Summoning have been at the forefront of Tolkien inspired metal for the twenty five years they’ve been a band. Formed in Austria in 1993, the duo take from the world of The Lord of the Rings – and its extended universe – to create music that is extraordinarily cinematic in scope while feeling rich and earthy at its core. Summoning may not be the most prolific of bands but their passion for their source material is always evident and instead of raking over old ground and narratives, the band would rather take their time and make an album that fits their aesthetic well than make something bland and rote.
Evidently, much of With Doom We Come was raised from the ashes of songs leftover from 2013s Old Mornings Dawn, and while the style doesn’t differ too greatly from that blueprint, Summoning still play a neat line of folky, black metal embellished with keyboards and grand textures. With Doom We Come follows their usual path in that fantasy is the primary focus and on their eighth full length we are exposed to climbing stories of heroism, battles, windswept landscapes and death. “Tar-Calion” begins the record and sets the scene with huge swathes of sound rolling over the programmed drums and synthesised lines. Summoning have long played with this formula and while things haven’t changed a great deal in terms of sound there is always an audience for epic and grandiose tales.
“Silvertine” and its husky vocals from Silenius cuts through beautiful choirs and gives a sense of danger to a track that moves with strident purpose through rich horns and sparkling keyboards. The clashing styles create dynamic gestures within a song that runs in cycles – as does much of the work here; small inflections of sound repeat throughout tracks in order to lay down a baseline while Protector or Silenius tell their stories around the proverbial campfire. It’s a trick that enables the songs to burrow deep down into the mind and spread their roots.
With Doom We Come is a stunning entry into Summoning's catalogue and while they may have re-purposed older songs for this release, when those songs are this good, why waste them? Summoning take incredible care to create worlds within an already established genre and in With Doom We Come they continue to paint that world in vivid colours.
8.0 / 10
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