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Summoning - Oath Bound
I’d assume that you, dear reader, have read the description of this band, Summoning. So, I expect you to have some kind of idea about how the world of Tolkien is translated into music. Now, throw every expectation you have away and start reading with a fresh mind, ‘cause that’s the only way in which I can make some comments on this album.

This is the eighth release of the band so far; a band that consists  of only two members. ‘Two members?’ you say? Yes, my dear, only two members; which results in no live shows (Our music is to listen to, not to look at) and prove of the fact that Summoning feels a strong urge to dedicate themselves to the most popular fantasy writer of all time. This time, ‘Oath Bound’ takes on ‘The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales’ as well as various myths and legends from ‘The Lord of The Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’.

‘Middle Earth Music’. I thought of songs like ‘Wizard’ makes them. You know, power/speed metal with a lot of mystical influences, fast with themes like ‘fighting the terror, dragon or dark wizard'. Well, how wrong could I be?

Instead, ‘Oath Bound’ is a mix of slow, mostly long songs with a lot of flowing keyboard loops, kettledrums, flutes and ‘dark creatures that seem to be dying’. But the most special thing is the fact that this all is formed in a black metal package, according to the dark guitar riffs and the vocals. Now, I’m certainly no true death metal fan, and I doubt whether all the emotions of Middle Earth can be described in terms of, in my opinion strongly negative, feelings of fear and loss, but when listening to the record for a few times, I must say that I’m positively surprised. Not only because the songs do have the potential to represent Tolkien’s work very well, but also because black metal sounds more accessible than I’d ever experienced before. If there is one way to fill the gap between melodic, accessible music and brutality like in black metal, at least it comes very close to the work of Summoning. Because of that, ‘Oath Bound’ has the potential to become a very important record in the future. But, only time will tell.

Still, I’d like to give a personal comment on this record, which clarifies the score that may be surprisingly low compared to my first remarks. Although the different songs do not really stay interesting all the time, and I found the flutes a little bit simple and the same (maybe annoying in the end) I just do not understand why Summoning chooses to focus only on studio work and has decided not to go on tour. My personal opinion is that it must be a real challenge to try to put this music into a live show. Of course we all have seen the movies, read the books so we know the stories. Then why, why won’t you try to spread the word of your music by really identifying yourself from previous work by others? And believe me, I think I can understand different opinions, and perhaps Summoning is getting tired of this touring discussion, but in my opinion the greatest bands on earth are the ones that are able to perform their art live on stage. Personally, I just can’t get rid of that matter.

For those who love slow black metal creamed with a mystical, pure and emotional sauce, ‘Oath Bound’ will be your guide. But I will lay down, watching the story passing by, continuing my own.
Summoning - Oath Bound
72/1001Details Napalm Records
Released on Friday Mar 31st, 2006
Middle Earth Metal

Writer @CarpeSiem on Thursday Mar 23rd, 2006

Tags: #Summoning
Tracklisting 1. Bauglir
2. Across the Streaming Tide
3. Mirdautas Vras
4. Might and Glory
5. Beleriand
6. Northward
7. Menegroth
8. Land of the Dead
Line up Silenius: Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Protector: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards