Summoning Albums: Best To Worst


So I finally decided to go through with creating this list. The reason is simple: Summoning is easily one of my favourite bands ever. On top of that, they're also one of the most consistent bands ever, despite the fact that all the albums sound so different from each other. Yes, you read that correctly: to a Summoning fan literally every album is unique in their own way and don't really sound so much alike as people want to make you believe. One thing is certain, most of their albums (not Lugburz) fall under the category of mid-paced Epic Atmospheric Black Metal, with some Folk elements added here and there. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Summoning is definitely the ultimate Tolkien-influenced band. I added ratings (yes, they're very high, I'm aware of that) as well as the best songs (my personal favourites) of each album to the list, and a short description as well. Choosing the best songs was particularly hard for the top 3 albums, because most of the songs on those albums are excellent. Lastly, let me know your opinion by leaving a comment. After all, opinions is what these kind of lists are about.

Here are links to the full albums (YouTube):
1. Summoning - Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame
2. Summoning - Stronghold
3. Summoning - Old Mornings Dawn
4. Summoning - Minas Morgul
5. Summoning - Oath Bound
6. Summoning - Dol Guldur
7. Summoning - Lugburz

Created by: Erik M. | 11.04.2014



1. Summoning - Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame
2001 / Rating: 10 / Best songs: In Hollow Halls Beneath The Fells, The Mountain King's Return, Farewell / Out of all Summoning albums, this is probably their most epic one, and it also has the most variety going on (along with Stronghold). A true masterpiece that evokes a majestic, uplifting feeling. The song Farewell would be the best example of this, which is one of the best songs they ever created. Oh, and if you're looking for music that goes well with the awesome LotR trilogy, then this is without a doubt the right album for you.
2. Summoning - Stronghold
1999 / Rating: 9.5 / Best songs: Long Lost To Where No Pathway Goes, Like Some Snow-White Marble Eyes, A Distant Flame Before The Sun / A rather different record from most of their other works, style-wise and lyric-wise (as it's the only non-Tolkien album). The focus is more on the keyboards here than on the drums, which makes it slightly less epic in a sense, but still incredible due to the great (variety of) melodies. The atmosphere here is what really stands out. A brilliant album which used to be my favourite, until I listened to LMHSYF. The female vocals on Where Hope And Daylight Die are very well done and it's really something that makes this album even more unique.
3. Summoning - Old Mornings Dawn
2013 / Rating: 9.5 / Best songs: Old Mornings Dawn, Caradhras, Earthshine / This album blew me away when I heard it last year and ever since remained my favourite 2013 album, after countless spins. It's totally epic and extremely consistent. The use of multiple music layers is really well done here. The use of atmospheric elements (sounds of thunder clapping, waves clashing, wolves howling etc.) is nothing short of impressive. A glorious return after 7 years of absence. The only song that I like slightly less is The Wandering Fire.
4. Summoning - Minas Morgul
1995 / Rating: 9 / Best songs: Morthond, Dagor Bragollach, Dor Daedeloth / This album was my introduction to the band and it took a lot of spins (5-10) before I even liked it a lot. Not exactly the best album to start off with, as it's hard to get into. While it's not nearly their best album, it's still excellent. It's the first Summoning album on which their characteristic sound is heard. This album features quite a few songs with awesome synth-driven melodies. For example, the intro of Morthond, which sounds pretty damn magical. And Dagor Bragollach is just a one-of-a-kind song that's just too awesome for its own good. This would've been one hell of a debut. I'd call this their most underrated album.
5. Summoning - Oath Bound
2006 / Rating: 9 / Best songs: Across The Streaming Tide, Mirdautas Vras, Land Of The Dead / The intro (Bauglir) is so awesome I'd almost include it in my favourite tracks. This album is one of the most upfilting records in their discography. Mainly because of a more folk-oriented approach and drums that make the whole album sound epic as f*ck. One of my favourite Summoning tracks is on this: Across the Streaming Tide. Might be the most uplifting song ever. Mirdautas Vras is great because the vocals are in the Black Speech of Mordor, which sounds pretty badass to say the least. This album is very consistent overall, but also has less variety to it than most other albums in their discography.
6. Summoning - Dol Guldur
1996 / Rating: 8.5 / Best songs: Elfstone, Kôr, Over Old Hills / According to many the first excellent Summoning record (I don't agree), with its long songs (9-11 minutes) and obvious Tolkien influences (like the track Khazad Dûm shows, for instance). While lacking a bit in variety compared to some of their other work, that is compensated by some great classic melodies. One thing I like less about this album is the chorus in Unto A Long Glory..., which is probably my least favourite song on the album.
7. Summoning - Lugburz
1995 / Rating: 7.5 / Best songs: Beyond Bloodred Horizons, Through The Valley Of The Frozen Kingdom, Dragons Of Time / Any Summoning fan would rank this low or at the bottom in a list like this. It's definitely good stuff, but they haven't really developed their characteristic style yet on this album, which basically means it's pretty straight-forward Black Metal with some melodies thrown in (keyboards). It all sounds raw and less appealing compared to their other albums. However, the Tolkien influences are definitely there, which is at least something that makes it a Summoning album. It's safe to say that people who aren't fond of this band's sound will probably like this album the most.



