NEGURĂ BUNGET has revealed an edited version of the amazing track ‘Tinerețe Fără Bătrânețe’ (“Youth without Age”) as the second spellbinding single taken from the Romanian black metal pioneers’ final album “Zău” (“Old God”). This release will not only constitute the band’s swansong, but it will also provide the conclusion of the “Transylvanian trilogy” as envisioned by the late Gabriel “Negru” Mafa. “Zău” has been slated for release on November 26.

“Zău” is the legacy of drummer and mastermind Gabriel “Negru” Mafa, who tragically passed far too early at the age of 42 years on March 21, 2017. This album has been completed and respectfully created upon Negru’s original drum-track recordings by the last active line-up of NEGURĂ BUNGET.


The title of ‘Tinerețe Fără Bătrânețe’, which translated into English means ‘Youth without Age’ is inspired by a tale of Petre Ispirescu. He was an important editor and folklorist, who gathered and published Romanian folk tales in the 19th century and thus played an important part in the preservation of our heritage. His recounting of the story ‘Tinerețe fără bătrânețe și viață fără de moarte’ (‘Youth without Age and Life without Death’), which provided Negru’s main inspiration for this song, revolves around the themes of the human condition, immortality, and death. The melancholic reed instrument at the opening of the track is actually an Armenian duduk.

explains singer Tibor Kati

Formed in the city of Timișoara in the Banat region of Western Romania in 1995 by Negru and guitarist, vocalist, and keyboard player Edmond‘ Hupagrammos’ Karban, NEGURĂ BUNGET‘s more traditional black metal roots already showed some hints of the rich, sensory experience that would follow. Initially released on cassette, the 1996 debut, “Zîrnindu-să” was a whorl of Negru’s tumbling, cymbal-crash percussion, Hupagrammos’ part feral, part awe-stricken vocals, and his scrabbling, tremolo-picked riffs.

NEGURĂ BUNGET‘s band name is derived from ancient Romanian meaning a “dark, misty forest”, and it proved to be the defining legacy for 2002’s “‘n crugu bradului” – an album that became the bridge between the band’s orthodoxy – shedding past and unchartered territory into which they would head next. The extended lengths of the tracks offered up tantalising new vistas to explore. The oscillating drones, faint tinkling of bells, and metronomic peals of tremolo guitar suggested transformation was afoot.

With the final chapter of the “Transylvanian trilogy”, NEGURĂ BUNGET takes several steps back into blacker and harsher dimensions. Yet “Zău” is not losing sight of what became to define the band over the course of their development. As the whirling hammered introduction of the final track ‘Toacă Din Cer’ calling to prayer makes abundantly clear, “Zău” is in fact gathering all the elements that have ever served to define this band. With all the strands finally coming together, the resulting music is so much more than just a summary of its parts. “Zău” is NEGURĂ BUNGET‘s lasting testament and legacy and a fitting tribute to Gabriel “Negru” Mafa, R.I.P., who will live on forever in this music.

[The text above contains edited excerpts from an in-depth essay written by eminent UK journalist Jonathan Selzer that is fully printed in the artbook edition of “Zău”.] 

1. Brad
2. Iarba Fiarelor
3. Obrăzar
4. Tinerețe Fără Bătrânețe
5. Toacă Din Cer

Gabriel “Negru” Mafa – drums, percussion
Tibor Kati – vocals
Adrian “OQ” Neagoe – guitars, keyboards
Petrică Ionuţescu – kaval (flute), nai (pan flute), tulnic (alphorn), duduk

Guest musicians
Manuela Marchiș– vocals on ‘Brad’

Release date: November 26, 2021. Pre-order, HERE.

Photo: (c) Daniel Dorobanţu