|Review: Summoning - Minas Morgul|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 1995
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: September 24, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.21/5 (84.12%) (34 Votes)
This was the second album for Summoning, waaay back in '95 when Black Metal was just starting to take off. This band is only peripherally a black metal band, as they are more about atmosphere and mood than about aggressive riffing or screaming, and they certainly aren't about satan.
Summoning have a sound that is interesting and different. They start with a quick-strumming riff style layered over with moody keyboards to create a kind of new-age black metal sound. The vocals are the usual harsh rasps, but are mixed pretty low, and there are long stretches without any vocals at all. The overall effect is not terribly metal, but the melodies on this album are really good, creating a genuinely haunting and cool atmosphere. From the song titles it is clear that Summoning have a major jones for Tolkein, and I have to say the feel of the album reflects this very well. The production is OK, with a thin lower end and synthetic drums, but the heart of this CD are the epic orchestral harmonies between the synths and the guitars, which are almost always enjoyable. Some of these cuts are around the 10 minute mark, and the songwriting sometimes loses focus. But overall this album does create a mood, a feel that catches you up and carries you along on a journey with it.
This is not very black, or very metal, but it is cool, and I understand most of Summoning's works are pretty similar. So if you like atmospheric stuff like the instrumentals that Emperor used to do, this would be an album worth looking for.
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