Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Summoning the Blogrog

Summoning is cool. They are an Atmospheric Black Metal outfit from Austria whose career has been based around Tolkiens works (except for their debut demo and possibly Lugburz, though it feature's Tolkien based songs). Coming up on their 8th album ("Oath Bound" out April 25th ish in the US and hopefully Canada!) they've forged quite a career out of Middle-Earth.

The album I'll be reviewing today is "Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame". This is the most recent album (not including 2003's 2 song EP "Lost Tales") and continues with the atmospheric black metal elements and orchestral feel of the keyboards and drums (programmed) that were brilliantly mixed on 1998's "Stronghold" (reviewed later). This is the first album I bought of their's and is one of 2 that I own. The other albums are hard to find and the "Lost Tales" ep is too damned expensive for 2 songs.

This is a great album front to end. The 2 guys behind Summoning (Silenius and Protector)
have created an epic musical styling worthy of Tolkien's universe for which it is based after. They continue to use the raspy growl vocals common to black metal, but that seems about all that still remains of their black metal roots. The percussion (note I did not use drums) is more classical based than the blastbeats of metal. This slow and gothic/doom that sounds both dark and melodic. It took a few listens to truly appreciate the blend of music that is at times triumphant or dark or melodic or all in a cacophony of noise. This is a musical experience, a journey that is not radio friendly and I love it.

The song that draws me to pull out the album and give it a spin is "In Hollows Beneath The Fells". This is not the best track, but the repetition of the song is addictive with the slow drum beat and soaring keyboards the songs samples a line from the book (possibly a sound bite from an older movie or audio/video recording of sorts, I don't know.) "In the darkness (pause) Bind them". This line usually leads into a maelstrom of melody before coming down and waits. There is also a sample of what sounds to me like a Nazgul dry heaving that keeps pace in this industrial style rhythm. Other songs that feature inspiring chaotic melodies with dark undertones are "The Mountain King's Return" and my personal favourite "Our Foes Shall Fall" which also features a killer guitar riff that challenges you to not be moved. Lastly I'd like to mention the last track (yes I did this on purpose) appropriately named "Farewell". This songs really encompasses what Summoning are about and includes all the elements that make them unique and gives "...Mortal Heroes..." the majestic ending you'd expect from any of Tolkiens works. A truly Epic album that one might find in the CD collection of Elrond of Rivendell.

... Speaking of Rivendell .... Up next .... Rivendell .... clever huh?!?


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