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Erik M. ]



Comments page 2 / 2

‹‹ Back to Lists
Comments: 48   Visited by: 198 users
23.04.2014 - 21:49
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Lol I never really got much on the Summoning hype, so I think I'm a bit out of place here
However, LMHSYF was their first album I heard, and it is quite great indeed.
----
Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
Loading...
23.04.2014 - 21:52
Erik M.
Written by Apothecary on 23.04.2014 at 21:49

Lol I never really got much on the Summoning hype, so I think I'm a bit out of place here
However, LMHSYF was their first album I heard, and it is quite great indeed.


Oh, I figured you heard most, if not all, of their stuff, being a Tolkien fan and having reviewed Old Mornings Dawn.

Funnily LMHSYF was the very last album I checked out and turned out to be the best of them all, for me.
Loading...
23.04.2014 - 21:57
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Erik M. on 23.04.2014 at 21:52

I figured you heard most, if not all, of their stuff, being a Tolkien fan

Well even if their music doesn't strike me as necessarily creative (even if it is epic as fuck), I can definitely appreciate the authenticity and volume of their Tolkien fetishes, they're pretty hardcore. For example, that spoken bit in Bauglir is a direct quote, Morgoth cursing Hurin after the latter mocks him in The Silmarillion. And then the end is Orcs (I think) chanting LORD AND MASTER in reference to him.
----
Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
Loading...
23.04.2014 - 22:03
Erik M.
Written by Apothecary on 23.04.2014 at 21:57

Well even if their music doesn't strike me as necessarily creative (even if it is epic as fuck), I can definitely appreciate the authenticity and volume of their Tolkien fetishes, they're pretty hardcore. For example, that spoken bit in Bauglir is a direct quote, Morgoth cursing Hurin after the latter mocks him in The Silmarillion. And then the end is Orcs (I think) chanting LORD AND MASTER in reference to him.


Damn you, I never get all those references. But still, I like the lyrics a lot generally, as they do add to the epicness of the music (even more so if you know Tolkien's works of course). But honestly, I like everything about this band, but that shouldn't come as a surprise to you I'd guess.
Loading...
23.04.2014 - 22:07
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Erik M. on 23.04.2014 at 22:03

Damn you, I never get all those references. But still, I like the lyrics a lot generally, as they do add to the epicness of the music (even more so if you know Tolkien's works of course). But honestly, I like everything about this band, but that shouldn't come as a surprise to you I'd guess.

There are plenty of Tolkien-themed bands out there, the best is really just a matter of preference since they're spread out over a pretty wide diversity of metal subgenres.
My favorite album in this regard though has to be (don't kill me!) Blind Guardian's Nightfall In Middle Earth. Cheesy, yeah, but I get the references, and singing along alone to it when no one else is around is a true guilty pleasure that makes me feel like I'm in 5th grade and reading the trilogy for the first time all over again
----
Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
Loading...
23.04.2014 - 22:27
Erik M.
Written by Apothecary on 23.04.2014 at 22:07

There are plenty of Tolkien-themed bands out there, the best is really just a matter of preference since they're spread out over a pretty wide diversity of metal subgenres.
My favorite album in this regard though has to be (don't kill me!) Blind Guardian's Nightfall In Middle Earth. Cheesy, yeah, but I get the references, and singing along alone to it when no one else is around is a true guilty pleasure that makes me feel like I'm in 5th grade and reading the trilogy for the first time all over again


