Din Brad is the new side-project of Negru, drummer of Romanian black metal band Negură Bunget, joined by bandmates Inia Dinia and Gădineţ. Their debut album ‘Dor’ is a sparse and eerie offering featuring mournful vocals, traditional folk instruments and ambient sounds. The arrangements of the songs are rather bare, often with only percussion, a single vocal and underlying synth strings, while others have no music at all.
‘Dor’ is a bit tricky to dissect as it’s not actually a metal album. I’m not saying you have to be a fan of Romanian folk music to enjoy Din Brad, but it would help. This isn’t really an album that grabs your attention. Some songs have their pretty moments, but the casual listener may find acapella songs like the catchily titled ‘Poarce’n Suflet Greu Păcatu’ quite boring. The male nasal vocals can be rather abrasive at times – female singers Inia Dinia and Alma are much more pleasant to listen to than Gădineţ.
According to their official website, ‘Dor’ (which means ‘from the fir tree’ – so for those of you who don’t speak Romanian, this album is basically all about a tree) is intended to portray a deep connection with nature, and the ‘characteristic Romanian feelings’ of yearning and nostalgia. Mostly, it just sounds like one of those overpriced meditation CDs sold by people who wear hemp clothing and burn incense. If you are one of the aforementioned people or a fan of Negură Bunget then this might be for you, but to be honest, this album is probably a bit too weird and depressing for most people.