on 21 July 2002
Well,the first thing I have to say is that this is an amazing cd, full of rousing, epic and symphonic tracks all the way through. This isnt the best Summoning album, but it is certainly right up there a leading contender, what with tracks like "the mountain king's return" and the awe inspiring intro "A new power is rising". As with the earlier albums they have returned to the influence of Tolkiens classic 'Lord of the Rings' for inspiration, the album flows extrememly well and I can listen to it over and over again without getting bored or tired. Ihis is the kind of music you can get lost in, and once caught by the songs you will never want to leave the world created by the band. I have to say that Summoning is probably the best band i have ever heard, for all styles of music and not just metal/black metal, and in my opinion one of the most underrated bands, buy this CD now, you wont be dissapointed!!
on 17 August 2008
Summoning are something of an oddity in metal. they are a black metal band, but not 'true black metal' in the pretentious, obscurity desperate sense. The band don't use blast beats or anything like that, and musically they're not even extreme or heavy or even very fast.. The guitars are primarly a background instrument and low in the mix, adding more muscle at dramatic times in the songs and occasionaly going into slighly more complex riffing. Which leaves the keyboards to take centre stage. And how absolutly epic they are!!! Orchestral and symphonic keys are used throughout to give the album a hugely epic and cinematic feel while the guitars cruch soflty in the back ground. Seriously, this could be the soundtrack to a great fantasy film or video game. Listening to this album you can imagine yourself striding though battle fields, sword in hand, hacking orcs or elves to pieces depending on your preference. the only really extreme thing is the croaky screams in the background, which are used to good effect. There's also a fair bit of spoken word/shouting samples used, which actually works very well and adds to the fantasy/tolkien feel, especially on 'Sveth Uman'. I also loved how in 'Farewell' they use a (albiet synthesised) male choir to really give a huge farewell to the listener in a gind of Blind Guardian way. It would have been nice if they had used the choirs a bit more.
There are only two real problems with Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame. Firstly, the production is kinda basic, and while it doesn't stop me enjoying the band i get the feeling that this would sound a hell of a lot better if they had a bit more cash in the studio. Second, they could have spiced it up with a bit more variety. But really, i'm splitting hairs now...
Let Mortals Sing Your Fame is not the best metal album ever, neither is it fast, technical or aggressive. But it is definitly unique, original, well played, well written, and soaked in its own special atmosphere that really makes Summoning stand out in a scene full of pretentious plagerisers and half-assed satanics. If you're looking for something a bit different and a bit epic i would say give em a shot.
on 6 June 2008
This is my second experience of this Austrian duo & once again, I'm blown away!
This band offer a real challenge to Therion & Dimmu Borgir, only lacking the financial muscle to incorporate a real orchestra to compliment the classically themed arrangements.
Having said that the keyboard/synth work is out of this world and along with the powerful, sampled drums, it dominates the mix. Vocals are the raspy, hoarse Black Metal style (and shared between the two band members)but really suit the atmosphere. The guitars come & go, and are often lower in the mix, adding a dark, ambient feel, instead of a metal style riff-fest.
Tracks such as Farewell also feature Therion style choirs, which are very impressive, despite having been created artificially via vocal/keyboard FX. Indeed the entire production is impressive considering the modest resources available.
Lyrically, we are still in the world of Middle Earth with it's unending source of lands, heroes, villains, monsters and earth shattering battles.
Summoning tend to dwell on the darker side ie Mordor, Orcs & Sauron but there is often a real feeling of sadness alongside the cries of battle and they do sing from the pov of the forces of good albeit still in the aggressive, harsh style.
This album came out just before the first of Peter Jackson's movies so there are no samples from those films, unlike 2006's Oath Bound which plunders the trilogy's sound track to great effect (see my review). However, fear not! There are many samples here - from the 1981, BBC Radio Play and My God, do they work! I mean, they all REALLY fit the music, never sounding forced or superfluous. Just hearing Michael Hordern as Gandalf mixed in with these huge, epic pieces is fantastic!!!
I have more Summoning arriving from Amazon as I type and in the absence of a new Therion album, I really can't wait!!!
For fans of Burzum, (Symphonic)Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Therion & Nightwish (If you can handle the vocals!) and anyone that likes harder movie osts like Conan The Barbarian or a bit of Wagner.