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Nothing Unexpected. - 61%

Shadespawn, April 22nd, 2009

Of course many fans of Summoning who decide to dig deeper and those who take the trouble in desperately getting their demos off the Internet or elsewhere (such as myself) will find that, despite the fact that their older stuff truly is interesting and special per se, they will not appeal to most epic-fanciers. This is not the Summoning most people would like to hear, raw and epic, but it is very atmospheric, fuzzy and very black metal oriented. Most songs on the demo are blurry pre-versions of later Lugburz material. Lugburz itself also being almost a completely different style than Minas Morgul and aftermath.

Die hard black metal fans who also love Summoning's Lugburz will also find this demo both cute and entertaining at the same time. Tracks such as "In The Name Of The Holy Penis" are very amusing, although sadly they never made it onto the full-length. Basically "Tales From The Northern Forest" is an early version of "Where Winters Forever Cry". "Upon The Viking Stallion" and "Dark Age" are early versions of "Flight of the Nazgul", except the formers aren't bound together yet. The cool thing about those versions is that they still are sloppy and amateurish, which is a good thing. The instrumental synth part of "Flight of the Nazgul" is also not really instrumental, since there is some sort of low-quality female chanting present. Not really audible, but heck who cares then, it doesn't really do any bad (or any good for that matter).

Though by far not as good as Lugburz, get this while it's hot! Although I think this has been frozen and forgotten for ages. In that case, check it out. Stay the heck away from it if you dislike atmosphere and EPIC (!!!) song structures!

Nothing special - 50%

nezumi, January 5th, 2008

When I've heard this demo for first, I was really surprised. It just didn't sound like Summoning. No synths, sucky quality and vocals quite different fom those on the other albums.

This has something in common with another Summoning releases: it's not a standard black metal (it's too melodic and quite consonant) and some riffs are used in later songs (catchy riff from 'Where winters forever cry' was originally used in 'Tales from the northern forest'), however it's not that good. It lacks originallity and this unique atmosphere. The lyrics are different from melancholic Tolkien-inspired poetry used later. They are rather in typical black metal style, but not as aggresively anti-christian as those written by Norwegian raw black metal bands. There's no drumming machine but the live drummer sounds just worse than it.

To sum up, 'Anno Mortini Domini 1252' is similar to many other melodic black metal releases and is worse than Summoning's studio albums but isn't really bad. Black metal fans will probably like it more because it has more to do with their music, but I prefer more atmospheric music, just like, for example, 'Stronghold' or 'Lost Tales'.