left the band, Negura Bunget is a dead.
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13.11.2016 - 12:53
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by EthicaOdini85 on 13.11.2016 at 12:47

I am from Romania and I am telling the absolute truth: after the main vocalist along with the guitar players (bass + guitar), sincer they've left the band, Negura Bunget is a dead.

I would say that they rather feel like a different band.
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Is it future of is it past?
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13.11.2016 - 15:20
Alien1988
Written by EthicaOdini85 on 13.11.2016 at 12:47

I am from Romania and I am telling the absolute truth: after the main vocalist along with the guitar players (bass + guitar), sincer they've left the band, Negura Bunget is a dead.

I have to agree, I saw old Negura live once, the new Negura twice and the difference is huge. Dordeduh and Transceatla is way better nowadays than this...
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13.11.2016 - 16:18
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Alien1988 on 13.11.2016 at 15:20

I have to agree, I saw old Negura live once, the new Negura twice and the difference is huge. Dordeduh and Transceatla is way better nowadays than this...

Of course the difference is going to be huge, you only have one founding member of the band left. Restructuring a band after so many leave though takes a lot of work, and whether people say that he just should've given up and called it quits or not, I at least respect the commitment to keeping things alive, and the results that've come forth I guess I'm just liking a little more so than others. By the way, I would also listen to things like Dordeduh, Transceatla, and Sunset In The 12th House over this, not to say new Negura isn't still enjoyable though
----
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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15.11.2016 - 00:59
ManiacBlasphemer
Black Knight
I think Negura's attempt to compose music that could stand up to the classics is commendable. But lets face it, they've failed. Varstele Pamantului has been the last notable effort. Negru comes of as an easy-going guy, but I suspect some shrewdness behind him since not one but two line-ups imploded with only him as main survivor. Dordeduh does much better music since the guitarist was the heart of the band and the main composer. Whether in Dordeduh, Sunset in the 12th House or Transceatl, he has proven to be the real musician. And the most efficient one.
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15.11.2016 - 01:05
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by ManiacBlasphemer on 15.11.2016 at 00:59

I think Negura's attempt to compose music that could stand up to the classics is commendable. But lets face it, they've failed

I don't think that's exactly the point, or at least I don't see that as being what the band is trying to do right now. It's just a matter of creating a new sound, not one that can live up to classics like N Crugu Bradului and OM. That's not going to happen, and I think Negru knows it. What can happen though is the creation of a new sound that, sure, might not be as amazing as some of the older material, but can still stand on its own two feet and get the job done. That's what I think is going on here
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This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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16.11.2016 - 16:33
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 15.11.2016 at 01:05

Written by ManiacBlasphemer on 15.11.2016 at 00:59

I think Negura's attempt to compose music that could stand up to the classics is commendable. But lets face it, they've failed

I don't think that's exactly the point, or at least I don't see that as being what the band is trying to do right now. It's just a matter of creating a new sound, not one that can live up to classics like N Crugu Bradului and OM. That's not going to happen, and I think Negru knows it. What can happen though is the creation of a new sound that, sure, might not be as amazing as some of the older material, but can still stand on its own two feet and get the job done. That's what I think is going on here


What would rather be commendable is the decision to keep the Negura Bunget name. As far as I understand, the band was supposed to break up in 2010, with the two going into Dordeduh and Negru going into Din Brad, but Negru decided to keep the name and some of the live musicians. That lineup also imploded. It seems that this one is a lot more stable. Beeing somewhat close to the band, Negru does come of as very band-oriented and is a lot less salty about the breakup than Dordeduh are, which is understandable. What NB has released since 2010 is quite good, but it doesn't do the name justice.
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Is it future of is it past?
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16.11.2016 - 18:47
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by RaduP on 16.11.2016 at 16:33

What would rather be commendable is the decision to keep the Negura Bunget name. As far as I understand, the band was supposed to break up in 2010, with the two going into Dordeduh and Negru going into Din Brad, but Negru decided to keep the name and some of the live musicians. That lineup also imploded. It seems that this one is a lot more stable. Beeing somewhat close to the band, Negru does come of as very band-oriented and is a lot less salty about the breakup than Dordeduh are, which is understandable. What NB has released since 2010 is quite good, but it doesn't do the name justice.

