Fantasy based epic/atmospheric black metal act Summoning are back with their latest journey into J.R.R Tolkien's Middle Earth, titled Old Mornings Dawn. Has it really been 7 years since Oath Bound? Apparently so, but though time does fly rather quickly these days, the music of Summoning hasn't changed much in that time span, so for all you lovers of their brand of Tolkien inspired atmospheric black metal, this one will deliver just what you crave. Protector (Vocals, keyboards, guitars, drum programming) and Silenius (Vocals, keyboards) have put together eight haunting tracks here on Old Morning Dawn, filled with distant raspy shrieks, cold guitar riffs, and mounds of epic, orchestral synth arrangements. As with every Summoning release, it's those keyboards that really are the highlight, giving the entire album a real majestic, almost film score feel, but also its atmospheric nature. Guitars are powerful but never overwhelm, and the vocals come across like nasty Orcs telling the story. "The White Tower" is one of the most compelling songs here, as cold, grandiose riffs & sweeping keyboards just take your breath away, supported by distant, haunting vocal rasps. The more folk based " Caradhras" has some nice melodies, and "The Wandering Fire" is about as close to prog as any black metal styled band can get.
My main problem with Old Mornings Dawn, or just about any Summoning album I've heard for that matter, is that too many of the tracks seem to follow a very similar pattern, tone, and tempo, which doesn't make for the most invigorating listen, but there's no denying the beauty of a good portion of the album. The 'epic-ness' is hard to ignore, and as I mentioned earlier, those keyboards are just so grandiose and well composed that it's real easy to like what is going on here, despite the lack of variety in the overall arrangements. Fantasy tinged black metal lovers rejoice, Summoning have returned!
03. Old Mornings Dawn
04. The White Tower
06. Of Pale White Morns And Darkened Eves
07. The Wandering Fire