In the past NEGURA BUNGET have been described as wolf in sheep skin, which was quite fitting and up to a certain point also matches “Om”, just that while hunting down the sheep the Romanians seem to have hit one or two with some sort of a chemical imbalance, because the trio has made a quite big step forward with its fourth album, discovering new sound scapes, which will take care of any purist from the get go.
Code666 in general are known for not caring much about mainstream or altogether easily accessible stuff and NEGURA BUNGET’s latest is no exception to that rule, because they take their already not very catchy Black Metal and pushing the envelope further, letting the style borders blur.
Once you have survived the long, dark and desperate intro "Ceasuri Rele", you will dive deep into the world of NEGURA BUNGET with "Tesarul De Lumini", where roughly the unusual Black Metal of older NEGURA BUNGET meets the bleak soundscapes of CULT OF LUNA, the melancholy of KATATONIA and the spheric elements of PINK FLOYD (no joke) and form their very own mix, where they cite the mentioned bands as much as they distance themselves, while pulling the listener into an oppressing, complex and definitely not colourful landscape, surrounded by swathes of fog and the milky sun trying to pierce the grey, while wandering across partly rocky, partly swampy terrain, trying not to give in to the urge to just lay down and wait for the end.
"Primul Om" is a dark instrumental, which unites the hope of the sun and the desolate mood of the fog, after which "Cunoasterea Tacuta" also incorporates a few cleanly sung passages, an incredibly intense song, which is ever changing like a slowly moving lake and still keeps its own essence in the centre. It does not take long to fully grasp that NEGURA BUNGET are not a band that you can just listen to in the background or that is accessible at first listen, "Dedesuptul" is the unmistakable guarantor for this, as it takes on almost avantgardistic suits and is pretty hard to digest. "De Piatra" is maybe closest to their past, even though it, too, is far away from standardized Black Metal...
Besides the opener “Tesarul De Lumini“ "Cel Din Umra Vis" is the maybe best example for the Romanians’ sound anno 2006, with extensive instrumental passages, Black Metal elements, spheric parts and more. The production is clear and powerful, too, but without turning sterile, no, the sound has character and life and perfectly fits in with the compositions.
"Om" is not just far more than Black Metal, it is more than just an album, it’s a spiritual expression by the creators and you have to be willing to fully immerse into this CD to fully experience it instead of just listening. A big epos, which sends the mainstream into the dust.
(Online October 26, 2006)