Summoning Oath Bound

Summoning’s music has always struck me as the ideal Tolkien soundtrack: their merging of Middle Earth mythology, primeval metal ore, and pre-modern minstrelsy conveying the struggling imagery of gentleness, darkness, simplicity and intricacy woven into Tolkien’s fantastical tales. Oath Bound lives up to the tradition of its forebears, carrying on more or less where Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame left off, but Oath Bound’s powerful execution hints at the relatively quiet years leading up to its release. Above the tidal rush of tympanis propelling the record forward, melodies and countermelodies voiced in airy or ringing tones strive to escape the death march atmosphere of the brass and growled segments, and while the discord is never conclusively resolved, the uneasiness is part of the attraction. (Napalm)