Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Negură Bunget: Vîrstele Pamîntului (2010) Review

Negură Bunget is a Romanian pagan metal (black metal / folk metal) who made huge waves with their 2006 release Om. Everyone in the band left, except the drummer, and he forged on to create Vîrstele Pamîntului, which came out yesterday in the US.

Now, I have never listened to Om. I would go on Youtube, listen to a song, and say to myself that it was good, but not quite THAT good. I think a person could get the same impression from listening to a track or two from Vîrstele Pamîntului. But this is meant to be a complete experience, not to be judged on the basis of one song.

At an hour long, it can be a bit daunting to tackle the whole album. But it is worth it, without a doubt. To get a taste for the flow of the album, the first two tracks are the best place to start. "Pamint" starts out with some kind of pipes, and after a while traditional percussion comes in. Eventually a dude starts screaming--your first hint this is a metal album, coming about five minutes in. When the guitars break in, you know what it is. Following that is "Dacia Hiperboreana", a much more metal track with some psychedelic elements. The whole album is like this--folk parts giving way to black metal and blending together superbly.

A few tracks could stand alone. You could check into "Ochiul Inimii" with its Indian sounds and the flute as a suitable substitute for lead guitar, or "Cara De Dincolo De Negura" with its metal and horns mix. But don't judge them on that basis. If you like it at all, get the album and set aside an hour. It's worth it.

The Verdict: This is a great album, and Negură Bunget has sold me on their album-oriented approach to folk black metal. This is the first real competition for folk metal of the year since Finntroll. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I've listened to Om twice in the last week. I like it okay, but I've heard better. I've heard it's prevailing opinion that their latest is better, I may have to check it out.