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And then this comes along...
To be summoning, you have to be 40% black metal, 35% Tolkien geek and 80% talented in writing melodies. In other words, they are a black metal band that sticks out. While their earlier albums were definitely noticeable of being black and metal. A dozen years ago, they straightened their sound, got over it, and somehow got talented. Now with this album, they even got tired of having a drummer and got a nice computer program to record it. Many of the melodies are played by that certain computer program. Hell, If they’d hide their guitar and lost their voices, Summoning wouldn’t be able to rent a room on this site. But, all this stuff matters not, as they might be not very metal, they are however extremely talented.
All of these songs are composed of the so called medieval influenced melodies. Melodies that would serve the Lord of the Rings film right. Ashen Gold got this beautiful intro composed of woodwind instruments, a marching drum, eventually some horns and trumpets and of course the black metal vocals. Farewell got this choir that perfectly fits within the epical fantasy style Summoning seems to be heading towards. Every song on here is comparable to one of the many obstacles Frodo came along when he was heading towards Mordor. It actually wouldn’t be that strange if the writers were actually aiming to perceive such an idea. South Uman with its brooding intro… In Halls beneath the Fells, such a powerful song… The Harpsichord of Runes of Power. It’s all so typical, but still so good. Summoning definitely got their act together for good on this album and recorded the best Lord of the Rings influenced album ever.
There is nothing decent about this album. It’s all above that bar. Rem Power is Rising’s intro is the only exception, with its boring spoken words. Spoken words never work that well, not here, not anywhere else. However, it only lasts for a mere 11 seconds (other than the ending of that song, although the vocals are then perfectly backing up the instruments). So although the very first 11 seconds of this album sucks, there is still almost an hour of music to enjoy. A musical journey, a quest. An epic adventure to reach an ultimate maximum of fantasy and mythical greatness. A divine outcome that started with something that disguised itself as a very commonly outline of music. In short. This is the musical equivalent of Lord of the Rings. Not only in distinctiveness, but also in quality.