Old Morning’s Dawn
Napalm Records)

Grandiose, epic, majestic – these are just a few of the thousands of words that speak of grandeur; and nothing says grandeur quite like the new album from German epic atmospheric black metallers, Summoning. It is in one word, “brilliant.” From the opening triumph of “Flammifer” all of the way to the ending meditation of “Earthshine” these two immensely talented gentlemen prove their worth once again, as they always have in the past. The album is definite step above the already momentous Oath Bound and manages to improve upon on the formula laid there, which included the band’s return to the classic feel of black metal mixed in with the same sort of joyous atmosphere that one might expect to adorn the soundtrack of sword and sorcery games like Baldur’s Gate or Dragon Age. However, this material is based around Tolkien’s “Middle Earth” and has been a lyrical subject of the band since its conception in the early nineties. This album is very much a trip through these mythical lands, taking the listener skyward and into the mystic glory of “The White Tower” as they watch the mesmerizing glory of “The Wandering Fire” and finally bear witness to the absolute amazement unleashed on the album’s title track. The band decided to keep the sound of the disc very archaic in nature, so that it might sound like it was actually a part of the culture of Middle Earth and this is achieved through a very traditional means of recording that interestingly still retains the feel of the band’s classic releases like Minas Morgul and Dol Guldur. This tried and true method proves wonderfully effective and doesn’t see these scowl laden tracks getting boring anytime soon. The black metal that Summoning create is without measure and without equal. I’ve never heard anything quite like these gentlemen before and cannot lump these atmospheres in with any current metal act. However, the use of folk witnessed on this album might appeal to fans of both pagan folk metal and Viking metal in just as much as it would to black metal fans. Despite how joyous and majestic this album might sound, it still has plenty of extremely bleak moments like “Of Pale White Morn” that should sound right at home for even the most stubborn of these black metal hordes. One might not expect the keyboard laden atmospheres of darkwave, mixed in with ferocious black metal and well-mannered folk instruments to meld properly; but this is just another testament to their chemistry – chemistry in which Summoning have fully asserted their mastership. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t get much better than this. It’s certainly one of the best albums of the year, if not the last couple of years. If this excites you, then I highly recommend checking out the band’s other releases. Each and every Summoning release is a separate journey that is all its own. (Eric May)

Purchase Old Morning’s Dawn here:

1 Comment

  1. German band? I know, Germany is close to Austria, but it’s not the same ;)

Write A Comment