I know there are plenty of Tolkien-finfluenced bands, but Summoning is my favourite of them all. And this is going to surprise you, but I actually own that Blind Guardian album. I bought it many years ago because of the cover art. I only listened to it once and never again, so you can guess I didn't like it at all. Anyway, LMHSYF is my favourite Tolkien-influenced album without a doubt. Vordven's debut comes after it, probably. No idea why some people hate that album, as to me it's absolutely marvelous.
Loading...
23.04.2014 - 22:28
Erik M.
For anyone who's curious, here's the overlooked gem of an album:

Loading...
24.04.2014 - 15:28
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
I wonder how much longer Erik can milk interest in this list
Loading...
25.04.2014 - 20:42
Erik M.
Written by Guest on 24.04.2014 at 15:28

I wonder how much longer Erik can milk interest in this list


As long as I'm able to.

But honestly, I don't see the problem you have with this list. Hell, if I do say so myself, it's a lot better than your usual "best to worst" list because I at least added full album Youtube links, ratings, my favourite tracks and short descriptions of each album. All things I haven't seen on any "best to worst" list on MS. Not to mention it's only the 2nd list of its kind (PocketMetal having the first one), while lots of bands have lots of "best to worst" lists.
Loading...
26.04.2014 - 16:35
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Erik M. on 25.04.2014 at 20:42


But honestly, I don't see the problem you have with this list. Hell, if I do say so myself, it's a lot better than your usual "best to worst" list because I at least added full album Youtube links, ratings, my favourite tracks and short descriptions of each album. All things I haven't seen on any "best to worst" list on MS. Not to mention it's only the 2nd list of its kind (PocketMetal having the first one), while lots of bands have lots of "best to worst" lists.

Well while it may better than your average "best to worst" list, it's still a "best to worst" list, and of a band that has many albums that are very similar. Personally I just don't it a very exciting or interesting premise, even if I was a huge fan of the band. So yeah, nothing inherently wrong with the list, I'm just amazed how long you've tried to keep it alive for by swapping albums around, adding EPs (or not in this case it seems) etc. when at the end of the day it's not a particularly useful list to have around.
Loading...
26.04.2014 - 23:49
Rhiannon
Account deleted
Imo it's a good list, I always like it when people make mini-reviews. The first 3 albums would be the same for me, and no.4 would be Oath Bound. As for the others, I could never got into them... Although one of my favorite songs is The Legend of the Master Ring which is on Minas Morgul. I wish the others were not so damn boring there
Loading...
29.04.2014 - 00:37
Erik M.
Written by Guest on 26.04.2014 at 23:49

Imo it's a good list, I always like it when people make mini-reviews. The first 3 albums would be the same for me, and no.4 would be Oath Bound. As for the others, I could never got into them... Although one of my favorite songs is The Legend of the Master Ring which is on Minas Morgul. I wish the others were not so damn boring there


Thanks! And I'm glad you like the mini-reviews. Personally I like every single album (their 3 EP's included), but seeing as the differences between the albums are pretty big I can see why you don't equally enjoy them. Then again, you gave Minas Morgul a 5, which is incredibly harsh. Not to mention Minas Morgul is the first Summoning album that features their characteristic style, so it does score a perfect 10 for originality, whether you like the album or not. Like I wrote in the description, it was my first Summoning album and really took me a lot of spins to grasp and like it. I'd suggest you to give it another chance, but I can't force you to do so (sadly ). It really contains some awesome melodies (which must appeal to you) and lots of variety. My favourite song is probably Morthond (stunningly beautiful intro), though I love most of the tracks (Dagor Bragollach is brilliant as well).

Loading...
29.04.2014 - 00:37
Erik M.
Written by Guest on 26.04.2014 at 16:35

Well while it may better than your average "best to worst" list, it's still a "best to worst" list, and of a band that has many albums that are very similar. Personally I just don't it a very exciting or interesting premise, even if I was a huge fan of the band. So yeah, nothing inherently wrong with the list, I'm just amazed how long you've tried to keep it alive for by swapping albums around, adding EPs (or not in this case it seems) etc. when at the end of the day it's not a particularly useful list to have around.


First of all, what's up with that 2nd sentence?

