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Summoning - Dol Guldur
Review: Summoning emanate slow and melodic ambient black metal that is more soundtrack than direct assault, insinuating a background mood into the listener's consciousness through repetition interrupted by melodic wanderings that emphasize placement and not categorical difference. The result is a deepening mood that grows from a seed of itself, and develops through its antithesis much as every journey has an objective, keeping both the gentle complexity of soundtracks and the tempestous, amoral sound of metal guitars.
Fast strumming holds chords in synchronization with syncopated rhythms and allows the tremelo to bring forth the qualities of each chord that reveal their melodic relation to their counterparts in never-static beauty. Over this wall of surprisingly mellow sound keyboards in the tightly punctual style of later Enslaved hold down a thematic development that allows a circular but expanding composition to these songs. Guitars often interact in two layers, one using tremolo power chords to form a background melody, and another stitching an orderly lead rhythm melody over the lush collusion of guitars and keyboards.
Black-throated dry retching vocals seem jarring at first in this context but their usage is expertly controlled by a singer who stretches his notes to fall in cadence to accentuate continuity or vaguely dissonant and often beautiful contrast. While the result is unabashedly emotional in the guileless sense of exploration that pervades this band's lyrical influence, the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, it expands upon the moods of black metal by showing us how fantasy connects to reality by making us embrace emptiness, loss, suffering and through losing our fear of such negatives, adventure.