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Summoning is one of those bands that are hardly categorized because of their "deviant" approach in Metal making; however on this album the band can be easily labled Black Metal without thinking (in vein of the ingenius Burzum). Although the band didn't suffer from line-up changes as most bands do (and it's probably the reason why they suck after the debut) through their whole career, they only lost the drummer as he was ego and self-involved which caused them to kick him out (eventhough he composed some of the material on Lugburz)... which caused them to use the drum-machine after wards and their music didn't suffer from lacking a drummer at all.
Lugburz is a "tr00, kvlt" solid Black Metal album for the most part except for some keybaord passeges here and there in two or three songs, you won't find the mesmerizing atmospheres of Khazad Dum, nor would you find the gloriffying background melody in Nightshade Forests. Although this is a well-written Black Metal album, it suffers from major flaws: Aweful production (at least I don't like it), horrible vocaling, not the dark immortal loathing screams of "The Legend of the Master Ring," and that's what really disturb me about this album, and some boring riffs here and there, they are not through the whole album, but they exist which doesn't make this a masterpiece.
Grey Heavens: The album begins with this nice instrumental that sets a mood of quietude and inspiration, and serves as a calm-before-the-flood kind of intro. It starts with the sound of the sea waves along with some keyboards and then enters some gentle drums in the background... it kind of remind me of the intro to the album Minus Morgul, but this one is better, it doesn't force you to skip it everytime you play the CD.
Beyond Bloodred Horizons: The first real song rises agressively from the ashes of the aesthetic beauty of the intro instrumental track with an old-school guitar riff that soon mixes with the drums perfectly to force your neck to head-bang spontaniously. This is really a well-done song, though it's a bit repetitive and lacks all kinds of atmosphere but that doesn't cause any repulsiveness untill you listen to it many many times.
Flight of the Nazgul: Begins with a slow doomy riff that gets all brisk with the first sign of the double bass, and gets more melodic and rhythmic with the introduction of the screams. While the drums on this song isn't the typical of Black Metal, the riffs are dark and thrashy... and the first whispers of atmosphere can be heard on this song with an aesthetic keyboard break in the middle, it forces you out of your head-banging with a nice rest to chill a bit for almost a minute. Overall, this is definatly a stand out track that features all Lugburz's elements with a bit of atmosphere and amazing guitar work, and simple static-paced drumming. One of the best on this Black Metal jewel.
Where Winters Forever Cry: The first thing I thought of when I listened to this song for the first time was Burzum's Burzum guitar riffs, slow and depressive and has the same sound, however this thought is soon vanished as you hear the really queer frogy vocals, and that's, probably, the only thing I don't like about this song, the vocals; they sound like a frog calling for the female during mating season... apart from the vocals, the song has solid guitar work, and good drumming, without any keyboards. Can get boring after some listens, still amazing nevertheless; definatly a highlight.
Through the Valley of the Frozen Kingdom: While the title seems interisting, the song itself is much more interisting and it has much to give as the incredibly well-written guitar riff, and the atmosphere in the background (it's totally unnoticed though) and the variety of the vocal approach. It has thrashy hasty moments, and slow melancholic moments, and it gets so bloodcurdling at 5:03 and it vanishes to a delibratly slow pace all of a sudden and slow drumming before it fades to black.
Raising With the Battle: starts normally and ordinary till it gets kind of fast, and the typical Black Metal drumming begins its job, then it gets back again the "normality," the riffs are not so memorable except for the part excactly at 2:50, where the song gets kind of doomy for about a minute then it gets amazing, with blast beat drumming and rock solid guitar playing... after that minute the song gets kind of boring, and forgetable. This song has the most stand-out "moments" of Lugburz, however the rest of the song is boring and dull.
Master of the Old Lure: As the song began you hear the double bass doing nice solo, I actually like songs that begin with a double bass, however my expectations were doomed as the song progressed. Although this song can't be called bad, it is somehow boring and it has to take some time to grow on you, and when it does you'll find yourself bored the heck of it. The only thing that can prevent you from skipping the song, is the drumming at the last part which is attractive to your ear. Can be skipped after some listens.
Between Light and Darkness: This song is so forgetable, and it really has nothing to offer, it doesn't reach anywhere with anything. I'd rather skip this one, cuz it can get boring....
The Eternal Lands of Fire: "Cry," the screaming monster shrieks with it to give you a feeling of awe, and the whole background music serves for this purpose also, and the change in the vocal style. While this song has nice variety of vocaling, it's not good either at least till it reaches 2:30 where an awesome riff starts to evoke your deepest feelings of heaviness.
Dragons of Time: You'll hear the atmospheres at the very first second of this unlike the rest of the album, the riffs are not noticed though, and the vocals remind me of an animal being tortured. The real song starts at 1:20 with a double bass solo all of a sudden and the atmosphere disapeares all of sudden, and the song gets closer to the "tr00" Black Metal sound. Some clean vocals or "spoken" parts can be heard here to give an "eerie" feeling along with the sound of the wind. This song has it's moments and definatly a highlight, and can be a definning of Summoning in Lugburz.
Moondance: Unlike it's "romantic" title, the song is far from romantic. Again the vocals are irritating frogy shrieks tha really get on my nerves. The riffs are easly forgotten. The drumming is as Black Metal as it gets... what keeps you interested is the awesome break out from the Black Metal war, to a sea of emotions done by the so aesthetic, artistic, beautiful keyboard parts, and the only thing that puts the atmosphere deep in the ground are the so disturbing vocals. This is a stand-out track and one of the best, though it has some flaws.
If you're a fan of "Stronghold" and "Let Mortal Heros Sing Your Fame" that's most probably not you're cup of tea, and you would find it totally unbearable, and unlistenable. However if you like to hear the raw Black Metal sound of Summoning at infancy, don't hesitate getting hold of this, or if you're a die-hard Summoning fan (like myself), it's not regretable.
It is not really a must-have, but if you miss Burzum's Aske, then grab a listen to this album it's not as genius, but it's not any bad either.