Saturday, November 08, 2008

Summoning

A lot of Black Metal has been influenced by the works of J.R. Tolkien. For me, Black metal and Tolkien go together, as I got into both when I was 18. Summoning, a band from Austria, have taken this too the ultimate extreme and based all their songs on Tolkienesque themes.

Summoning differ from most Black metal bands in that rather than simply making use of keyboards, their whole sound is dominated by them, almost to the exclusion of guitar riffs.

In my opinion, Dol Guldur (name after the fortress of Sauron in Mirkwood) is their best album. This album ought to be awful. It makes use of some really cheap and tacky sounding synthezisers (they sound like Cassio keyboards). Yet somehow, out of these cheap-sounding keyboards, Summoning manage to produce complex layers of sound in the style of Kraftwerk. The medieval sound really captures the creepier aspects of Tolkien's Middle Earth.

Elfstone is my favorite song from Dol Guldur:



In more recent years, Summoning have written Midrautas Vras, a song entirely in Orcish on their last album, Oath Bound:



Oath Bound differs from previous Summoning albums in being made after the Lord of the Rings movies. I think that is reflected in the sound. One can hear elements of the LOTR soundtrack in that album.

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