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OM

Negura Bunget

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Negura Bunget Om album cover
4.25 | 166 ratings | 8 reviews | 45% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1Ceasuri Rele 3:06
Țesarul De Lumini 12:48
Primul Om 4:22
Cunoașterea Tăcută 7:11
Īnarborat 6:22
Dedesuptul 6:39
Norilor 3:00
De Piatră 5:35
Cel Din Urmă Vis 10:03
Hora Soarelui 5:55
Al Doilea Om 2:03

Total playing time 67:06

Bonus DVD from 2006 SE:
1. Cunoaşterea tăcută - clip - (filmed in Retezat, Bucegi and Făgăraş Mountains)
2. Norilor - clip
3. Primul OM - slideshow
4. III - live clip (filmed in Barossel)
5. Văzduh - clip (remixed/remastered) - (filmed in Apuseni Mountains)
6. Bruiestru - live in Bucureşti, Studio Rock, May 2003
7. IIII - live in Zella Menhis, Shadow from the East Tour, April 2004
8. Wordless Knowledge - live in Munchen, OM Tour, November 2005
9. Negura Bunget - interview, february 2006

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Edmond Karban "Hupogrammos Disciple's" / guitars, vocals, keyboards, pipes
- Cristian Popescu "Sol Faur" / guitar, keyboards
- Gabriel Mafa "Negru" / drums, percussions

With:
- Ursu / bass
- Alin Drimus / panpipe

Releases information

Artwork: Dan F. Spătaru with encoilMARK

CD Code666 ‎- CODE030 (2006, Italy)
CD+DVD Code666 ‎- CODE030 (2006, Italy) Bonus DVD with interview, slideshow, videoclips and live recordings from 2003-2005

Thanks to black velvet for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Om by Negura Bunget (2008-01-01)Om by Negura Bunget (2008-01-01)
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NEGURA BUNGET Om ratings distribution


4.25
(166 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(45%)
45%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (10%)
10%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)
8%

NEGURA BUNGET Om reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is another masterpiece in the progressive-black-metal subgenre.

It's amazing that a genre that started with so low standards for musicianship (black metal) has spurred a sub-genre of such an outstanding level of quality. Norwegian black metal was meant to be the most painful experience for the ear, with its high-guttural vocals, its lightning-fast tremolo picking, its deliberately-atrocious recordings, its inhuman blast beats and the super-low tuning of the instruments. But somehow there were a few bands that managed to shine through the chaos, like IMMORTAL or EMPEROR. And it's from the seed of this bands that other musicians decided to build a whole new thing around the basic ideas of the classics of the genre. Eventually, ENSLAVED evolved into a great progressive band, Ihsahn from EMPEROR started two side projects, both of high progressive content. Finally, the influence has stopped being exclusively from Norway, and Romania has given us one of the most daring yet most true-to-roots progressive black metal bands around: NEGURA BUNGET.

If I said in my review of ENSLAVED's "Isa" that said album was much more black than IHSANH's "The Anniversary", now I have to say the same about "Om", the latest opus from NEGURA BUNGET. We have a little more fast sections here, we get a lot more growling vocals (probably 80% of the disc), and, to add to the black flavor, the recording is rawer, less-polished than in either of the other bands' reviewed records. The sound of "Om" at times borders on the unintelligible, very much in the true spirit of traditional Norwegian black metal.

Such a recording would be detrimental in other kinds of music but here, somehow, it works. When NEGURA BUNGET is not blasting away with massive violence, they build enormous walls of sound with texture after texture, using keyboards and instruments like the panpipe to create a truly depressive, dark, ominous atmosphere that really belongs in the most obscure areas of the mind. When the music is not fast, it is slow, very slow, moody, and very sedative. It makes one feel insecure, as the keys the band chooses and the harmonies they prefer are always very effective in producing unrest and utter lack of hope. As with ENSLAVED, but much more so here, the music has a distinct post metal sound to it. I would venture myself to say that, were it not for songs like "Inaborat", which has plenty of sections of pure black-metal evilness, this album would very perfectly fit in the same genre as recordings by AGALLOCH, NEUROSIS or PELICAN. But whereas in albums by those bands music can get a little tedious at times due to lack of variation, in "Om" the healthy diversity of tempos and moods make the experience a completely manageable one.

