Negură Bunget: OM (2006)

“OM” by Negură Bunget, released in October 2006 by Code666 Records, is a landmark atmospheric black metal album, acclaimed for its integration of Romanian folk elements and traditional instruments. The album delves into deep themes of Romanian spirituality, nature, and mysticism, employing a variety of traditional and unconventional instruments which include flutes and a panpipe, setting it apart in the metal genre. Esteemed for its innovative blend of styles and profound thematic exploration, “OM” is considered a masterpiece in its field, influencing subsequent works within the genre.

Negură Bunget: Om (2006) album cover

Track Listing

  1. Ceasuri Rele
  2. Ţesarul De Lumini
  3. Primul OM
  4. Cunoaşterea Tăcută
  5. Înarborat
  6. Dedesuptul
  7. Norilor
  8. De Piatră
  9. Cel Din Urmă Vis
  10. Hora Soarelui
  11. Al Doilea OM

Album length: 67:06

Music genre

Black metal, Atmospheric black metal

The Lineup for the Album

  • Hupogrammos Disciple’s (Cristian Popescu): vocals, guitars, keyboards, other traditional instruments
  • Sol Faur (Florin Ștefan) : guitars, other traditional instruments
  • Negru (Gabriel Mafa): drums, percussion, traditional instruments

Release Date

October 27, 2006

Record Label

Code666 Records

Recording Date

2005 - 2006

Recording Studio

Negură Bunget Music Studio (Timișoara, Romania)

Produced by

Negură Bunget

Album Themes/Concept

Spirituality and Mysticism: “OM” explores profound spiritual themes, often delving into the mystical aspects of Romanian Orthodox Christianity and pre-Christian spiritual beliefs. The album examines connections between humans and the divine, and the intrinsic spirituality that permeates the natural world. This theme might appeal if you’re drawn to albums that not only challenge the musical status quo but also engage with deep existential questions.

Connection with Nature: Integral to the album is its emphasis on the natural world, reflecting the band’s own reverence for the landscapes of Transylvania. The music and lyrics often invoke the imagery of ancient forests, mountains, and the unyielded wildness of nature, resonating with fans who find solace and inspiration in the natural elements so often celebrated in atmospheric and folk metal.

Romanian Folklore and History: The lyrics are steeped in Romanian history and folklore, using mythological and historical references to convey stories and themes that are uniquely Romanian. This aspect is fascinating if you’re interested in how metal can transcend global boundaries, incorporating national identity and local narratives into a genre that is universally powerful.

Philosophical Reflections: The album often contemplates the cyclical nature of life and death, the essence of existence, and humanity’s place in the universe. These philosophical reflections are interwoven with the other themes, providing a contemplative depth that enhances the listening experience.

Album Mood

Atmospheric and Immersive: The album creates an enveloping atmosphere that draws listeners into its world. The integration of traditional Romanian instruments with black metal elements produces a sound that is both ethereal and grounded, making the listening experience immersive. You might find yourself transported to mist-covered mountains and ancient forests through the dense, layered soundscapes.

Dark and Mystical: There’s an inherent darkness to the music, not just in its tone but in the mood it evokes. This darkness is interwoven with a sense of mysticism and spiritual exploration, offering a complex emotional palette that goes beyond simple aggression or sorrow. If you’re into albums that are capable of evoking a profound sense of introspection and otherworldliness, “OM” delivers on this front.

Epic and Cinematic: The arrangements and compositions on “OM” are epic in scale, often building from quiet, introspective passages to powerful crescendos. This cinematic quality makes the album feel like a journey through time and space, with each track contributing to a larger narrative. For metalheads who appreciate albums that tell a story or convey a grand vision, “OM” serves as an impressive example.

Contemplative and Philosophical: The mood is also contemplative, reflecting the philosophical themes of the lyrics. The music encourages deep thinking about life, existence, and the natural world. This introspective quality will appeal if you enjoy music that not only challenges your perceptions but also engages with them on a deeper level.

Album Trivia

Conceptual Depth and Production: “OM” is highly regarded for its conceptual depth, focusing on themes deeply rooted in Romanian folklore, spirituality, and the natural landscape. The album blends black metal with traditional Romanian instruments and folk influences, creating a sound that is both atmospheric and culturally rich. This depth is enhanced by the band’s self-production, recorded at their own Negură Music Studio, which allowed for a meticulous crafting of the album’s unique sound.

Language and Lyrics: One of the unique aspects of “OM” is the use of the Romanian language, which includes some archaic and poetic forms. This choice adds a layer of depth and authenticity to the album, as it resonates with the ancient themes explored throughout. The language used in the lyrics contributes to the mystical and ethereal atmosphere of the album, making it a profound listening experience that connects deeply with Romanian cultural roots.

Creative Process and Instrumentation: Negură Bunget is known for their use of traditional Romanian instruments alongside typical metal instrumentation, which significantly shapes their sound. For “OM,” the band incorporated instruments such as flutes, horns, and a panpipe, which are not commonly used in black metal. This incorporation not only enhances the album’s atmospheric qualities but also demonstrates the band’s commitment to infusing their music with elements of their heritage.

Listen or Pass

This album might be for you if you…

  • Enjoy Atmospheric Black Metal: If you’re drawn to the atmospheric layers and immersive soundscapes found in bands like Agalloch, Drudkh, or Wolves in the Throne Room, “OM” will likely resonate with you due to its deep, enveloping atmospheres and complex textures.
  • Appreciate Folk Influences: Fans who appreciate the incorporation of folk elements and traditional instruments into metal will find “OM” intriguing. The album uses a variety of traditional Romanian instruments, weaving folk melodies seamlessly into the black metal framework.
  • Are Interested in Concept Albums: If concept albums that explore themes deeply, such as spirituality, nature, and folklore, catch your interest, “OM” delivers a profound narrative woven through its tracks, enriched with philosophical and mystical undertones.
  • Value Lyrical Depth: Listeners who look for meaningful, culturally rich lyrics in a language that adds an exotic touch to the music might be particularly drawn to this album.

You might want to pass this one if you…

  • Prefer Straightforward Metal: If your preference leans towards more straightforward, aggressive, and fast-paced metal genres without the atmospheric and folk diversions, “OM” might not meet your expectations.
  • Are Not a Fan of Non-English Lyrics: Since the album is entirely in Romanian, those who prefer understanding lyrics directly or are not interested in the poetic and archaic use of language might find it less engaging.
  • Like Highly Polished Production: Listeners accustomed to highly polished, crystal-clear production might find “OM’s” more natural and raw production a bit off-putting.
    Prefer Short, Direct Tracks: If you favor songs that are direct and to-the-point over long, evolving compositions, the structure of “OM” may not appeal to your tastes.