Negura Bunget: Maiestrit

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Negura Bunget: Maiestrit
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Negura Bunget: Maiestrit
Atmospheric Black Metal, Progressive Folk
Lupus Lounge, Prophecy Productions
March 15th, 2010
Release length: 1:15:25
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Negura Bunget is a huge breath of fresh air for individuals looking for solid, well done Black Metal that isn’t generic, bland, repetitive, or any of the stereotypes that plenty of bands in this style have seemed to embrace anymore. Instead, the band continues to pump out atmospheric rich Black Metal with plenty of musical change ups to keep the listener happy, and Maiestrit is no exception. This fantastic album is just non-stop metal that comes at you with great impact to create a chaotic sound that isn’t composed solely of blast beats and other current gimmicks in this style’s field. Instead, the band incorporates a slight Folk influence to the mix that, with the intensity and almost experimental sound that seems to be refined past an experimental phase, works well with the madness that the band produces for this album. And the most interesting part of this release is that the album is a “reimagining” of the band’s earlier work, Maiastru Sfetnic. While many in the metal world frown in this sort of thing, and many bands have lost much respect from such acts, this seems to have, instead, made an already great album even stronger.

When you look at Maiestrit as a whole, you will find that much of the album seems to be completely different with only various pieces of the band’s earlier work still present. The music on this release feels much more epic in a sense, such as with the track “A-vint in Abis” which really pushes the material through the keyboards, but not enough to completely overpower the release. The guitars still play a major roll in this track, as well as the rest of the album. This song truly defines the entire album as it’s one of the most engrossing tracks off the album, enveloping you with it’s ominous sound that is just overwhelming, but in a good way, on my different levels, from complexity to direction and even into the stellar production of the material being not too polished and having enough of a standard recording quality so that it doesn’t lose any of the mighty bite it has. In addition, while the original tracks had long lengths too and never really got dull to begin with, there’s just so much power that is packed into these tracks that many of the longer songs, such as “Plecaciunea Mortii” and “ÃŽn-zvîcnirea Apusului” really have you sitting at the edge of your seat more then you would have before with the intensity and more matured compositions the band bring to this reawakening.

While this album isn’t actually a new album, though given how different it is compared to Maiastru Sfetnic musically, this release does give the listener two new songs that, once again, a bit of a reimagining of the earlier material. This version of Maiestrit also features two acoustic versions of the tracks “A-vînt în Abis” and “Plecaciunea Mortii”. These two additional tracks are more for the lovers of ambience then anything. These songs, clearly, don’t have the intensity and bite that the regular versions on this album have since they are just acoustics, and also lack vocals on top of it. These two are interesting to hear, and really are nice tracks that sometimes have guitars that can only be described as beautiful, creating an atmosphere that is practically at the other end of the spectrum. While these tracks are good for what they are, after a few listens they will become rather stale and leave you going back to the original reimagined six tracks on this release.

The only setback to this entire release would be the vocal level, but it’s not as bad as you would think. The vocals on this release are still audible, but sometimes when the music really piles on with keyboards and other Progressive or Folk elements appear, the vocals can sometimes be drowned out moreso and take a bit of a backseat to the rest of the album. At first, with “Vremea Locului Sortit”, you won’t even know the vocalist is even singing unless you pay close enough attention, so on your first time through this album, you’ll probably just shrug off this album and call it poorly produced or uninspired due to it. However, when you hit “ÃŽn-zvîcnirea Apusului”, everything starts to come together.

Negura Bunget have done the right thing when it comes to taking an album and re-recording it. While many bands out there just want it to sound better and more modern, this band has taken a good album, and amped it up to reflect where the band currently is musically, as well as incorporate the maturity and growth the band has gone through since the original Maiastru Sfetnic was released. If you have yet to discover this band, then now is the time to pick up this terrific album and familiarize yourself with them, especially since the band has another album due out this month [March, 2010] as well, and will act as the perfect stepping stone to realize the potential from this original line-up, as well as the upcoming release with the newer one.

01. Vremea Lucului Sortit – 7:38
02. ÃŽn-zvîcnirea Apusului – 12:03
03. A-v̨nt ̨n Abis Р6:14
04. Al Locului – 10:26
05. Bruiestru – 9:45
06. Plecaciunea Mortii – 11:12
07. A-v̨nt ̨n Abis (Acoustic Version) Р8:22
08. Plecaciunea Mortii (Acoustic Version) – 9:45
Overall Score: 8.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Lupus Lounge via Prophecy Productions.