I would like to state from the beginning that this article was not in my plan anytime soon, but unfortunately I’ve started writing it as soon as I heard about Negru‘s death. He was the drummer and percussionist of the band and one of the founding members. During his career, he vas a pioneer for the romanian metal and underground scene, having a massive contribution in implementing the mentality that an independent artist and record label should have. I know this because more than 15 years ago I was having a correspondence via email with him personally. I was a kid back then, but I was a hard metal listener and I really appreciated this band, and also Negru (Black)’s effort in supporting the industry. I learned something from the few emails we exchanged. Negura Bunget back then represented also an era of a movement, spiritually and religiously but also cultural. He was responsible for a couple of FanZines (magazines) that I know is a lot of work. In his case they had success, but the time and effort he put in it didn’t compensate. Rest In Peace!
Negura Bunget is a romanian black metal band from Timisoara, Timis county, the west part of the country, near Serbia and Hungary and more western influenced city that the rest of the country (or to be more specific, Bucharest, the capital, that is the center of Romania no matter what other people might tell you, and yes that is not a good thing).
Although they started as a black metal band, through the years their members have changed and so did the sound. They still maintain today the same image and have the same themes in their lyrics, their sound has gone a little more softly (not in that bad way). Things evolve I think.
The first thing that got my attention (and you will notice that too) is the State of the Art artworks and image that the band presented itself through the years. For today time this is a normal thing, back then (20 something years) it was still the same amazing artwork they had.
First the logo that has ancient romanian fonts. Then the website: they were one of the first romanian bands to have a website in the first place, but even then, you got mesmerized by their graphics.
For all their audio materials, including cassettes and cd’s, the artwork was something that got to you first thing. The covers were really good quality and presented as e deluxe editions. You know, those albums you wish you could hold it in your hands, not the streaming versions, were you could not read the lyrics listen and admire the cover like a painting. This is a major plus. You just wanted to have that CD, that t-shirt, that magazine they edited.
After a certain time they got signed with an italian record label that meant they got exposed in Europe at first and then world wide. Black metal isn’t a popular genre of music. Even if you ask me I could not give you an exact answer why I used to listen to this type and still do from time to time and I’m not bothered by it. I think it’s because of the whole package that comes with it.
Black metal bands treat some particular subjects that not so many people get into. It’s the image, the lyrics and the things you do day by day that keeps you near this type of music.
Negura Bunget is inspired by the romanian old ways. And by that I mean our ancestors (I am a romanian, currently living in Canada), the population living in this area before the Roman conquest, with all it’s tradition, language, religious views. They treat the same subjects, from dark and malefic things like the first albums, to some more, neutral let’s say. You can hear also the musical influence, more modern traditional instruments they’ve been using in their latest releases.
It’s a very spiritual experience listening and learning about Negura Bunget. They very quickly established as a lead authority band in Romania for black music, but they also penetrated the mainstream (as much as you can say for a black metal band to be on tv or radio) and soon, after signing with an international record label, they started touring Europe and North America.
Now, Negura Bunget is a name recognized worldwide on the metal scene. After the death of Negru, I don’t know what direction they will go but I’m sure it’s still gonna be an inspiring band for generations to come.
One of the first questions I asked Negru a while back ago was what is Negura Bunget?
Negură Bunget is a black fog coming from a deep dark dense forest. The name tries to picture somehow the kind of atmosphere, both musical and spiritual we’d want to create through our music. It has also an esoteric nature, standing for the inexpressible parts of our ideology. The two words are also from the Tracic substrate of the Romanian language (the oldest one, containing about 90 words) as the interest for our local history and spirituality is something of crucial importance and meaning for us as a band