Negură Bunget, “ZI”. About The Man Returned To Nature (Review)

“Pământule larg, fii trunchiul meu,
fii pieptul acestei năprasnice inimi,
prefă-te-n lăcaşul furtunilor cari mă strivesc,
fii amfora eului meu îndărătnic!” L. Blaga

In the Romanian culture, the human connection with nature was always a primordial element, we have connected with these natural elements in times of need and we have returned to it like to our mother’s breast when we had nowhere to go or someone to complain about our sufferings. In twenty years of its existence, Negură Bunget was the embodiment of the Romanian gone all over the world just to talk about this nation placed somewhere in the West’s sunset. They have dropped a little of this “forgotten” like spirit into the foreigners’ hearts.

Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, claimed a long time ago that “you cannot step twice into the same stream”. We are in a constant change, the world both around us and inside us keeps changing, transforming into a new, different one. Within this process Negură Bunget has carried out its activity. The change hasn’t always been seen with the greatest eyes in Romania, so Negură Bunget has become a project with a larger opening around the world, especially after the structural changes lately. So history once again demonstrates we don’t appreciate our values only after we lose them all.

Arză-te-ar focul, pămînt,
Te-am semănat și a ieșit vînt.
Semănat-am grîu de vară,
Și-a răsărit foc șî piatră.
Semănat-am gîndurile,
Răsărit-a dor șî jele. – ‘Grădina Stelelor’

“ZI” means speech or period of time. Considering the music though, I think the meaning of speech or saying is the one that fits perfectly on the songs essence. “ZI” comes as an urge toward the human being by expressing its troubles and interior wounds. I really enjoy the structure that runs on this material, that places you in a specific mood with “Tul-ni-că-rând”; a composition with gentle, soft rhythms of toaca (wooden or metal plate used in churches) and whispers of tulnic (old instrument similar to horn). “Grădina Stelelor” keeps somehow the same note, however only for the beginning; it’s the intro that has post-rock elements nicely inserted between flute and dulcimer. Then the song totally changes, it makes you crave for the old Transylvanian metal. “Brazdă de foc” is about the most aggressive song of the album and the most complex in composition. It reminds me about the ten years ago most celebrated material, “OM”. As a black metal listener and implicitly, a Negură Bunget listener, it gives birth to a special feeling. Like old times. I mentioned earlier about the structure the album is built on, well, you can see how it slowly escalates new dimensions, song by song, trough intensity up to a point where it will appease. “Baciu Moșneag” is the top hierarchy. There are so many surprising elements at this point. “Stanciu Gruiul” comes to mark the descent, the paths that lead you towards more familiar lands, more humane; nice mood and quite a strange state of mind for a black metal composition. The road ends to “Marea cea Mare”. A song that tends to raise you up in the clouds and walk you through the stars, then hurl you into the Cosmos so you can return to your own SELF.

Current Line-up:

Gabriel “Negru” Mafa – drums, percussion, dulcimer, xylophone, horns

Tibor Kati – vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming

Adrian “Oq” Neagoe – guitars, vocals, keyboards

Petrică Ionuţescu – pipes, horns, trumpet, traditional instruments, vocals

Ovidiu Corodan – bass

Daniel Dorobanţu – visual design

“ZI” is the second part of the band’s “Transilvanian Trilogy”, which will be released on September 30 via Lupus Lounge / Prophecy Productions.

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