Negură Bunget – Vîrstele Pamîntului

In 2009, three of the members of Negură Bunget left the band due to irreconcilable differences, later forming Dordeduh, leaving just drummer Negru to carry on with the Negură Bunget name. After filling out the band, Vîrstele Pamîntului was released in 2010. This release splintered the Negură Bunget fanbase; some did not consider it a true Negură Bunget release. With that said, Vîrstele Pamîntului is still a well-crafted album that is much more folk-oriented than prior releases. The atmospheric black metal that made Negură Bunget interesting is still there, but Vîrstele Pamîntului places more of an emphasis on Romanian folk instrumentation. The sounds of cow bells clanging gently and flutes in Pãmînt start off the album. This opening track is a long introductory track with increasingly dark atmosphere augmented by the keyboards that strongly remind me of the music in the Playstation 1 game Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Despite the dark tone of the atmosphere, there is a strong sense of spirituality in the folky music before screams penetrate the darkness and accelerate the song into epic atmospheric folk metal. Dacia Hiperboreanã again starts slowly with darkly ominous atmospheric keyboards and folkish guitar picking before the song leads into some epic spiritual black metal. The opening of this album is the best part as the rest of the album generally stays within these aforementioned parameters. Vîrstele Pamîntului has a good balance between Romanian folk instrumentation and atmospheric black metal, but as stated earlier, with more emphasis on the folk. Umbra begins with some tribal-esque drumming as horns and flutes add to the atmosphere. Jar is an ambient and darkly atmospheric track, while Arborele Lumii has a little bit more metal than most of the tracks. Vîrstele Pamîntului closes out with the atmospherically folk Întoarcerea Amurgului. Vîrstele Pamîntului is a fine addition to Negură Bunget’s discography. I do not really understand the disdain for it held by many Negură Bunget fans. It is indeed a well-written and interesting album of folk-oriented atmospheric black metal. It starts off really well, and does lose a little bit of its luster as it progresses, but it is nonetheless a solid album that I would highly recommend for those interested in metal with an emphasis on folk.

Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal, Folk Metal
Country: Romania
Label: Code666 Records
Release: March 31, 2010

1. Pãmînt
2. Dacia hiperboreană
3. Umbra
4. Ochiul Inimii
5. Chei de Rouã
6. Cara de Dincolo de Negurã
7. Jar
8. Arborele Lumii
9. Întoarcerea Amurgului

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