Summoning play “anti-fascist” Tolkien-inspired “black metal,” which is reason enough for most of their intended audience to summarily reject them, possibly while falling out of their chairs laughing.
The notion of a group of anti-fascists embracing 1) a musical genre whose entire evolution has been motivated by a hatred for the foreign, its dogmas and its idols 2) what is perhaps the single most Euro-centric author in history 3) the literary work of said author which depicts fantasies of various European nations slaughtering dark skinned orcs and Oriental-inspired antagonists whilst launching a crusade against “the Other” seems… peculiar… at best.
But if I’m going to bother to review this band at all, I might as well take the music at face value. If the concept of an anti-fascist Tolkien black metal band is too self-contradictory to hold water, the proof will be in the pudding, so to speak.
The main problem with Summoning’s music is that it isn’t metal at all, let alone black metal, as much as it is shitty video game music dressed up in clichéd “black metal” aesthetic (harsh vocals, distorted MIDI guitars, drum machines, repetition ad nauseam, etc.). The riffing is more than a little Burzum-inspired, which often borders on plagiarism, but besides aping the style of other, better bands, Summoning has absolutely no clue what to do with their “instruments”, whether real or digital. A matter not helped by the fact that the drum machine plays exactly the same rhythm as the guitars, always, as in the worst of nu-metal. The drum machine is not the best quality, either. It all reeks of MIDI in place of actual instruments.
I guess I would recommend this band to two groups of people: 1) those who thought that the overwrought keyboard instrumentals on Dimmu Borgir’s Enthrone Darkness Triumphant were utterly brilliant and 2) those poor folks who are attracted to black metal’s aesthetics but wished the bands would write Jim Jones approved, Peoples Temple lyrics and communicate (indoctrinate?) a more “tolerant”, xenophilic message.
Now that I think about it, there’s probably a lot of overlap between those two groups.
If you’re not worried about the lyrics of the bands you listen to offending Hillary Clinton, then you will probably not be interested in hearing this band, as the quality of Summoning’s music varies between completely mediocre at best to embarrassingly stupid at worst. Well, you kids have fun, and remember: don’t drink the Kool-Aid.