With the bands 22nd October show at London’s Boston Music rooms quickly approaching, its really easy to feel excited for the event especially with the release of their forthcoming album ‘Zi’ which we must have listened to a dozen times the first day we were lucky to receive a copy. Although the show will be a UK exclusive two hour set in celebration of the 10th anniversary of their album OM! We can’t help but hope for some of these new songs to be played live
The new album, Zi (English for 'Day' or 'Say'), is the second part of the group's ambitious Transylvanian Trilogy, released on the heels of 2015's celebrated album, TĂU (English for 'Your' or 'Thy'), a record accurately hailed as "earthshaking" as it focused on unique native, natural landscapes and the mystique, legends, lore and meanings behind them.
‘Zi’ Starts off with six-minute opener entitled 'Ul Ni Ca Rind' consisting of some interesting sounds that paint a picture in the listener’s head tribesman around a fire. There are horns, percussion and cult like chants that build into a crescendo where the true intro to the album begins with the signature Negura Bunget sound that really jumpstarts the whole journey.
'Gradina Stelelor', the albums second, a whopping eight minutes continues our journey with a moment of calm before the storm, clean guitars, pipes and chimes are a deceptive as the ferocity of Negura Bunget, the one we all know and love kicks in for the first time on the album. There are blast beats and growling vocals before the traditional Black Metal beat kicks in. There are shades of Enslaved as well as early Amon Amarth within the track, fans of both will be more than happy at this point.
The track 'Brazda Da Foc', continues in the same way as the previous. Atmospheric sounds fill the the air as this time a slower drum beat kicks in. Its easy to imagine live with plenty of low lights and plenty of smoke. Its easy to be pulled in at this point. Its easy to see that whilst the band are going for their tried and tested method of song writing, it’s a method that is easy to enjoy as a work of art. A lot of bands try very hard to be as brutal as they possibly can within the Black Metal genre but it takes imagination and creativity to be able to paint images within one’s head through music as well as Negura Bunget do. Five minutes into this track, the sound of pipes, blast beats and terrifying vocals all within a wall of sound is just too good.
Compared to how we got this far into our journey, 'Stanciu Gruiul' comes out of nowhere with its piano and strings opening section that sounds a lot happier than everything before. As the song evolves its clear that the band went a different way with this track. It almost feels like a song in celebration of a victory right before we are back into the thick of it with the album closing song ''Marea Cea Mare' which in our opinion chronicles the album in an almost perfect way. If you were to hear one thing to sum this album up, it would be this track. Its full of moments of immense beauty, moments of darkness and at times sounds full of grief. A perfect end to what is another successful release by our favourite Romanian Black Metal band.
‘Zi Is released on September 30th
Negura Bunget play the Boston Music Rooms on October 22nd 2016. Tickets can be purchased here