The wonderful thing about many Romanian bands is that the lyrics that come from the bottom of their hearts are sung in the local language, but this could put some people who are not fluent in the Romanian language at a disadvantage. But an album about the history of Romania only creates an authentic and, above all, dense atmosphere. The Romanian performed lyrics on "Voievozii" (German: Heerführer or Fürsten) can convince without restriction due to their penetrating suppleness, even if you do not understand the lyrics, because the vocal lines, some of which are performed on the painter, match the overall musical concept perfectly.
Not unlike NEGURA BUNGET, the boys and girls from BUCIUM address the pagan and pre-Christian cultural history of their own country, both textually and musically, and are primarily devoted to Romanian history, legends, stories and myths. The focus is on the powerful musical implementation of the content, which, however, cannot be assigned to black metal as in NEGURA BUNGET, but is based on folk metal due to the clearly structured melody line and the clean vocals and thus warmly welcomes all friends of the Middle Ages Heart.
The atmospheric kick-off is made by atmospheric keyboard sounds and a spoken (longer) quote from Neagoe Basarab, before the first guitar riffs and also the violins, which have a key function among the Romanians, set in after a little over a minute and reveal an almost epic title track that reveals culminates in a folkloric exuberance. Neagoe Basarab, prince of Wallachia from 1512 to 1521, wrote one of the earliest and most important works in Romanian literature, called "Invataturile lui Neagoe Basarab catre fiul sau Teodosie" (in English: "The teachings of Neagoe Basarab to his son Theodosie") in which he comments on topics such as philosophy, diplomacy, morality and ethics. The quotation mentioned at the beginning comes from precisely this work.
With rocking guitar riffs, massive double bass drums and the violins typical of BUCIUM, the second song “Basarabii” describes the roots of the powerful Basarab family, from which Neagoe Basarab later emerged, while “Sorbul Apelor” - fitting the lyrical context - Of warriors, who before the important fight against the repeatedly invading Ottoman Empire on the water of the Danube and who believed so strongly in the victory in battle, increased their speed once again in order to finish the song with double - Duel bass drums, guitars and violins. Great!
Only with the following three songs is the tempo slowed down again and works with "Maria Doamna (Raresoaia)" - a wonderful hymn to the wife of Stefan cel Mare (Stefan the Great), the Prince of Moldova (Stefan cel Mare also belonged to Mircea cel Batran, Iancu de Hunedoara and Michael the Brave among the most important rulers of the forerunners of today's Romania, who are now believed to have Romanian nationality.) - the real highlight of the album: "Zalmoxe". This song, dominated by elegiac violin and bass melodies, is thematically dedicated to the historical figure of Zalmoxe, who was a deity or a religious leader under the rule of King Burebista, who created the first centralized state of Dacia 2,000 years ago, which consisted largely of the area of today's Romania and Moldova. The song is brought to the top in a dramatically rousing manner, musically and vocally, wonderfully harmonious and deeply touching, so that more than once my body ruffles in pleasure tingling and chicken skins run up and down the back.
The crowning glory is the fifteen-minute epic "Rovine 1394", in which the battle for Rovine is told in 1394, in which Mircea cel Batran, with an army of 10,000 men, victoriously and victoriously struck an Ottoman invasion of 40,000 men. The galloping rhythm in the middle of the song describes the waves of attack to atmospheric silence, in which only the violins, guitar and bass can be heard, so that at the end of the song, with an army 's war cries, impressively increased once more to the final attack .
BUCIUM made an impressive debut with "Voievozii", which was staged in a very coherent manner and with a full production - mastered the album in Franky Winkelmann's (GURD) Little Creek Studio - enthralling and completely convincing.
Even though this album was released not more than a year ago, the band had been trying to release it ever since 2006. Most of the material had been ready at that time and more was to be expected than what was received.
What we have here is a pretty good piece of what might be called "folk metal", but it is a very volatile term in reference to Bucium. If you like metal with lots and lots of violins, this is the album for you. Do not expect any extraordinary guitar work on this release. There is enough of it to make the music "metal", but it stops there. The violins are the most pregnant on this release, and the vocals also make up a big part of the music. The drumming is ok, but doesn't really stand out in any way.
A strong part of this release is constituted by the lyrics which are pretty well written. "Voievozii", or voivodes as they may be called in English were the "kings" of medieval Romanian states and this album is mainly about capturing the spirit of righteousness and great leadership some of them possessed. That is the main lyrical theme, along with a few motifs from Romanian folklore. They do manage to transpose the listener into the spirit of the times since the language used does give out a sort of archaism, but it is also quite accessible. This however will prove to be a great disadvantage for those listeners who do not know the language. The vocals too are very well executed, adding greatly to the atmosphere.