Negura Bunget

Sala Molksa

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Negur Bunget proved they were no fluke with 1998's Sala Molksa mini-album, building upon the intriguingly unorthodox Transylvanian black metal established by the previous year's Zirnindu-Sã as confirmation that there would be no looking back where their groundbreaking career was concerned. Despite its impenetrable Romanian title, opening epic "Vint Da Rau Pin Valea Iadului" was positively revelatory; breaking with black metal fundamentals within minutes via deathlike growls, semi-doom tempos, and far more nuanced, atmospheric synthesizers (emulating traditional folk flutes) than were heard on the band's production-challenged early efforts. And, as evidenced by subsequent displays of ambition like "Suier De Solomonar" (marked by sinister ascending riff flurries), the frantic title cut (as intricately viscous as any Emperor classic), and "Vint da Rau" (a dramatic synthesizer reprise of the opening number, redolent of vintage Bathory) vocalist/guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Hupogrammos Disciple, drummer Negru, and newly added second guitarist Spurcatu were set on pushing their limits and layering symphonic orchestration to the breaking point. If anything, the trio's devastating sonic barrage was almost too condensed and opaque for most casual listeners to decipher, but extreme metal initiates had no trouble recognizing Negur Bunget's incipient genius in this latest glimpse into their highly original vision. [In 2004, following Negur Bunget's rise to worldwide critical acclaim, Sala Molksa was remixed, remastered, and reissued as part of a three-disc box set also featuring 1995's From Transilvanian Forest EP, 1997's Zirnindu-Sã LP, and 2000's Mãiastru Sfetnic LP.]

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