Negura Bunget drummer Gabriel ‘Negru‘ Mafa dies aged 42

Gabriel ‘Negru‘ Mafa
Gabriel \u2018Negru\u2018 Mafa

Negura Bunget drummer Gabriel ‘Negru‘ Mafa has died at the age of 42, it’s been confirmed.

The news was broken by the Romanian black metal outfit’s vocalist and guitarist Tibor Kati who has paid tribute to the musician.

Kati says in a statement: “With great grief in our souls, we inform you that our friend and colleague, Gabriel ‘Negru’ Mafa, passed today, March 21, 2017, aged 42.

“We deeply regret the death of the man who founded and maintained Negura Bunget, and who dedicated his life to the sacred side of our culture – bringing it to life through music and transmitting it to various generations from all over the world.

“We hope that his legacy will continue to enchant and console those whom he left behind.

“With regret and sadness, we offer our condolences to his family and to those who knew and cherished him in this life.”

Mafa co-founded the band in 1994 with Edmond Karban under the name Wiccan Rede. They released a demo of From Transilvanian Forests in 1995 before changing their name to Negura Bunget.

They’ve released seven albums, the most recent being 2016’s Zi – and had lined up an extensive list of North American tour dates for later this year to mark their 20th anniversary.

No cause of death has been revealed.

Negură Bunget: In The Realm Of The Senses

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Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.