Negura Bunget – Tău (2015)
Lupus Lounge (Prophecy Productions)
Review by Trevor Proctor
Negura Bunget has just released their seventh full length album, Tău as follow up to their acclaimed album, Vîrstele Pămîntului, which was released in 2010. Negura Bunget has never been a band to do things by half measures but with this release they have taken things to another ambitious level altogether, even by their high standards.
Just released via The Lupus Lounge (Prophecy Productions) Tău is the first instalment in the proposed Transylvanian Trilogy, a trilogy that’s aimed at transporting the listener to the heart of their homeland of Transylvania. Whilst the heart and planned concept of the remaining two albums are in place nothing has been recorded of yet but there’s plenty within Tău to keep us happy during the wait until 2016 and 2018. The main thinking behind the trilogy of albums is to satiate fans’ desire to learn more about Transylvanian mystique and history.
Negura Bunget have always been a band that brings us some of the best, and most original, box sets – after all, there was a handmade limited box set of Vîrstele Pămîntului that came complete with Transylvanian soil. Tău is no exception and is due to be released in four formats; a cd digipak, gatefold LP, two cd and dvd with 72 page hardcover art book along with a hand carved wooden box edition which contains maple leaves and seeds from a Transylvanian forest. There are only fifty copies of the wooden box edition which are only available directly from the band. The album’s title, Tău has two meanings: firstly, it addresses man by meaning your or thy, and on the other, it means small mountain lakes which despite seeming inconspicuous, are exceptionally deep.
The vocals during Tău are noticeably heavier than with some previous releases, adopting a growled death metal sound at times but it’s no bad thing and sit perfectly within the music. As with all their previous output this album takes you on a folk infused black metal journey with a soundtrack that’s as varied as it is impressive. Fourth track, Curgerea Muntelui, is one of many standout moments during Tău – a slow starter that features the majestic sound of the Transylvanian hunting horn along with traditional chants and various other wind instruments adding to the overall authentic feel of the album. Track six, Împodobeala Timpului, is definitely another highlight – a very traditional track that’s jaunty and upbeat in its approach, taking off with music reminiscent of Gogo Bordello.
Admittedly, on first listen, there was an element of “what the fuck” going through my head but subsequent listens revealed this track to be the almighty stomper it becomes. It’s a track that brings to mind drunken dances round a campfire and is one of the most unique yet catchiest tracks they have ever written – I defy you to listen to this and not smile from ear to ear. Jaunty tempo, whistles, trumpets, brilliant female vocals and more of those death metal growls I’d mentioned are but a few of the ingredients in this quirky track. Negura Bunget bring us a number of highlights and unique moments but this is a magical, folk-infused journey you’re best embarking on yourself, rest assured you’ll be impressed and spellbound with its every turn.
Lupus Lounge has further strengthened their release roster with this album and whilst Tău may be one of their heaviest recent releases it still holds the usual charm and variation in sound that we’ve come to expect, and love, from Negura Bunget. A magnificent piece of music - it’ll be interesting to hear how they follow this, but that’s a debate for another time. In the meantime take the time to revel in the beauty that is Tău.
1 - Nămetenie
2 - Izbucul Galbenei
3 - La Hotaru Cu Cinci Culmi
4 - Curgerea Muntelui
5 - Tărîm vîlhovnicesc
6 - Împodobeala timpului
7 - Picur Viu Foc
8 - Schimnicește
Negura Bunget's Tău is released by Lupus Lounge (Prophecy Productions) and is available now.