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The latest release from epic black metal band Summoning is called 'Oath Bound'. Summoning changed a little over the years. The style of their older albums was harsher and relied less on movie-like atmospheres created by keyboards and samples, they were a bit more on the black metal side of things. Those that may have expected them to go back to this sound entirely on 'Oath Bound' might be a bit disappointed but if you enjoyed the last album, 'Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame', which was released back in 2003, you will not be let down by this one. Oath Bound is essentially a logical continuation in this same style. Lyrically the band is still heavily inspired by fantasy settings, Tolkien and the Lord of The Rings trilogy.
The album starts out with 'Bauglir', a song which instantly creates a very epic atmosphere but merely serves as an intro. The next songs have names such as 'Across The Streaming Tide', 'Might and Glory', 'Northward' and 'Land of the Dead'. Several of the tracks on Oath Bound make you feel like you're standing on the edge of a battlefield before marching off to meet the enemy in all out medieval warfare. Both Silenius' and Protector's harsh vocals, the subtle layers of black metal riffing and the pounding rhytm of the drum machine have a hypnotising effect on the listener throughout the album. A track carrying the name of 'Mirdautas Vras' seems to be somewhat of a unique endeavour seeing as the lyrics of this one are written completely in the Lord of The Ring's black language of Mordor. Samples of groaning, chanting, marching and even screeching birds are repeatedly used throughout the album, effectively transforming the bulk of the songs into bombastic masterpieces. The clean vocals first used in the song 'Farewell' on the last album make their return and work just as well here.
Yes, it seems like the creative minds of Protector and Silenius are certainly oath bound. Bound to an oath to their listeners to keep on delivering excellent albums.
Originally written for www.gothtronic.com