Stronghold (Napalm Records)
Enslain Magazine Issue #7
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If it is said that a picture speaks a thousand words, it can just as accurately be said that music is capable of envisioning a thousand scenes. Summoning has accomplished this beyond imagination. Their ability to mold soundscapes without getting stale or repetitive is unsurpassed. "Stronghold," this Austrian band's fifth release, begins with a war march, perhaps that of a victory, heads held high in their moment of triumph, having conquered the enemy's fortress... Aside from the visuals it brings to mind, it's also so dynamic, and accentuated moments can make the blood flow faster through your veins, and chills through your spine. Throughout the rest of the CD, the majestic ambience blends with slow black metal, a strong drumming backbone, and mid-growled vocals that elevate the power of this release even more so. The vocals become part of the atmosphere, intermixing flawlessly with the dark melodies. By artistic integrity alone, Summoning have me amazed. I hesitate not to acclaim this as one of the most ingenious and critical dark releases ever. -- Lady Enslain