The individual skills of the members of the band are evident, yet never in-your-face. This is not a band that allows for unnecessary displays of virtuosity. What is more important for NEGURA BUNGET is the sound of the ensemble as a whole, as one big integral unit. One never leaves this album with a very high impression of any particular musician in the band, but one always does with an excellent impression of the art of the group. None shines here except for the band. As with most black metal outfits, the members have chosen not to put in the booklet their real names; instead, they use pseudonyms, fantastic names, probably taken from the black arts or stories of demons and witchcraft. And there's no need to know their individual names. They are one big thing. What we know is that NEGURA BUNGET plays some of the most original type of metal around.

It takes quite a few tries to get a real picture of "Om". The long songs, the instrumental-only passages full of dissonance and perverted noises, the erratic structures and the lack of catchiness don't make for an easy first listen. But after a few sessions the magic of the album starts to become apparent, till in the end it is a devastating, definitive fact.

A masterpiece of progressive-metal, I give it 4.5 stars. But to follow tradition, and as I'm sure the next listen will be even better, I round the rating up to a 5.

Get "Om". Now. And be ready to immerse yourself into a magnificent world of dark, evil music.

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Om' - Negură Bunget (81/100)

Negură Bunget-- with OM in particular-- sound completely alien to me. In all the years I've listened to them, I haven't been sure if feeling that way is due to their Romanian folk heritage, or the avant-garde angle they channel it from. Perhaps not so surprisingly, I have a lot more experience engaging with the latter. Eastern European folk hasn't been totally removed from my listening diet however; I love the mysterious folk energies that permeate the work of Drudkh and Kroda, for example, but while both share Negură Bunget's enigmatic aloofness, both were incredibly easy to appreciate by contrast. What makes OM such an uneasy experience each time I've put it on, then?

I think the challenging aspect with Negură Bunget for me is precisely because they're applying a progressive framework to a folk tradition I'm less familiar with. At least for me as a listener, it's almost like trying to write poetry in a different language I'm only half-familiar with. I'm probably overrating how "different" Negură Bunget sounds compared to a lot of Western black metal, but whatever reason the uneasy, foreign atmosphere has kept OM from connecting with me on an emotional level. It's also what's kept me coming back time and again. I may go months without hearing OM, sometimes long enough to the point where I don't remember if I like it or not. I always get the same impression: even on its own terms OM is vaguely inconsistent, but the atmosphere here is as pure and authentic as anything I've heard, irregardless of culture or context.

I think one of the greatest things about atmospheric black metal is how often it is grounded in nature. This is especially true when authentic folk instruments are brought into the mix, as it reflects the people who populate the given lands. Other than Drudkh, Negură Bunget is arguably the best at capturing a distinctly Eastern European atmosphere within black metal. Even then, there are major differences between the two bands' tones; Drudkh's atmosphere is mournful and tragic; natural, but not completely removed from human society. Negură Bunget's atmosphere sounds downright ancient by comparison, and even mystical. Although there are a few moments (like "Īnarborat" or that gorgeous chorus on "Cunoașterea Tăcută") that strike immediately on a gut level, OM's otherworldly strangeness makes it a slow grower. Anytime I put it on, it usually takes at least a couple of spins on repeat before I finally mesh with the atmospheric undercurrent.

