Review Summary: Summoning have never sounded so magical, so fantastical, so...bad.With Doom We Come
deserved much better. Being Summoning’s delightfully majestic and triumphant eighth album it deserved better than the drab production and confounding mixing. Never before have Summoning painted such a believable, Middle-Earth inspired, canvas. The sweeping melodies that mesh with the harsh black metal backdrop have never felt so fantastical, so unquestionably Tolkien-esque.
Then again, Summoning have never sounded so bad
In an album at odds with itself, Summoning prove that production isn’t just a box to tick when reviewing metal. With Doom We Come
is a frequently muffled mess of disparaging tones. Guitars sound sharp, loud, and biting, while the drums are distant and neutered. Horns and additional strings cover the album with an unrefined ear giving them inconsistent importance (for example, the deafening horns on "Silvertine" are directly at odds with the nigh inaudible keyboard on "Herumor").
Despite all of this, With Doom We Come
is expertly written black metal. It’s very much a Summoning record, camp and all, but it’s charm is undeniable. The raucous beats and expert pace yield songs that are almost catchy
—addicting even. The title track for example, at a bloated 11 minutes, pushes the brim of the album further than it should but still maintains a sense of rhythmic urgency. Meanwhile, the magical tones of “Mirklands” offer a combination harsh, dark black metal and delicate 90s era synths. From most bands it would feel like an absurd attempt at recreating a bygone era. From Summoning it feels genuine.
With Doom We Come
, for all its faults, is still a highly accomplished Summoning record, which depending on who you are can be high praise. It sounds rough around the edges (okay rough throughout) but the beating heart is undeniable. In essence, this is Summoning offering up a fantasy you can’t get anywhere else.