Negură Bunget – Vîrstele Pămîntului: Album Review

Negură Bunget - Vîrstele PămîntuluiHuddle around a black metal campfire and you will come across all types of characters – gloomy lone bedroom dwellers, nun-ravaging nutjobs, funny face painted clowns and the occasional true musician. And then you come across a band which grabs you by the scruff of your neck and demands you pay attention. And, not because they are the usual in-your-face true blue black metal gimmicks, but because of their dedication to create ethereal and surrealistic music.
Negura Bunget have been amongst the forerunners in experimenting with the black metal sound while staying true to its root. That movement has lately caught on and is called post-black metal now. (Check out Alcest,Agalloch or Lantlos to find out what I’m talking about.)
The latest album, Virstele Pamintului, is the first (apart from the appetizer Maiestrit) without the founding member Hupogrammos and long standing member Sol Faur. So, with only Negru from the original lineup, and almost all new faces, it was intriguing to check out what the new Negura Bunget would dish out. This new album features a lot of folk instruments like pipes, flutes, indigenous percussion instruments that I wouldn’t hazard a guess at. The new guy, Corb’s, vocals are, in parts, soothing and, in parts, very harsh, but all the while blending with the rest of the music. And the music itself is quite haunting with a lot of tracks displaying significant progressive folk instrumentation. Take the first track Pamint, for instance. For the first five or so minutes, the flutes/pipes do a folk melody leading into some delightful percussive sounds with acoustic guitar strumming, moving onward to keyboard melodies and clean vocals and only in the last 1-2 minutes the voice turns into a howl and metal parts kick in. Umbra and Jar are the two other such tracks on the album.
Ochiul Inimii is another great track which starts with acoustic guitars and narrated vocals but moves onto rapidwork drumming and riffage associated with black metal. Being a black metal band, there are indeed a lot of heavy tracks like Arborele Lumii and Intoarcerea Amurgului. These don’t build the usual distorted “wall-of-sound” effect associated with black metal, but, instead, the rapid strumming is clear and melodic.
The great part of this band is the way black metal is melded seamlessly with folk instrumentation. Very much like what Eluveitie does with death metal, only with ambient music sensibilities. This album, clocking just under 60 mins, brings a fresh breath of air to the black metal scene. Highly recommended.

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7 Responses to “Negură Bunget – Vîrstele Pămîntului: Album Review”

  1. nice one man…. just be regular… 🙂

  2. Hey there…

    Nice stuff… keep it coming man…

    Cheers.

    \m/

  3. hey bro, nice review. am not big into black metal but negura bunget sounds good. check out stronghold by summoning if you havent already.

  4. DUDE!!!
    SUPER BLOG!!
    \m/…
    keep writing !!

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