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A taste of things to come - 80%

bimu, March 17th, 2014

It was last autumn when Negură Bunget came to Białystok, Poland, which was an unexpected event in itself, a band of this format hardly ever visiting the city. What was even more unexpected, though, was how absolutely mindblowing the gig was. For there had been all those line-up changes, including a total replacement of all the members sans the drummer. TWICE. And despite this, or maybe rather BECAUSE of this, (and despite the depressingly low number of people who showed up) they managed to deliver truly amazing music.

They played two new songs, one in a typically black metal vein (excellent, to be included on the next full-length album), and another in the folkish direction. The latter was “Curgerea muntelui”, the first song on the EP, and it's an amazing piece of music. Without the need to resort to electric guitars it manages to sound heavy and dynamic, at the same time being extremely soothing and atmospheric, in a completely non-cheesy way. Of note is the trumpet part, performed by Petrică Ionuţescu, a really talented instrumentalist, and the steady build-up throughout the song. The other song, “Tăul fără fund” is in a similar vein, but far more ambient in nature, consisting mostly of keyboards and pipes playing a slow mournful tune. Maybe it's nothing exceptional, but the really calm, beautiful atmosphere it creates is remarkable.

In conclusion, I am totally convinced by the Negură Bunget's direction and their new line-up. The way they blend black metal and traditional elements seems (at least to me) more natural than ever (as witnessed live), and even a short EP with purely traditional/ambient music manages to be thoroughly enjoyable, so I am eagerly anticipating the new album. Not to diminish the classic line-up, or even MK II, but there is something in MK III that finally makes the band what I (subconsciously probably) have always wanted them to be.