Summoning
Dol Guldur


5.0
classic

Review

by pilumneer USER (6 Reviews)
June 27th, 2007 | 54 replies | 11,196 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Oh yeah, its that bloody good.

6 of 7 thought this review was well written

Black metal's fundamental aim and role, as a whole, can be defined as "opposition to the Christian values of today". Whether it invokes the strength of pre-Christian times, reflects on the beauty of nature, or just plain hails Satan, black metal is at war with Christianity. In a Pagan/Nihilistic/non-Christian society, black metal would have no artistic value, it would be fighting a foe that doesn't exist and therefore would be entirely unnecessary, in the same way guns created solely for shooting down planes become unnecessary when every plane has been destroyed.

This doesn't apply to Summoning. They aren't part of the war. They're the proud, glorious ride home on horseback, having already vanquished their deadly enemy, holding high in triumph the heads of those slain. They transcend the war, they are victory. With Christianity gone they lose no value, they are simply representative of the glory and honour of Romanticism. This is why, to many, their designated label over the years has been "post-black metal" (no, not the same as those bands with a shaky BM aesthetic accompanied by over-the-top orchestration and pretentious gimmicks, this is real post-BM); once BM reaches its goal, they are the logical progression. While most albums that invoke the medieval spirit possess a sense of longing, there is none here, because in Summoning's world the medieval is reality, and in that I find more hope for a better future than in any other album I've ever listened to.

Without doubt, this is one of the most important metal albums ever recorded. While their previous releases had a slight aura of cheesiness about them (they rule, don't get me wrong), as well as a lack of coherence in places, their songwriting talent really comes together here. Not one foot is put wrong, not once do you think "hmm, that could have been better", it is absolutely immersive from start to finish, and reaches a height of totality/wholeness that very few can achieve.

The majestic melodies are slowly developed through repetition into epic, grandiose climaxes, accompanied by the most powerful drumwork on any metal album ever composed, militaristically throbbing thunderously, albeit slow and fairly simple, as well as being a drum machine. Sadness is poignant in places, though there's no immature sentimentality here, simply a great sense of respect and reflection upon those who gave their lives to the cause. Just listen to Khazad Dum - listen to the way the original motif is built on layer-upon-layer, taking the imagination into a bombastic, beautiful journey of emotion and spiritual refreshment. In fact, just listen to any song, they're all sensational (Nightshade Forests and Elfstone are my personal favourites).

If that wasn't enough, this is one of the greatest-produced albums ever as well. Every single instrument appears to be dominating at the same time, yet they aren't fighting with one another, they're working together in harmony. From the booming echoey drums, to the rich, warm guitars. The strong, throaty, proud vocals. The various brilliant uses of keyboards, from the hefty brass sound, shining the sun's warmth down upon the men on horseback, to the sweet woodwind; a flock of birds flying over a healthily flowing stream.

Many of the best metal artists have at least partially had inspiration from those classic books by a certain Mr. Tolkien, which you may or may not know about. The tales explore various ancient Romantic/Nihilistic notions, such as having the will power and honour to increase the value of one's life through one's great achievements (rather than having inherent worth by obeying a set of external morals), great respect for the beauty of the land, etc. Few bands are quite as heavily motivated by those epics as Summoning. Indeed, virtually their entire discography focuses upon nothing but the quests and events of Middle Earth, and the resulting music is no surprise considering the scope and depth that those books covered, and the values held within them.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you again that this album is a masterpiece, but I'm going to anyway. THIS IS MAGNIFICENT. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR YOU NOT TO OWN THIS. BUY IT NOW.



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user ratings (146)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
pilumneer
June 27th 2007



41 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this band so fucking much, what do you guys think eh?

Cravinov13
June 27th 2007



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a great CD. Over Old Hills is my fav on this album. I prefer LMSSYF though.

pilumneer
June 27th 2007



41 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

All of their albums are good, I just slightly prefer their older sound, this album ftw.

ValiumMan
June 27th 2007



493 Comments


Grossly overblown review. Sounded like you actually run around wearing corpse paint on your face.

rattlehead42147
June 27th 2007



1345 Comments


great review, although i'm still uncertian as to where i stand with this band.

Silenius
June 27th 2007



302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yes very good cd indeed.

pilumneer
June 27th 2007



41 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Grossly overblown review. Sounded like you actually run around wearing corpse paint on your face."

What?!?!?!?!?!?


Cravinov13
June 27th 2007



3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Welcome to the site, people are assholes.

Silenius
June 28th 2007



302 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Funny because Summoning doesn't remind me of a typical corpse paint black metal band (even if they used it on their early cds). And the review has nothing thats cliche black metal in it either.

ProcessOfElimination
July 1st 2007



4 Comments


this was a great cd, Stronghold being my favorite though.

Spamue1G
July 29th 2008



1292 Comments


I'm not the biggest fan of black metal. I had a look at this because I enjoyed your St. Anger review, and despite the fact I feel that black metal can often be a bit... Ridiculous. However, you might just have persuaded me to have a look at this album. Nice review.This Message Edited On 07.29.08

Hawks
September 13th 2010



34583 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't understand this band at all. Some of their albums are great (this and Minas Morgul) and some are just plain boring (Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame and Oath Bound). Makes no sense to me.

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

RippingCorpse
September 13th 2010



1086 Comments


not all bands can put out 6 awesome albums in a row.

Lunarfall
September 13th 2010



3179 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Hawks its the other way around.

Hawks
September 13th 2010



34583 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't think it is the other way around. Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame and Oath Bound both bored the hell out of me.

TheSpirit
September 13th 2010



17184 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Stronghold is their best album

Digging: vhmnt / blsphm - vhmnt / blsphm

Hawks
March 22nd 2011



34583 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gotta say I still think this is their best.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011



16134 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nah, Oathbound.

Hawks
March 22nd 2011



34583 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That one bores me. Still good, but I feel like Land of the Dead is the only great track on it.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011



16134 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, yeah.



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