Negura Bunget Maiestrit

Negura Bunget Maiestrit
Out of Negura Bunget's two latest releases, Maiestrit is the retrospective album, putting an end to one chapter in the band's development while looking forward to the next. The final recording from the Romanians' previous line-up, Maiestrit reinterprets and reinvigorates an older release: Maiastru Sfetnic from 2000, one of the band's earliest full albums. Despite Negura Bunget's preoccupations with nature there's not much natural atmosphere or flow to their avant-garde black metal, though it does have an ethereal quality, at times, that might tie into their idea of "Transylvanian Spirituality." The long songs feel carefully constructed, fusing technological mastery and a little sonic experimentation under a darkly unnatural miasma. Chaotic one minute, more serene a few moments later, Maiestrit moves subtly between extremes so that you're not quite aware of the shift until you're already immersed in the next swell. On top of the original six songs, the record also contains semi-acoustic versions of two tracks, sounding a bit like a diabolical take on MTV Unplugged. I can't compare Maiestrit to the original recordings, but the album stands on its own merit, summing up what Negura Bunget have been until now. (Prophecy)