Bucovina - Septentrion review




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Reviewer:
6.7

48 users:
8.12
Band: Bucovina
Album: Septentrion
Release date: December 2018


01. Către Tara De Sus
02. Septentrion
03. Din Negru (In Mai Negru)
04. Aşteaptă-Mă Dincolo (De Moarte)
05. Noapţea Nimanui
06. Stele Călăuză
07. Făurar De Vise
08. De Cremene
09. Nestrămutat II
10. Vinterdøden [bonus]


It took three years, but at last we have another review of a Romanian band that Radu didn't write. Hey, maybe this time I won't sound like an idiot.

Bucovina's interpretation of folk metal relies on implicit more than explicit elements much of the time, being based firmly in conventional heavy/power and veering into black metal in its harshest moments. For this reason - and for the strength of Bucovina's vocal harmonies - I compared them to Heidevolk in my review of Nestrămutat, and I hear in Septentrion a similar evolution to what the Dutch sextet underwent earlier in 2018: where Nestrămutat could be upbeat in a bracing, cathartic sense, Septentrion retreats into a melancholy malaise. Its edges are dulled and tarnished, lacking the bold vocal lines and clean production that made previously made Bucovina deserving of Romania's metal throne in the wake of Negură Bunget's dissolution.

After a very Forefather-esque medieval synth introduction, Septentrion enters with a title track that oscillates between similarly portentous extremity and charmless acoustic/clean verses. The rest of the album follows in this fashion; at its blackest, Septentrion is quite listenable, but there's some lustre, some spark of energy really missing from the writing here. It's harder to dig into Septentrion than any of the band's previous releases; the dirtier sound verges on languid, and even when the tempo begins to blast, the guitar leads and vocal lines sitting on top don't seem to do much more than sit. The grey feeling of the production and performances sounds almost like a botched attempt to capture a blacker grassroots feeling, but Sub Stele was much more engaging and energetic than this. Just the right twist of guitar feedback and belched growl occasionally draws The Meads Of Asphodel to my mind - but for the Meads, emptiness is the goal. On Septentrion, emptiness is a side effect.

All is not lost, though; there are a few tracks, like "Din Negru (In Mai Negru)" and "Aşteaptă-Mă Dincolo (De Moarte)," that take this bleakness to task and cut something good out of it. This album is far from a complete failure on Bucovina's part, and I suspect that most tracks are just a few tweaks away from being great singles; just some more energy in the performances and some more polish on the production would do this album good. And it seems possible to love Septentrion, given enough time and attention; after all, I found the aforementioned recent Heidevolk album nigh unlistenable at first and I've warmed to it quite a bit over time. I'm not sure I want to devote that kind of effort again, but I still wouldn't be surprised to find myself returning to Septentrion in the future despite its failings.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Production: 6


 



Written on 15.02.2019 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 10   Visited by: 78 users
15.02.2019 - 09:26
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Damn SSUS
Back at it again with the reviews with ratings
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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15.02.2019 - 11:28
Bad English
Masterchief
Maybe radu dont like that band hehehe, and sometimes he writes revievs to bad bands and weird ones... like accept sings generation clash, trOO
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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15.02.2019 - 14:41
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by RaduP on 15.02.2019 at 09:26

Damn SSUS
Back at it again with the reviews with ratings

If it makes you feel better, I've realized that abandoning the ratings is often the superior choice. In fact, I kind of wish I'd started doing it ages ago, because a lot of my reviews would have gone down much less poorly and would have aged a lot better.
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Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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15.02.2019 - 16:41
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by ScreamingSteelUS on 15.02.2019 at 14:41

Written by RaduP on 15.02.2019 at 09:26

Damn SSUS
Back at it again with the reviews with ratings

If it makes you feel better, I've realized that abandoning the ratings is often the superior choice. In fact, I kind of wish I'd started doing it ages ago, because a lot of my reviews would have gone down much less poorly and would have aged a lot better.

I beg you to not abandon the ratings.

A review without a rating is oftentimes just a watered down opinion and if your reader is lucky and patient, he will get your point of view at the very end of it.
But if you provide ratings, you are forced to focus on your argumentation: 'Why is it that good/bad?' I can just talk for me, but that's exactly what I want to know reading reviews.
I experienced that reviews with ratings are the most reader-friendly alternative, even if it's just the additional service of a quick and superficial general impression of an album. Besides, ratings rise curiosity whereas N/A evokes nothing but the idea that something of importance is missing.

My conclusion: if you have a strong opinion, share your ideas and arguments by rating an album. But if you happen to have no opinion or if you fear reactions of the 'Why did you rate it that high/low?' crowd you shouldn't even bother writing reviews.

Don't get me wrong, I read almost every review and I appreciate all of them.
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signatures = SPAM
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15.02.2019 - 17:13
MetalManic
Where Owls Know My Name
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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15.02.2019 - 19:04
metalbrat
""and I suspect that most tracks are just a few tweaks away from being great singles; just some more energy in the performances and some more polish on the production would do this album good "". Just few tweaks....you should have rated them at least 8. The album deserves it.
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15.02.2019 - 19:13
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by metalbrat on 15.02.2019 at 19:04

""and I suspect that most tracks are just a few tweaks away from being great singles; just some more energy in the performances and some more polish on the production would do this album good "". Just few tweaks....you should have rated them at least 8. The album deserves it.

No Bucovina album deserves a rating that high and especially not this one
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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16.02.2019 - 15:57
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Starvynth on 15.02.2019 at 16:41

I beg you to not abandon the ratings.

A review without a rating is oftentimes just a watered down opinion and if your reader is lucky and patient, he will get your point of view at the very end of it.
But if you provide ratings, you are forced to focus on your argumentation: 'Why is it that good/bad?' I can just talk for me, but that's exactly what I want to know reading reviews.
I experienced that reviews with ratings are the most reader-friendly alternative, even if it's just the additional service of a quick and superficial general impression of an album. Besides, ratings rise curiosity whereas N/A evokes nothing but the idea that something of importance is missing.

My conclusion: if you have a strong opinion, share your ideas and arguments by rating an album. But if you happen to have no opinion or if you fear reactions of the 'Why did you rate it that high/low?' crowd you shouldn't even bother writing reviews.

Don't get me wrong, I read almost every review and I appreciate all of them.

To make my point about ratingless reviews, I will instead let this clip do it for me
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
Loading...
16.02.2019 - 21:32
Starvynth
i c deaf people
Written by RaduP on 16.02.2019 at 15:57

To make my point about ratingless reviews, I will instead let this clip do it for me


I get your point.
However, I talked about reviews. My intention was not to address people who consider their work to be poetry.
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signatures = SPAM
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16.02.2019 - 23:00
nikarg
Old Nick


I've opened a thread here to talk about rating albums in reviews.
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