Album: Old Mornings Dawn
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: black metal, ambient
After 7 years, Austrian black metal band Summoning have released Old Mornings Dawn – and the album sounds as if these gentlemen just picked up the trails of past work as they left it, and nothing happened in between, certainly not 7 years of waiting.
Old Mornings Dawn is a “typical” Summoning album. For those of you who are not familiar with Summoning, a short description would be: deeply atmospheric black metal with clearly understandable, yet haunting screams by Protector, lots of keyboards, all lyrics based on the writings by Tolkien and medieval elements. Before the blockbuster movies rolled out, my entire idea of Middle Earth was based on the sounds of Summoning.
Having pointed out the typical style of a Summoning album, I was just mildly disappointed by Old Mornings Dawn for its lack of reinvention and newness. Protector and Silenius simply worked on what they're excellent at, and that still works perfectly fine. Given the 7-year gap, however, I was just a teensy bit curious to see if something would have shifted.
Just like in the late 90s, early 2000s, Summoning still use their trademark sound-forming elements: guitars are soft in the mix, programmed drums with lots of reverb, layers of synths and vocals on full reverb as well. I do wonder what Summoning would sound like if they'd replace the synths by a small orchestra.
Just like the previous albums by Summoning, Old Mornings Dawn contains some deeply enthralling epic passages that carry you away to a magical place like Middle Earth. The chorus on “Old Mornings Dawn”, with the oboe sounds and medieval-style drums is a fine example, as well as “Caradhras”, a slow, yet fiercely desperate track with melancholic woodwind-sounds.
Sometimes Old Mornings Dawn sounds just like the continuation of all previous work, somewhere the reference to “The Rotting Horse on the Deadly Ground” from Stronghold is very noticeable – but nonetheless Summoning have created a deeply captivating and atmospheric album.
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