Negura Bunget

Zirnindu-Sã

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Romania's Negur Bunget lured the first victims into their "dark, foggy forest" (for that is their moniker's rough English translation) with 1996's Zirnindu-Sã album, quickly capitalizing on underground interest sparked by a few intriguing demos recorded under their former name of Wiccan Rede (and later reissued as From Transylvanian Forest) to expose their peculiar black metal vision to a slightly wider audience. Keep in mind that, at the time, Negur was in fact no more than a corpse-painted black metal duo, composed of multi-tasking main man Hupogrammos Disciple (vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards) and his faithful new acolyte Negru (drums, concepts); but this hardly limited the depth of musical experiment (nor the unholy racket -- in the best possible sense) that they managed to capture in just 20 hours of work at Bucharest's Magic Sound Studio. For his part, Negru unleashed an impressively profuse percussive torrent -- dominated, as expected, by tireless blastbeats -- while Hupogrammos set about intertwining his inhuman howls, Romanian-sung lyrics, and dizzying guitar strumming with surprisingly lush and sustained synthesizer clarions piercing the din. From start to finish, the high quality and magical chemistry of the pair's songwriting was undeniable (though not exactly accessible to most humans), and their efforts achieved the most startling results on the likes of "Blaznit," "Din Afundul Adincului Intrupat," and "Vel Proclet." All this set the tone for Negur Bunget's steady career evolution in years to come, marked by steady refinement of their core black metal values in conjunction with the ever more fully realized concepts, steeped in Romanian lore and adorned by native folk instruments that would set the group apart from their peers. Zirnindu-Sã makes it abundantly clear that Negur Bunget were destined for greatness, even then. [In 2004, following Negur Bunget's rise to worldwide critical acclaim, Zirnindu-Sã was remixed, remastered, and reissued as part of a three-disc box set also featuring 1995's From Transylvanian Forest EP, 1998's Sala Molksa EP, and 2000's Mãiastru Sfetnic LP.]

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