Sur Austru - Meteahna Timpurilor


Key Facts

Country: 🇷🇴

Genre: Atmospheric Folk/Death/Black Metal

Release Date: 10th September 2019

Record Label(s): Avantgarde Music


Band Members 

Ovidiu Corodan - Bass, Toacă, Vocals

Sergiu Nădăban - Drums, Percussion, Toacă 

Ionut Cadariu - Flute, Keyboards 

Mihai Florea - Guitars, Bucium 

Petrică Ionuţescu - Traditional instruments 

Tibor Kati - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Bucium 


Sur Austru - De Dincolo De Munte


Review 
Rating (Out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘
Favourite Track(s): De Dincolo De Munte, Mistuind, Bradul Cerbului, Dor Austru, In Timp Vernal, Jabracie

Whilst scrolling through the depths of the r/BlackMetal forum on Reddit, I chanced upon some Romanian black metal. What I found has opened me up to a completely new black metal world and I am now intent on devouring every morsel of Romanian black metal that I can get my hands on! I believe that Sur Austru is the first band that I have had the honour of reviewing from Romania, and hopefully there is many more to come. For now though, Meteahna Timpurilor has presented me with a unique and perspective changing experience. A perfect combination of traditional and contemporary mixed together with expert songwriting that is sure to intrigue and mystify you, as your imagination takes you through the forests and over the mountains of Romania. 

From the beginning, Meteahna Timpurilor presents you with something that is unique and spellbinding musically. In an area of Europe where the scene is dominated by Polish and Ukrainian bands, Sur Austru make themselves stand out. With a very dark and mysterious edge they make the melody carrying traditional instruments weave in between soaring atmospherics and heart pounding rhythms and riffs. Chanting is also a big part of this album, often adding to the dark foreboding atmosphere created by the traditional instruments and the band. From what I have researched, the band's lyrical themes consist of subjects based on nature and folklore, and you can get a sense of that from the music, I've never been to Romania (trust me I really want to) but this album places me in the depths of the Eastern European wilderness. One thing that really stands out to me, is the Middle Eastern musical influence in the melodies that Sur Austru. It's a strange one because the melodies don't sound wholly Middle Eastern or wholly Eastern European, they are distinctly Romanian, and that is what makes this album incredibly interesting to me. Whilst the more metal elements of the album have an atmospheric black/doom metal quality to them, they help build this elaborate and ornate atmosphere alongside the traditional instruments. Even so, there is also a progressive vibe about some of the sections throughout the album, most notably in the album's eleven minute epic Dor Austru. With transitions smoothly executed and offering a good level of contrast whilst keeping you interested is quite remarkable for me personally, as this particular song showcases the bands versatility as well as their knack for storytelling. When listening to Meteahna Timpurilor, it becomes a fully immersive experience, things just melt into one as you're entranced in the soundscape and melody. Even with the darkness that eventually surrounds you in the penultimate song In Timp Vernal, you're already absorbed into the world that the album has created. One thing I absolutely love, is hearing Romanian being sung, I've never had a chance to hear Romanian in this context and its is so beautifully melodic as a language it adds so much to the music. Out of all the Romance languages, I think Romanian has to be my instant favourite after hearing Meteahna Timpurilor. Album closer, Jabracie is an exercise in pure, ruthlessly epic, metal fury! Packed with big riffs and driving rhythms, it snaps you back to reality with a sharp and deafening punch, yet it consolidates all the themes and sounds that you hear throughout the album. A beautiful mix of ruthless metal and elegant traditional folk melody.  Overall, I have done the best I can to explain this album in terms that everyone here can understand, but it is such a unique treasure that I don't feel that I have done it justice! It is incredibly well written and highly immersive, definitely an album to listen to on a road trip through mountains and forests. 

The production is just as phenomenal as the songwriting in my opinion. With a multitude of layers ranging from drums and guitars to synths and traditional elements, there is a lot to consider and I applaud the mastermind behind it! The drums sound so tight and clean, with a highly precise kick that drives the rhythms with metronomic efficiency. Accompanied by a snare with a subtle snap but still very prominent and powerful. The guitar tones are sharp and clean, but what I enjoyed most about the mix is the subtle panned effects moment that give the songs a sense of movement. What is interesting is how well the guitars blend in with the atmospheric synthesisers to create this wall of sound that is built up around you. The bass does an excellent job of locking in with the kick and supporting the guitars, but I'm surprised at how clean the bass tone is, as you would usually expect a heavily compressed and distorted bass. With that in mind the clean bass tone helps swallow the low end as well as boost the power of the riffs. The flute is very prominent when it appears, I love the reverb that is placed on it so it seems to echo over mountains. Overall, this album has a lot of unique and distinct features that I could spend all day picking out, phenomenally mixed album. 

If you feel like venturing into the depths of Eastern Europe, I fully recommend listening to Sur Austru's awesome debut effort Meteahna Timpurilor on your way there!

Sur Austru - Meteahna Timpurilor

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