Negură Bunget - Vîrstele Pămîntului review
|Release date:||March 2010|
02. Dacia Hiperboreană
04. Ochiul Inimii
05. Chei De Roua
06. Tara De Dincolo De Negură
08. Arborele Lumii
09. Întoarcerea Amurgului
Thoreau's shrewd diagnosis of life: "Truth needs only two groups of people to surface - some to express it and others to hear it." Negură Bunget have done the first part by unfettering another Transilvanian beast, to roam the dark rainswept streets of Romania, under the name of Vîrstele Pămîntului. It would be unwise to spurn the quest to discovering the concealed hoards of Negură Bunget's sixth proud album just because it doesn't live up to the standards set by its predecessors, Om and Maiestrit to name a few. All that we have to do is to hear it as it winds paths through the cold mountains of the legendary Dacia. I have already done that, and here's my story...
The ramble commences with "Pămînt," a high-pitched flutted opening track, which soothes me every time I give it a listen. It starts off as haunting, peaceful and eerie as the unswerving river Dâmboviţa that sunders the Transylvanian Alps in south-central Romania, before it plunges into a lake of bewitched atmospheric folk metal at its best. Something that even the most scrupulous fans of Negură Bunget, myself included, wouldn't expect after the departure of two of the three members of the Romanian outfit. And while I realize this album is not anywhere near Om's matchless authenticity or the black metal transcendent spirituality that the band was reputed to hold, I still believe it's gold. Not following? I'll explain... from The raw whited-backdrop and the root-curved tree that embodies the artwork (which I believe depicts anger towards those who continue to scourge nature) to the earthly songs, the Romanian black metal thunder has managed to combine, brilliantly, Drudkh's crafty style, using numerous ethnic instruments (tulnic, xylophone, cobza, dulcimer, talangi, panpipe...) with Negru's true love for nature which greatly contributed to improving the greater whole. At this point, people would begin to compare this release to Om and of course to deplore the departure of Hupogrammos and Sol Faur. Well, let me save you some time, I'm not going to, and neither should you. Clearly Vîrstele Pămîntului isn't Om, and frankly, I don't think that Negură Bunget will ever record a masterpiece in Om's flawlessness, and why should they? They've established themselves as the upper crust of the black metal hierarchy and neither a shuddering tempest nor a tsunami could dethrone them from their well-deserved throne.
Vîrstele Pămîntului (which means The Ages Of The Land) is a solid album, not as impressive as Om or Maiestrit but it's a must for everyone who yearns to hone his Negură Bunget experience and his metal knowledge as a whole. I'd even go as far as saying, that this album, with all its flaws, blows the other so-called atmospheric black metal kings' works out of the water.
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