The Week’s Big Release: Let’s Talk Summoning

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This week’s major release is undoubtedly Summoning’s With Doom We Come, the stalwart duo’s first full-length in five years. Today, we’re diving into the black metal institution’s eighth full length album, shooting the breeze about the children of Húrin, and brawling in the comments about whether or not the cloaked ones still have that magic that made Lugburz and Minas Morgul so fantastical. Get in here and spill some orc blood.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the whole album is not yet unlocked for streaming on Bandcamp. Thankfully, you can still hear it on Spotify. Press play below and be whisked away to Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

With Doom We Come opens amid a peal of martial percussion as the final fate of Númenor is unveiled in the grandiose “Tar-Calion,” an august, majestic song full of piping flutes, stately riffs, and menacing voice-overs. The song features no harsh vocals, but this trend does not continue into “Silvertine,” a true epic with infectious riffs and triumphant horns. The drums of war continue their Ent-like cadence as all manner of medieval trappings enrich the experience for listeners. “Silvetine” is a lush, gorgeous track that acts as a microcosm of With Doom We Come. If you don’t like this song, even the familiar rawness of “Carcharoth” (seemingly a nod to Summoning’s more visceral past), the choral chants of “Herumor,” or the meditative melodies of “Night Fell Behind” won’t win you over. “Silvertine” is definitely the standout track here and shows Summoning at the height of their power; if you don’t dig it, you’re likely a barrow wight.

Thematically, With Doom We Come finds Summoning continuing to mine the depths of Tolkien’s Lonely Mountain. From the source:

Ever since the release of their debut album Lugburz (1995) SUMMONING have proven themselves to be the true guardians of Middle Earth! What started out as a project deeply rooted in traditional black metal took an epic turn in the following years – evergreens like Dol Guldur (1996) and Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame (2001) bear witness to a continuously refined soundscape. Five years after Old Mornings Dawn, Protector and Silenius have turned over a new leaf in their bottomless saga. Over eight tracks, With Doom We Come indulges all things sublime and majestic, while grandiose keyboard backgrounds and mystical intros weave pure atmosphere contrasting with raw black metal. Opener ‘Tar-Calion‘ is a fitting ode to the last king of the island of Númenor, while ‘Carcharoth‘ tells the bloodthirsty tale of Arda`s mightiest wolf. Sagas and myths culled from J.R.R. Tolkien`s vast universe are the black blood that courses through SUMMONING`s veins, and With Doom We Come the ultimate soundtrack to a fantastic journey!

No new ground there, but Summoning fans aren’t exactly asking for the band’s take on the Seastone Chair, so no harm done.

Ultimately, I enjoy this album, and it’s definitely a joy to hear Summoning embrace the full extant of bombastery, but I still miss the more ostentatious, black-tongue-of-Mordor early works. I’d file this record into “good, but not essential” Summoning.

What do you think? Would you like to kick me off the highest turrets of Minas Tirith? Would you like to feed this album to Ancalagon in your wrath and displeasure? Sound off in the comments below.

With Doom We Come releases today via Napalm Records. You can purchase it here.

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