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Summoning - Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame
Review: Starting as a black metal band with tendencies toward longer melodies, Summoning then became a style all of their own for the second and third albums, then entered a new era with Stronghold and this album, in which they use vocals for greater effect and aim more at the enthusiastic beer hall style of folk-influenced metal that might fit alongside their earlier works in a movie about Middle Earth. While it is well executed, it falls short of what makes Summoning truly great.
The long melodies which define Summoning are still here, but they are more cheerful and have been moved aside to let vocals take a bigger role, where in the past both rasping and clean vocals blended with guitars and keyboards, instead of leading them. As a result, guitar playing picks up more technical flair, and competes to fit into the focal point of the listener, which further reduces dynamics. On a positive note, this causes more developed vocal tracks to take on many of the functions that keyboard melody had previously used, which allows keyboards and guitars to blend with greater harmony.
Like many albums, Let Moral Heroes Sing Your Fame shows us a band in transition as they try to adapt a promising style to an enduring platform. Going too far can be corrected in the following album, which happens with Oath Bound. However, as a listening experience, this album loses some of the mystical lack of concrete focal point that made Summoning so occult and evasive of tangible summary, and over time will not be what people think of when they seek out the peaks of this promising band.