Negură Bunget came to an end after the loss of Gabriel “Negru” Mafa but this has resulted in the formation of Sur Austru. The Romanian band plays atmospheric black metal with the addition of numerous folk elements that give the necessary variety to their music.
The album combines long compositions that have lot of changes but also drone patterns that highlight their unique atmosphere and put the listener in a specific mood (aka getting lost with trippy music) through hypnotic rhythms just before they return back to the necessary metal outbursts. To achieve this they use a palette of different organs and vocals (clean, growls, choral, male, female) but they manage not to overload the final result from the different layers and the production let the compositions flow through the album leading to a compact outcome (even when they include some orchestral interlude).
But what about the lyrics? It seems that numerous local legends and myths from the area find their way into the album and especially on the acoustic parts that bring visions of their land that is full of mountains and misty forests. What’s more the use of the –not usual- in metal Romanian language gives a sense of a weird exotic feeling (that’s probably the way someone from the west still see the east Europe) while the title of the album refers to the concept of origin. In general, Sur Austru seem to have a clear view of what they are doing and although they don’t differ much from their debut album I enjoyed it much more.