Summoning - "Lugburz"

Summoning – “Lugburz”

Summoning - "Lugburz"

Summoning – “Lugburz”

Well, at least Summoning uses some real instruments this time, rather than the digital MIDI crap that appears on “Dol Guldur” and “With Doom We Come“.

But the music on their debut “Lugburz” is still irrevocably terrible, and sucks even when compared to the worst and most mediocre of the dreaded war metal scene – that’s Archgoat, btw, and even they wipe the floor with Summoning’s faux black metal.

In fact, if you were to make the argument that the black metal scene has descended completely and irrevocably into deeper and deeper depths of retardation and self-parody, “Lugburz” would be a great release to support your point.

Honestly, if you wanted to say black metal was done for, and your entire argument was simply playing this, I would probably flip over the table and say “FUCK IT, UR RITE” before storming off and buying some “Locked up in Hell” CDs.

This album is fucking horrible, like all of Summoning’s “music”. Seriously, and I guess it makes sense that this is associated with other similarly terrible and self-parodizing project Ice Ages. The one good thing I can think about “Lugburz” is that it made Summoning realize that they weren’t musicians and thus couldn’t play their instruments, so they simply switched to FL Studio following this album and now create everything digitally with shitty MIDI loops. I mean, even the vocals are autotuned on “Oath Bound“… seriously.

Imagine for a moment a version of the first Burzum album recorded by a mentally retarded person. The result is probably very similar to this. Summoning’s music is uniformly slow and meandering, and, it should go without saying, ball-breakingly boring and obnoxious.

“Lugburz” is a new level of insipid… the overly primitive programmed drums lumber away at their one or two beats per song while a terribly recorded guitar – at least it’s not MIDI this time, as on the following albums – meanders away with the same three or four notes over the top. The (autotuned, of course, for those who can’t actually sing) vocals are like five decibels louder than any of the instruments, so they drown out the terrible music any time they pop in. I’m not really sure if I should consider that a pro or a con, really.

This is about the definition of fake black metal. It’s just not “real music”, in the same way that hot Russian chick that keeps messaging you on Facebook with offers for free iPhone cases is just not your “real girlfriend”. Get over it.

I’m not sure why Summoning, given the type of shit music the band produced, has a position of so much greater legitimacy than, I don’t know, SatanicGoatHitler1488 or whatever the fuck the kids are listening to these days.

Just go listen to “Dawn of Iron Blades” and “Hvis Lyset Tar Oss“, two albums Summoning shamelessly attempts to plagiarise (and, predictably, fails every time).

Summoning - "Dol Guldur"

Summoning – “Dol Guldur”

Summoning - "Dol Guldur"

Summoning – “Dol Guldur”

Whenever I hear Summoning, it’s hard for me to take it completely seriously.

Of all the cheap, digitally produced, questionably played, horribly cheesy and intensely derivative bands in the modern “symphonic black metal” scene, Summoning has the most artificial production – consider that the only “real” instruments they use are… the keyboards… even the vocals are autotuned – sloppiest playing, and boring generic music of all of them.

Hands down. No contest. They are, for all intents and purposes, the worst band in the modern black metal scene. Worse than Watain, worse than Deafheaven, worse than Satyricon. In fact, they’re so incompetently bad on nearly every track I’ve heard by them, I fail to see how people view them with some sort of legitimacy.

Maybe it’s a conspiracy by death metal record labels to make all black metal fans look like wimps and homos. Just speculating.

It’s pretty clear that Summoning is only “popular” online, and amongst a small segment of non-metalhead fans. They could never rival even the dumbest of slam death bands in terms of real audience and fan following, so they resort to online astro-turfing. That’s not even controversial, it’s well admitted that big labels pay journalist when appropriate, and otherwise use bots and sock accounts to artificially hype their own releases (Nuclear Blast was caught doing just that on and Metal-Archives). The real question, in the case of Summoning, is cui bono?

Everywhere I turn I see people “reviewing” Summoning like it’s a serious black metal – the same people that would dismiss this as “Nintendocore” if it was made by a Norwegian kid in his bedroom claim to love this because the band members are affiliated with a certain politically motivated organisation? Seems fishy.

There’s an interesting thing about Summoning: whenever you read a review of a Summoning album that’s positive (actual rare outside of Metal-Archives, home of hundreds of Nuclear Blast fake accounts… go check the score of “Dol Guldur” on Metalious and compare), the reviewer tends to go on and on, describing the superficial aspects of the album, the lyrics and the history of the band – and its fight against those intolerant black metal elitists! – and the production in detail, but when it comes time to actually talk about what is functionally good about the music, they’re mysteriously silent.

That’s because there’s nothing to say: Summoning, for all its trappings as a grim, mysterious, true black metal band, is really just an entity of style and fashion like the worst of hipster USBM.

There’s nothing of enduring value here, just pretense. If the use of fake MIDI instruments on every album since Lugburz hadn’t clued you in, you are dealing with a hype creation and media astroturf, not a genuine “symphonic black metal” band.

Replace this mediocre MIDI crap with “Yggdrasil” and “Filosofem“.