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Review: Negura Bunget - Maiestrit
Negura Bunget

Label: Prophecy Productions
Year released: 2010
Duration: 75:25
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: April 6, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.09/5 (81.74%) (23 Votes)

Negura Bunget are a band that gets a lot of reverential press, but I have admittedly never been much of a fan. I reviewed their 2002 album 'n Crugu Bradului and found it interesting but unmemorable. I tried to listen to Om back in 2006 but couldn't get into it at all. Now we have the immense effort of Maiestrit, which is a massive re-recording of their 2000 opus Maiastru Sfetnic with the songs obviously undergoing serious rearrangement to fit them into the epic style the band has grown into since then.

The sound of this outfit is difficult to describe, as there is a lot to it. Comparisons could be made to Below the Lights-era Enslaved, but only in places. Negura Bunget use enormous, sweeping guitar melodies that borrow equally from Black Metal and post-rock. In places they employ annoying stop-and-go guitar patterns that are like having a prog wanker shit on your face, but thankfully they do very little of that, so when it comes in at the beginning of the album, just endure it. Things get good farther in with the chaotic, thundering riffs of songs like În-zvîcnirea apusului and Al locului. As ever, the Romanian song titles and lyrics make this totally incomprehensible to me, but then the dry rasped vocals would be incomprehensible anyway, so that doesn't really impede the music at all.

In places this is arresting, powerful, and really innovative, but such moments are always tempered by the parts that are boring, repetitive, and just go on for too damned long. At 75 minutes this album's running time is more like a prison sentence. It would be a manageable length (and far stronger for it) if the two acoustic reworkings were left off, as these are pretty much unlistenably bad no matter how you try and look at it. It does no one any favors to take a solid song and rework it as a flannel-wrapped hippie piece of acoustic strummed shit. This album has some really good parts, but they are at about a 3:1 ratio, and even excluding the acoustic crap that leaves about 20 minutes of this disc that are worth hearing.

More about Negura Bunget...
Review: 'n Crugu Bradului (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Maiestrit (reviewed by Nahsil)
Review: Om (reviewed by Pagan Shadow)
Review: Virstele Pamintului (reviewed by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein)
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