Sur Austru – Meteahna Timpurilor (Review)

Sur Austru - Meteahna TimpurilorSur Austru are an atmospheric black/folk metal band from Romania and this is their debut album.

Featuring ex-members of Negura Bunget, Sur Austru play a black/folk metal hybrid that has surprised me by how much I’ve enjoyed it.

Taking inspiration from nature and channelling this into songs that are rich with unusual and exotic instruments and sounds, Meteahna Timpurilor offers the listener a multifaceted collection of songs. The style is one that merges blackened distortion with textured folk, resulting in music that should sate your desire for both, if you have the taste for such things. Meteahna Timpurilor is an album crafted from emotional responses to the current state of the natural world. Awash with rage and despair at the savaged, dying state of nature, yet also alive with a naturalist’s appreciation for the beauty and uniqueness of what yet remains, the band translate this into the 52 minutes of music that they deliver with skill and passion.

This is music that’s quite rare in that it manages to combine two theoretically disparate sounds into one coherent whole. Folk, never my first love, is combined with the always-welcome black metal style with talent and ease. Not since the wonderful Thy Worshiper have I heard a blending of the two styles as well as this. Sur Austru share some similarities with Thy Worshiper, although the former are darker and less playful than the latter. Sur Austru also dabble in old-school doom metal here and there, further enriching the music they have very capably produced.

Alongside the quality music, the vocals are diverse and well-performed. These range from folk chanting to epic cleans to deep, inhuman death growls, and more besides. Rounded off with a strong production that captures the essence of what the band wish to portray, Meteahna Timpurilor is a compelling and accomplished work. An unexpected gem of an album.

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