Of all their works past and present, OM is easily the album that best balanced that authentic atavism with the weight of modern recording technology. Negură Bunget had done some excellent material on the two albums prior, but OM is the one that feels like all the proper stops were taken in the production to give the music the frame it deserved. These benefits have little to do with the actual black metal, and much more with the dense folk arrangements. Unlike most old fiddle-dee folk metal around, the folk presence on OM feels just as, if not more important than the metal input. Without one half, the album couldn't exist. The near-perfect production this time around gave them the ability to flesh out the folk atmosphere to its max.

The atmosphere here is incredibly rich-- it's arguably at the point where I could call OM one of the most atmospheric black metal albums of the modern era. I think this is helped by the album's seamless structure; track division doesn't seem to discriminate, and the music flows effortlessly from one peak to the next. The atmosphere runs consistently, making it a perfect album to put on if you're inclined to don a headphone set with the lights off and resort into your inner mental theatre. No matter what time I listen to it, I'm always less impressed with the written songwriting itself. That's not to say that anything on OM is anything close to weak, but hearing songs that don't impress me in their own right serves to pull me out of the impression that it's the "instant classic" masterpiece every else seems to scream about it being. It's hard to pull out particular moments on the album as everything flows together, but I have the constant feeling the album's quality is a bit frontloaded. Even after listening to it several times in a row, and having heard it for years, most of the perfect moments I remember happen in the first 5 or 6 tracks. Not that OM begins to slump or anything, but a more even distribution of the Sublime would probably take some of the mix out of my opinion.

For everything it's worth, Negură Bunget created an album with this one that offers from depth and patient rewards than the vast majority of black metal-- even including albums I enjoy more than this one. There's a virtually perfect fusion of mystical folk and black metal on this album. I have never managed to truly emotionally connect with it in a decade the way I've doe with the albums out half that time. Maybe I'd caw-caw a typical rant about OM being "overrated" if I was feeling more cynical, but there's never any doubt that the album is nonetheless a total standout.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 10/10

OM" is one of the best Black Metal albums ever recorded.

Romania. Black Metal. Now, thanks to Negura Bunget, I can easily this country and genre analogy that otherwise I would have never even dreamed of doing. This band has been around for awhile, but only in 2006 they got recognized and praised. "OM" is now, after only five years, considered to be one of the best Black Metal albums ever recorded. I'm not a big expert of the genre yet, but so far this seems to be THE best. I'm not exaggerating. This blew me away completely in every way.

Everything a Black Metal fan loves about the genre is here: harsh vocals, lo-fi production when it comes to the metal parts, tremolo picking. But there is so much more: the band, since they come from a country like Romania, absorbs a lot of traditional instruments, such as and incorporates them in the music, even in the more intense moments. But what makes this band and this album extremely interesting is their atmospheric and more progressive side: Many ambient moments, played with synths, can be found in this album, and they have an incredibly lush and clean sound, creating this gloomy and eerie atmosphere that I've never heard in a Black Metal album. The musicians are great, and their knowledge of traditional Eastern European music is pretty hearable.

Even though the songs are all in Romanian, as well as the title of the songs, it's pretty obvious that OM is a concept album; knowing that "OM" means "human", and the album has in the beginning "Primul Om" (the first human) and at the very last track "Al Doilea Om" (the second human). The album is extremely solid and consistent, with a majority of metal moments over the ambient ones, which is another reason for BM fans to love this album. I honestly can't think of a bad song here: the three minute intro sets up an eerie and very creepy atmosphere, immediately after that the twelve minute epic " Tesarul De Lumini", one of BM's best songs, with plenty of time and mood changes that perfectly flow one into another. The already mentioned "Primul Om" sets another stage for the rest of the album, still creepy but much more progressive sounding, with two fundamental changes in the three minutes. From there a bunch of masterpieces: "Cunoasterea Tacuta" is probably the most haunting song here, especially in the second part, where it gets much more experimental. "Inarborat" makes another great addiction, and "Dedesuptul" is one of the most guitar based songs off the album. Another interlude follows, this time an instrumental non synth based. "De Piatra" is the most in your face and harsh song of the album, "Cel Din Urma Vis" is a ten minute epic that has a first, more BM part, then gets really ambient, then again turning into the first part. "Hora Soarelui" too starts with a strong riff, but then becomes a sort of homage to Romanian folk music. The outro "Al Doilea Om" closes the album magnificently.

