This veteran pagan black metal outfit from Romania has definitely evolved far beyond the stereotypical with this album, which as I understand is their first with a new lineup and new vocalist. Exploring the band's native roots with plenty of synthesizers and folk melodies, "Virstele Pamintului" opens with the surprisingly atmospheric soundtrack of "Pamint", which comes complete with flutes and a very Earthly, primitive vibe. Only within the final couple of minutes plus does it erupt into a more traditional black metal sound. Recorded in a secluded forest, "Virstele Pamintului" roughly translates to "Age Of The Land/Earth", and indeed that concept is evident throughout this diverse and visionary album.
Often mixing pagan folk, progressive rock, black metal, and symphonic elements within their tracks, Negura Bunget have created a conceptual monster here. The album flows from track-to-track as a whole, so choosing individual cuts to comment on seems fruitless. Suffice to say, Negura Benget bring out non-traditional instruments like flute and xylophone to add mood to their aggressive and epic metal. It's as if early Dead Can Dance met up with Watain and had a wicked jam -- that worked. I give these guys credit, as they are certainly expanding the language of black metal. This album is a true journey, ripe with medieval adventure, drama, and maybe a little bloodlust. Yes, these guys have more to offer than just blastbeats and juvenile aggression. Kudos to them for breaking the mold, and convincing me to listen multiple times!
Negura Bunget site