Review Summary: Intro to Summoning and the sounds of Middle Earth
Summoning’s debut Lugburz is in my mind one of the most criminally underrated works of not only Summoning's catalog but among all of black metal. While it does not have the atmospheric and compositional grandeur of later works, Protector and Silenius deliver a raw, fun, and passionate work inspired from the best of the genre blended with their own sound.
The record opens with an atmospheric interlude which Summoning typically utilizes. It is the sound of Smeagol, little harmless Smeagol gently paddling on his boat in the caves of the Misty Mountains searching for his next fish to devour.
Then suddenly in Beyond the Bloodred Horizon the listener is thrust into one of the heaviest and evil sounding riffs that shows what is to come on this album. If you didn’t start involuntarily headbanging at this point you might as well just turn off the album and go listen to Alcest or La Dispute. Well done Nazgulian screeches are prevalent here and constantly rape your ears to any trve black metal fans delight. Also it should be mentioned that drummer Tryx does a solid job here, although after his contribution on Lugburz he will be kicked out for electronic drums. The result is a more aggressive and man-made sound, compared to later albums where the precision and calculation leads one to believe that the music was composed by the Ainur themselves.
Flight of the Bumblebee? *** that. How about Flight of the Nazgul. Grab the reins on the fell-beast tight because the tremolos on this one are going to take you for a ride. Just envision yourself soaring in the skies, searching for any possible enemies to maul to pieces. Though there seems to be a random piano interlude in this song, it’s just there because no one can handle all that awesomeness. Just when you feel like all is safe, the battle returns. The leader of the Nine is shouting and screaming his orders to go *** somebody up again.
In Where Winters Forever Cry Silenius uses his Abbath/Gollum-esque croaks which add variety to the album. Not a stand out song but simply good nonetheless.
Through the Valley of Frozen Kings features Warg howls and a spoken interlude. Of course it includes the Summoning trend of a wide display of riffs that evoke feelings of hatred, battle, and melancholy.
Raising with the Battle Orcs is explained by it’s name. It is the sounds of goblins and orcs bellowing their ugly speech, banging their crude war instruments. It is ugly and that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Dragons of Time is the highlight of the album for me. A keyboard melody sends the listener into an emotional trance. Ponder what you may, your life, your failures, your dreams, and most importantly the magnificent creatures that are dragons.
on cold landscapes of ghostly substance
the dragon spreads its wings
the only dragon, creator of time
on paths where
once surrounded by night
throned the dragon of time now dwells
the swords dipped in blood
stone cold, washed away by time
none shall live and all shall die
immortal we stand
on the hills where the dragon flies
on the hills where dragon flies