"OM" is an essential album for any metal fan, one of those gems that are a definite must- listen. Rarely I am this impressed.

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The Grand-Daddy of Atmospheric Black

Over the last few years, the black metal amoeba has extended its tendrils to include north European folk, swallowed some post-rock, and oozed around some prog ideas. "Atmospheric Black" is an established genre now, as is Folk / Pagan metal. Most of these bands bore me to the point of plucking nose hairs to stay awake. But as I've traced some of these sounds to their true roots, I've found some quite amazing music. The first was Ulver's BERGTATT, which basically makes Agalloch's entire discography moot. But the crown jewel of my search is this, Negura Bunget's OM.

Where much black metal tries to evoke a cold wintry forest, brittle and bleak, OM is a blazing forest fire. Danger surrounds the listener whether it's the coming onslaught of the flames in the form of textured black metal riffing, the Uru-kai on the march orchestral sounds of "Norilor" or satyrs dancing to wild flutes in "Hora Soarelui." Unlike so many prog bands that band-aid different styles together, the enormous range of sounds on this album flow together effortlessly, purposefully.

Many groups have tried to create an album long work that coheres from start to finish. Very very few have succeeded. Opeth's great STILL LIFE has its ebbs and flows. Even Queensryche's classic masterpiece OPERATION: MINDCRIME runs out of steam on side two. Green Carnation's LIGHT OF DAY, DAY OF DARKNESS has great moments but is clearly overlong. But along with Edge of Sanity's CRIMSON, OM is one of the few metal albums that presents more like a completely realized symphony. Along with phenomenally well paced orchestration, there are signature passages that hold the piece together masterfully. The almost mandolin-ish tremolo picking late in "beasrul De Lumini" comes to mind.

The energy on this album is so intense. There are thick layers of sound which include horns, strings, mallets, folk instruments, and of course the typical metal guitar/bass drums. At the same time, we always have the organic, earthy, gritty black ethic which some of the more progressive or technical acts sometimes lose. It's hard to say whether I would get more out of this album if I understood Romanian. Musically, the album does everything I want it to, and if the lyrics weren't quite there it might actually detract from the experience.

Bottom line: one of the best extreme art metal albums ever made.

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Negura Bunget's OM combines intriguing, experimental music with metaphysical lyrics which avoid the controversial subject matter usually associated with black metal in favour of spiritual speculation. Most of the album takes a progressive black metal direction, but by incorporating quieter (occasionally ambient) moments into their compositions, which often extends to including traditional Romanian instruments in their repertoire, the band create an atmosphere unique to this album. At points it sounds like a particularly stirring movie soundtrack, which I guess is a high compliment when applied to concept albums; either way, it's an intriguing little album which rewards multiple careful listens and an open mind.

Latest members reviews

4 stars There are so many fun elements in here. Tasteful black metal, folk instruments and melodies, ambient sounds that don't go too far--it's hard to decide where to start. Let's start with the overall impression: beautiful execution and production really show off some really unique metal crossover mi ... (read more)

Report this review (#310016) | Posted by Relayer Duos | Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It is incredible the progression and evolution on Negura Bunget music, from the early days of pagan black metal to the masterpiece of progressive metal like album Om. Well, almost a masterpiece, because there are still present in their music some raw black metal elements witch sometimes sound really ... (read more)

Report this review (#186157) | Posted by chaos8619 | Friday, October 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I remember when I first heard this band about a year ago. I was having a discussion about music with a friend and I said "There aren't many 'Wow' musicians and composers nowadays, nothing new or original...". I had no idea how wrong I was until he pointed me to Negura Bunget's website and I was am ... (read more)

Report this review (#151852) | Posted by GDA9 | Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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