It's a little strange to hear you say that about how each party took the breakup, as the impression I've gotten (augmented by fan comments) is that the Dordeduh guys are the chill ones and that it's Negru who was salty about not calling it quits, wanting to continue the band when it was really dead, etc. But I'll take your word for it, most of those comments are probably just peoples' interpretations anyway, not reflecting any direct comments from the musicians themselves
----
This is the water, and this is the well
Drink full and descend
The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within
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16.11.2016 - 19:49
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 16.11.2016 at 18:47

Written by RaduP on 16.11.2016 at 16:33

What would rather be commendable is the decision to keep the Negura Bunget name. As far as I understand, the band was supposed to break up in 2010, with the two going into Dordeduh and Negru going into Din Brad, but Negru decided to keep the name and some of the live musicians. That lineup also imploded. It seems that this one is a lot more stable. Beeing somewhat close to the band, Negru does come of as very band-oriented and is a lot less salty about the breakup than Dordeduh are, which is understandable. What NB has released since 2010 is quite good, but it doesn't do the name justice.

It's a little strange to hear you say that about how each party took the breakup, as the impression I've gotten (augmented by fan comments) is that the Dordeduh guys are the chill ones and that it's Negru who was salty about not calling it quits, wanting to continue the band when it was really dead, etc. But I'll take your word for it, most of those comments are probably just peoples' interpretations anyway, not reflecting any direct comments from the musicians themselves

Dordeduh guys are people who are really chill in general and give this intellectual and professional vibe around them. But they pretty much refuse to play (with some exceptions) old Negura Bunget songs. And when I had my old album signed, they joked about putting an X on Negru's face. It's just a joke, but you could still feel the saltiness. I'm curious how Negru will react when he'll sign it too and see these guys' signatures there already.
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Is it future of is it past?
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16.11.2016 - 20:53
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Written by RaduP on 16.11.2016 at 19:49

When I had my old album signed, they joked about putting an X on Negru's face. It's just a joke, but you could still feel the saltiness.

Dude.. You don't simply post these kinds of gossip online...
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2016
2017
2018
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17.11.2016 - 00:21
ManiacBlasphemer
Black Knight
Written by RaduP on 16.11.2016 at 19:49

Dordeduh guys are people who are really chill in general and give this intellectual and professional vibe around them. But they pretty much refuse to play (with some exceptions) old Negura Bunget songs. And when I had my old album signed, they joked about putting an X on Negru's face. It's just a joke, but you could still feel the saltiness. I'm curious how Negru will react when he'll sign it too and see these guys' signatures there already.


Maybe Negru is better at hiding his saltiness. After all, most Negura fans seem to agree that the band's driving force was not him, but the guys that left in 2010. This usually inflates egos. Also, 2 line-ups imploding in a couple of years means that something is definitely wrong with the band. I remember Stefan Zaharescu (Chakravartin) saying that the band is directionless and has no future when he decided to leave it in 2013 alongside all the other members except Negru. Something is really amiss. Negru gives the impression of an easy-going guy. Way too easy-going if you ask me. However he may be a rather shrewd character behind the easy-going facade. I'm sure he decided to continue with the band as it was since OM pretty much established a name on the international scene for Negura. It gave it the impulse necessary to be recognized internationally, allowing it to not stay cooped up in the local scene like so many of the Romanian metal bands. Think about it, how many Romanian metal bands made a name for thenselves on the international scene before Negura did in 2007? None. Only since then some others got some more exposure, but very limited.
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17.11.2016 - 10:48
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Karlabos on 16.11.2016 at 20:53

Written by RaduP on 16.11.2016 at 19:49

When I had my old album signed, they joked about putting an X on Negru's face. It's just a joke, but you could still feel the saltiness.

Dude.. You don't simply post these kinds of gossip online...

Whoops
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Is it future of is it past?
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