Summoning - With Doom We Come album review

Middle Earth-immersed Austrians amble blithely into Mordor

Cover art for Summoning - With Doom We Come album

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There was a time when Summoning’s musical landscapes felt quite magical. The first extreme metal band to fully embrace the realms of JRR Tolkien, the Austrian duo offered the perfect evocation of Middle Earth atmosphere – so much so that after setting the bar with 1995’s Minas Morgul, it hardly seemed to matter that they spent the next two decades only slightly altering their sound, well hidden in their home studio. The result, however, is that while the gap kept getting longer, some of the self-professed clones they’ve spawned over the years have outgrown their masters. Even on a shoestring budget, producer Emyn Muil has managed to inject a new lease of life into this peculiar mix of medieval melodies and bombastic parts with melancholic black metal riffing, but Summoning’s main inspiration now borders dangerously on kitsch and grandiloquence, their early extreme roots reduced to almost nothing.