Negură Bunget - Poartă De Dincolo review

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Band: Negură Bunget
Album: Poartă De Dincolo
Release date: April 2011

01. Hotar
02. La Marginea Lumii
03. Frig În Oase
04. Poartã De Dincolo

Exactly, for how long are we, fans, going to grieve the departure of Hupogrammos and Sol Faur, extol Dordeduh and heap scorn upon Negură Bunget? Shouldn't we just succumb to the rift, embrace the lineup shift and thank our lucky stars for having now, not only one, but two unique atmospheric black metal virtuosos? Why can't we acknowledge that the reason their follow-ups pale in comparison to Om has nothing to do with the falling-out or the lineup change and it could simply be because the latter is nothing short of a matchless masterpiece? Isn't it maybe time to start giving Negru the recognition he truly deserves for keeping the "original" Negură Bunget sound alive through Măiestrit, Vîrstele Pămîntului and now Poartă De Dincolo?

Maybe you should think about all those questions before stepping into the band's fifth EP and last through Code666; because whether you like it or not, you're in for yet another promising treat from the Romanian legend. I'm talking about that sound that made most of us fall in love with them in the first place - that earthen, archaic, ethereal aura that encircles the listener's senses and throws him onto bitter, deserted, cold lands amidst Transylvania's winter solstice. Rejoice oh true Negură Bunget fans, for Poartă De Dincolo is no different to its predecessors!

The sound is roughly thick, coarse, constantly oscillating between pure dark ambient and experimental black. It would've been too dull if it wasn't for the occasional ascents of olden instruments (dulcimer, panpipe, tulnican, xylophone, and kaval) that cloak it in a spooky, yet entrancing atmospheric bone-chilling folk. The guitars saunter between low-tuned doom-laden cleans and progressive-ish mid-tempos shreds; an approach vividly present throughout the band's entire discography. The production may sound quite "disheveled" to some of you but it does, in a pleasant way, give this "medieval", muddy scent to the overall sound, or in other words, reveal the pure state of Negură Bunget's sound. Apparently, Code666 did a great job by not doing "anything". However, it does eclipse the bass due to high distortion, and as a result, the instrumentation becomes unbalanced.

I'm not going to lie to you, this record isn't for everybody. Only the true, ardent fans of the Romanian outfit shall find it a huge step forward. Not anywhere near Om, not by any stretch, but it will eventually filter out their audience . Those who listen to them just to look cool, out! Those who listen to them just because they are relatively unknown, out! Those who pretend to listen to them just to bash them for expanding their musical boundaries, out! So if you ask me, this is the best thing they have done in recent years - purifying their fanbase.

Written by Mindheist | 21.03.2012


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This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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