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Summoning - Lugburz
Review: Immersed in the metaphor of lost journeys through ancient kingdoms, Summoning cut their first album from the fullest weave of black metal possible, invoking the riff constructions and harmonies of the genre while adding in song structure and aesthetics a sense of suspension in liquid space while action occurs continuously surrounding the perspective of the listener.
Fast and protean riffs mingle with more traditional mid-tempo black metal rhythmic work as songs move from the clear and simple into the obscure, mixing progressions of cyclic power chord phrases with interludes and breaks to create organic structure that enwraps central concepts like shadows of an overture. Seamless descent into the darkness of existence between spaces of melody previously entered incites moods of anger and alienation, a darkness uniting them with the depths of its infinite lack.
While no element of this work steps beyond standard black metal technique, the amalgam of techniques makes the technique a means to an end, again, and makes the whole more than the sum of its parts. Making black metal with expanded instrumentation and longer melody directed at such a clear vision of an alternate world that is both metaphorical and literal liberates this band from the indecisive repetition of past techniques, and allows the songwriting tricks of a generation of black metal bands to take on new meaning in this context.
In the traditional overdriven high pitched shriek of black metal, vocals pare the aerodynamics of phrase and interject structural cues. Drumming follows a patterning of understated black metal or techno percussion, rattling through high energy paces within a more contemplative balance. Strains of strings and vocals merge in distortion as percussion intrudes in a vortex of groundcover that like the roots of plants holds together its medium with gnarled, intricate, hierarchical vascular systems.
Where most metal either makes a point or describes one being made, Summoning even at this early stage aims for submergence within the point itself, a reality that is self-defining and self-sustaining. Its victory however is the suspension of the outside world for an immersive, simplistic and youthful but wisely hopeful and bravely creative world of its own.