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What do I think when I hear about Summoning? A difficult question. Probably, I'm seriously mistaken but Summoning sound extremely boring for me, without any chances to change to better. You might be baffled (and even shocked) by my words, cause these austrians are thought by many to create a unique sound in the mid-ninties (the time of black metal prosperity), therefore, they're genius and how can I say such things about them? But the fact is I dislike this band. I mean all of their works except the two albums, "Lugburz" and "Stronghold".
Actually, that doesn't mean that I like "Lugburz" very much. Everything I wanted to say is that not beeing able to stand their other albums, I consider "Lugburz" as one of the tolerable exceptions along with "Stronghold" (it sounds like pop-music performed by modern american singers, but looks acceptable). And changing the subject straight to "Lugburz", the first thing to blame is the quality of the recording. I'm not too squeamish, and the sound is not actually as bad as it sometimes happens to be on demos but, all the same, it looks rather lousy for the full-length recording. Honestly, I had an impression that they had recorded it in the bathroom.
The music on this album doesn't remind me of what they would eventually become starting from "Minas Morgul" up to the present. This is the example of pretty cool symphonic (classic) black metal, the style perfectly performed by Emperor and Dimmu Borgir a little bit earlier. That's nothing new in here but, of course, they should be given credits mainly for this release - nevertheless, it was 1995, and to some extent they were pioneers of the genre.
Ok, let's now talk about Summoning's attitude towards the Tolkien literature. I guess, this subject had certainly been discussed repeatedly before but I want to talk it over one more time. Tolkien's influence to the music in here is not as noticeable as on the following albums. However, the theme of "The Lord Of The Rings" has touched the lyrics and the album's cover much more than music. I think, you will agree with me as soon as you look at the cover and the titles of the tracks.
I like it to a certain degree but nothing more. I can enjoy such music only if it was written in the early or mid-90s and was composed by the giants of the style. 70/100 is the most exact mark for "Lugburz".
To highlight: "The Eternal Lands of Fire", "Dragons of Time", "Moondance".