Summoning - With Doom We Come
Napalm Records
Atmospheric Black Metal
8 songs (64' 58")
Release year: 2018
Summoning, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Andy

Summoning is no stranger to musical controversy; it's always been the sort of band one either loves or can't get interested in at all. This includes the Austrian duo's fanbase; while I gave Old Mornings Dawn a high score, there were plenty of others who considered it to be a drop in quality from their previous work. This year's LP, With Doom We Come, may be no less controversial, since it picks up where its predecessor left off in terms of sound; but no one can say they're having any trouble delivering an atmosphere as epic as ever.

That atmosphere is drawn with the harsher lines used in the previous album, to some extent. The buzzing, synth-y guitar from Old Mornings Dawn returns; it is usually in the front in the mix and it seems like the two can't get enough of that sound, but not everyone will like it as much as they appear to. The more intricate rhythms are also present, but the electronic tones of the last album are now used more sparingly in favor of more traditional instrumental sounds. One tradition is cast aside: Their longstanding practice of starting the album with a short intro instrumental. Instead, we get Tar-Calion, a seven-minute, sample-only track telling the story from The Akallabeth of Ar-Pharazon the Golden subduing Sauron, and Barrow-Downs as an instrumental break in the middle. Vocal duties are divided equally, so fans of either Silenius' shriek or Protector's hoarse roar can take their pick.

Summoning records have never been the most accessible music, but even for fans it might take a few listens to get into this one. The mix sounds weird on the first few tracks when you compare it to other Summoning albums, there's a lot of extra treble, and it's hard to see where the melodies are going at first. But somewhere along the line, everything falls into place. Herumor, a hushed track that is more like the Summoning of old, helps that greatly, and so do the tracks after Barrow-downs, where the guitars lose a good portion of their invasive edge and you get to pay more attention to the details of what the Silenus/Protector team is trying to do.

Finally, we get With Doom I Come, and it's pretty clear why it's the track they give you to preview on Bandcamp. It's got the best chorus and, just as Earthshine did before on Old Mornings Dawn, acts as a sort of sampler of the whole album. Along with a vast choir-based ending chorus along the lines of Farewell, it features Protector singing a melody in his raspy voice instead of his usual croaked chant.

It's interesting that while bands such as Caladan Brood have followed the influence of Summoning's symphonic soundscape, which is good in its own right, Silenius and Protector themselves seem to be moving on to a different sound. But on With Doom We Come, they've melded some of the tone of pre-Oath Bound previous albums into the new stuff, and it's rewarding -- for those willing to immerse themselves.


Killing Songs :
Herumor, Night Fell Behind, With Doom I Come
Andy quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Summoning that we have reviewed:
Summoning - Minas Morgul reviewed by Andy and quoted CLASSIC
Summoning - Old Mornings Dawn reviewed by Andy and quoted 91 / 100
Summoning - Dol Guldur reviewed by Tony and quoted 92 / 100
Summoning - Oath Bound reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
Summoning - Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame reviewed by Alex and quoted 81 / 100
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