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This is Summoning's debut full-length release. Although musically it has nothing to do with the band's later releases, it is quite an interesting album.
First of all, it is the only Summoning release to feature real drumming performed by an actual drummer! So apart from the usual duo, Silenius and Protector are joined by Trifixion, who was later kicked out of the band.
Musically Lugburz can be described as raw but melodic black metal with epic and atmospheric references. The drumming is surprisingly good and I particularly like the sound of it. There are many interesting guitar riffs and the many changes in the melodies make the songs pleasant to listen to. The bass guitar is on the far background and the keyboards are adding an ounce of atmosphere to the songs. The vocals are vague so to speak but that doesn't make much difference as your attention is caught mostly by the guitars and the drums. There are some atmospheric melodic breaks with keys and acoustic guitars. Of course they cannot be compared to the majesty of their later masterpieces but they do create a fine break between the fast raw black metal parts of their tunes.
Personally I'd prefer the vocals to be more straight with less echo and the drums to be less upfront and more at the background. Nonetheless they have some great ideas and it is obvious that the way they compose is really original. A great taste of what was to follow!
Sometimes during the songs they remind me of their fellow act "Abigor" but that is normal since they belong to the same scene and have shared members. Ray Wells of Pazuzu is performing some invocations here and there.
To sum up, I really like the first five songs. After that they sound a bit repetitive but then Dragons Of Time and Moondance kick in. Both excellent songs, they are the best ending to this very promising debut from Austria's most talented act!