Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame
Review by Jack on December 6, 2001.
I believe everyone who knows something of Summoning knows they play because and for their love of one J.R.R Tolkien and his rather famous fantasy novels. Namely "Lord of the Rings". I will try not to spew forth garbage about how well Summoning faithfully incorporates the works of Tolkien into their music, because I’m pretty sure we all know they invoke that great atmosphere.
I really enjoyed listening to “Stronghold”; Summoning’s last album. Lush, big keyboard symphonies combined with angry little man vocals created quite a unique atmosphere for this black metal band showcasing a rare talent for atmosphere and creativity. There wasn’t too much wrong with “Stronghold”.
Here stands Summoning’s latest testimony; “Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame”. Another fine album, everything being taken into account. Flavours that were paramount in "Stronghold" are readily seen in “Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame”, and built upon to a greater extent. Which brings me to my greatest gripe with this Summoning album; the ideas are built upon, not created. Whereas “Stronghold” used some fresh material and new ideas, the material on their latest epic seems tired and drawn out. Many of the Summoning tracks can equally be interchanged between “Stronghold” and “Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame”, swapping one for another with careless abandon. In my opinion change is a good thing, and Summoning perhaps should have waited a time and released both albums as a double album stifling any criticism that creativity and innovation are not used well.
However, that being said, “Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame” is a solid record and invokes superb atmosphere. Big battle drums, paganistic chants and the trademark keyboard signatures are here in the hundreds and thousands. In ‘The Mountain King’s Return’ there is a passage that sees an elderly man speak of war; perhaps Gandalf, or perhaps Saruman, who knows? What is known is this is a great song and truly drives home the Summoning atmosphere, which is one that is unbridled in this day and age.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for atmosphere, look no further, but if you were hoping Summoning has perhaps broken their shackles and tracked down some new ideas then you may want to look elsewhere. Recommended though.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.2 out of 10