Secondly, I do agree with you to an extent that "best to worst" lists generally aren't the most exciting/useful type of lists. But obviously I tried to keep it alive (and it's still alive) by swapping albums around (and spamming it in the shoutbox ). The point of these kind of lists are basically to just discuss your opinion on a certain band's albums with others, but in Summoning's case it's something more. Old Mornings Dawn was, and still is, a very popular album, but over the months I came to the conclusion most people who voted for it didn't vote for any other Summoning album. So that's one of the reasons: to motivate people to check out their other albums as well, since they're worth it to be listened to. And even you must agree that LMHSYF is an album that any Epic Black Metal fan has to check out. And let's be honest, it's definitely one of their least popular albums (only Minas Morgul and Lugburz are less popular I'd say).
Loading...
17.09.2014 - 05:15
MHShokuhi
I never forget when i listened to the Summoning out of curiosity of being a Tolkien fan and having no idea what black metal (i know they aren't black) is and it blowed me away, it was the best experience i had on those days and still one of my favorites...
i like the list, and the mini-reviews (which was not for me because of my different taste ) but i'm curious how you could manage to put the first 3 in the order, i can never pick any of them above each other )))
----
-All the Power on Earth Can't Change Destiny
Loading...
18.09.2014 - 22:53
Erik M.
Written by MHShokuhi on 17.09.2014 at 05:15

I never forget when i listened to the Summoning out of curiosity of being a Tolkien fan and having no idea what black metal (i know they aren't black) is and it blowed me away, it was the best experience i had on those days and still one of my favorites...
i like the list, and the mini-reviews (which was not for me because of my different taste ) but i'm curious how you could manage to put the first 3 in the order, i can never pick any of them above each other )))


Well, they surely aren't primarily BM and especially with Old Mornings Dawn they're not BM at all anymore, but most of their albums definitely have BM elements in them or a BM sound (obviously Lugburz is the most BM of them all).

Anyway, thanks! Yeah, I think the mini-reviews are very subjective but they turned out well enough. The top 4 is pretty much set in stone for me, while (at the moment) LMHSYF is definitely their best album. But I agree, it's very hard to rank them. The ranking has already changed quite often since I made this list and I can see it change in the future as well. Simply because their quality is consistently high. Also, I'd encourage people to check out their EP's as well. The Lost Tales EP (strangely it's featured as a Single here) is very interesting and relaxing. The Nightshade Forests EP are simply the songs that they recorded that didn't fit on Dol Guldur anymore, so in terms of quality and style very comparable to Dol Guldur. Their last EP I didn't think is that interesting, but surely a nice take on a few OMD songs. Worth a spin, if anything. I might add those EP's to this list one day, btw.
Loading...
19.09.2014 - 05:34
MHShokuhi
Yeah, Lugburz has a very Black Metal-ish sound, i remember i was stuck on track 3 (which i loved the coldness of it, it really fits the name) and couldn't go further because the other stuff was too hard to... how can i say? hard to digest!

the mini-reviews are very good in fact, i really liked your description but not your chosen tracks for most times
good, you encourage people to awesome stuff. in my idea their EPs are great experience too, so i'm waiting for the future and the EPs to be listed here
----
-All the Power on Earth Can't Change Destiny
Loading...
22.09.2014 - 22:12
Erik M.
Written by MHShokuhi on 19.09.2014 at 05:34

Yeah, Lugburz has a very Black Metal-ish sound, i remember i was stuck on track 3 (which i loved the coldness of it, it really fits the name) and couldn't go further because the other stuff was too hard to... how can i say? hard to digest!

the mini-reviews are very good in fact, i really liked your description but not your chosen tracks for most times
good, you encourage people to awesome stuff. in my idea their EPs are great experience too, so i'm waiting for the future and the EPs to be listed here


Hmmm, Lugburz is pretty straightforward standard BM with some melodies thrown in. It does have a bit of the Summoning sound already I'd say, but it mostly is BM. Not hard to digest at all, for me. It's just much less interesting than all their other albums. I like pure BM as well and there are other bands that play BM much better than Summoning. Unless you dislike BM, I'd suggest you to check it out fully.

And thanks for the compliments. I'm still not sure whether I'm going to include the EP's, but there's definitely a chance I will.
Loading...
22.09.2014 - 23:40
MHShokuhi
It was long ago, but when i listened to it, i liked it a lot more than previous times (actually i didn't have time for digging into BM a lot but i experienced some Immortal, Burzum and some other band which i definitely go for it in future) and by digest i meant both understanding and enjoying the sound of it (it's hard to describe it, even in my mother Tongue :v)
----
-All the Power on Earth Can't Change Destiny
Loading...

Hits total: 3988 | This month: 163