It has been nearly five years since the last Summoning release. In between we have had new DVKE, Kreuzweg Ost, and numerous other projects by Silenius and Protector. Now however comes the band that they are most known for: Summoning. Blending epic landscapes, bombastic medieval percussion, and distant black metal guitar riffs Summoning are truely in a league of their own. Protector commented that on this album the guitars would adopt a more floating style. They indeed do, playing a more arpeggio-based style than ever before. It must also be noted that the artwork is once again superb, a landscape that lets the listener create the action in his own mind while listening.
The mandatory intro song for Summoning. It begins with flute and drums. Then in come the strings and horns that are truely Summoning style. There are also Pizzicato strings in this song which have reappearred after being last heard on Dol Guldurs "Nightshade Forests." These go on for a little and then a spoken word sample comes. It deals with Tolkein as usual, though this sample pertains to the Silmarillion. Then enter some arabic drums which are a new addition to Summoning and are hand played by Protector. It ends with a sort of war march sample which may well have been taken from the LOTR trilogy.
2 Across the Streaming Tide
This begins with horns, very similar to something one might hear of the last cd. Then in comes the guitar and one can straightaway hear the "arpeggio" style Protector talked about. The vocals are done by Protector whose voice is very similar to the last cd which is great as he is an excellent vocalist. The song goes on for 10:20 but it is not noticable and does not become boring at any point as throughout the song there are numerous variations on riffs and solo parts that keep the listener engaged.
3 Mirdautas Vras
It should be first said that this has to be the first song sung in full Orkish. The lyrics, written by Arkan von Greifenstein (Ash Nazg, Greifenstein, Dismal) are entirely in the black language and are the first lyrics ever written in a Summoning booklet. What really brings them to life however, is Silenius' excellent vocals on this track. They are very harsh but still clear enough to follow. The instruments include Horns and Strings with no guitar at all. Once again there is a sample from the LOTR movies.
4 Might and Glory
Opens with an uncharecteristic kind of keyboard riff. It is very eerie and if one listens to the intro of the song while looking at the artwork in the booklet one could swear one was in a dark desolate forest. Protector does vocals again. The band also does some clean choir vocals at the end which are similar to those on "Farewell". The choir goes on for a while and is complemented by a beautiful clarinet melody. The ending is guitar tremelo picking and the cawing of ravens.
Begins with a feeling very similar to DVKE. Then in comes the guitar and the song starts up. This the one song that probably has a more medieval feel like Dol Guldur and Minas Morgul as compared to the other songs on this cd. This may be because there is a flute in this that dominates some of the riffs. More excellent vocals by Silenius, and though not the best song, still a very solid song.
We first hear piano, an instrument that does not come to mind when one thinks Summoning. Really for a large portion of the song only drums piano and guitar play. Silenius does vocals yet again (yes they are very good). The song clocks in at 8:39. This may be a good time to mention that every song except the intro is longer than 8 minutes. That is not bad though because the songsnever get boring and you actually get your moneys worth of 70 minutes on this cd.
Hey thats my old band name! Anyway the beginning reminds me of the flute melody of Baulgir played on horns. Lots of small details that really give the song depth such as short harp parts and numerous solo parts (solo as in only one instrument playing the riff). The drumming is excellent throughout the cd and this cd is no exception with intricate tom patterns that, when panned so that they are heard only in one ear (they switch from left to right). Very nice, last song with Silenius on vocals.
8 Land of the Dead
The lyrics fit beatifully with this song. The song is very melancholic and has a beautiful string/piano melody. The song is 12:50 and is comprised of only four riffs, an example of Summonings simplistic and engaging genius when it cimes to song structure. The flute also has a lot of great melodies in here. Later the clean choir vocals reappear and replace the flutes melody. Protector does great harsh vocals, better than most Black Metal bands IMO. Amazing song.
-Black Language Vocals
-Not raw black metal by any account which may turn some of the fans of raw BM off. This cd is an awesome experience however and as with their previous releases, I can't really pinpoint anything wrong with their music.