Presa Pub launched its newest venue with an anniversary event, marking 20 years of activity for the renowned Atmospheric Black Metal Band Negura Bunget. The concert was held on December 19, having Downfall as warming-up.
The new location of the pub/club is rather small, suitable for hosting intimate events. The stage are would require, in my opinion, to be more defined and equipped – I’m particularly aiming at the lack of any lighting fixture. Besides the technical aspect, the place has an appealing old school vibe, even having a motorcycle as a piece of scenery.
Downfall started around the announced hour, with a small ritualistic intro that involved some candles being held by the band members through the audience and in the front of the stage. The band is still young, starting in 2014, and I’d defined them mainly as Raw Black Metal. All but the singer wore some elaborate priest-like costumes, colored in black and red. Strictly from the show point of view, I’d recommend to a band that aims to incorporate such elements in their live show to pay an extra care to all the elements on and around the stage. Small details can sometimes spoil the whole experience. Their music is pretty good for such a young band, I saw them as intro for Vulture Industries a couple of months ago and they didn’t convince me, but this time the energy they put into their songs made an impression on me. Among the songs they performed, I mention: Into the Darkness of Silence, Elizabeth Bathory, Forsaken, Satan’s Son.
Negura Bunget is surely a name that needs no introduction, among the first mentioned when it comes to the finest Romanian Underground. The band has a long history, marked by some controversies, and left us with a landmark Black Metal album, “Om” (2006), and 6 other full-lengths. This autumn, the band launched the album “Zi”, but the event last evening presented song from all their releases in the past 20 years, in a semi-acoustic arrangement. Indeed, they started with songs from their last albums, such as: Brazda da foc, Nametenie, moving on with oldest one right after Dacia Hiperboreana: Norilor, Cunoasterea tacuta, Hora soarelui. While I feel the new album kind of lacks its spark, after 20 years it was a goose bump moment for me to listen to Norilor, live, again. Especially because I was present at the album launch with video projection, back then. But I am certain the old must blend with the new, and the setlist managed to please new and old fans alike. As to the semi-acoustic arrangement, it felt special and intimate to listen to the traditional instruments in the dark (especially to the flute), but the cymbals were a bit too strong for that space and sometimes covered the other instruments. Perhaps an arrangement with traditional drums only would have been an interesting solution. But since the band stated they only make acoustics once every 50 years, I guess we have long to wait.
This 65th edition of Bucharest Under Moonlight is the last metal concert for 2016, a good outro while we wait for what the next year has prepared for us. Already some big names were announced for the first part of 2017, so we’ll soon be back for more.