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Bucium's long-awaited first release - 80%

Flocky, October 23rd, 2009

Even though this album was released not more than a year ago, the band had been trying to release it ever since 2006. Most of the material had been ready at that time and more was to be expected than what was received.

What we have here is a pretty good piece of what might be called "folk metal", but it is a very volatile term in reference to Bucium. If you like metal with lots and lots of violins, this is the album for you. Do not expect any extraordinary guitar work on this release. There is enough of it to make the music "metal", but it stops there. The violins are the most pregnant on this release, and the vocals also make up a big part of the music. The drumming is ok, but doesn't really stand out in any way.

A strong part of this release is constituted by the lyrics which are pretty well written. "Voievozii", or voivodes as they may be called in English were the "kings" of medieval Romanian states and this album is mainly about capturing the spirit of righteousness and great leadership some of them possessed. That is the main lyrical theme, along with a few motifs from Romanian folklore. They do manage to transpose the listener into the spirit of the times since the language used does give out a sort of archaism, but it is also quite accessible. This however will prove to be a great disadvantage for those listeners who do not know the language. The vocals too are very well executed, adding greatly to the atmosphere.

A disadvantage of the album is constituted by the fact that some of the songs are played at a higher tempo than is best suited for them. If you can manage to listen to the pre-album versions of some of the songs ("Voievozii" and "Sorbul Apelor") you will see what I mean. It is not a major imputation in the release's overall value, but the fact that the band had a lot of time to work on it makes it somewhat of a disappointment.

In conclusion, this release is a decent first step. If you like your folk metal to be more "folk" than "metal" you should definitely give it a try. And if you can also understand the Romanian language it will be an even better experience.