Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Music Review - Summoning - Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame

Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame is one heck of an album. It's not as murky and ambient as Oath Bound, and it's also much more "metal", and fairly accessible. It's not my favorite Summoning album and I don't think it's their best album, but it certainly is quite the record.

The most noticeable thing on this album is the clear production; LMHSYF is definitely the best produced (technically) album Summoning have made. The plodding drums are loud and heavy and somewhat faster than Oath Bound, the guitars are more towards the front of the mix and have a more chunky and heavy sound to them, but they also still have a slightly ambient feel to them at times. Keyboards are used in abundance here, and while not the best sounding keyboards I've ever heard they certainly do a good job of setting the mood. The vocals are basically the same as every other Summoning album, not amazing but definitely well performed black metal screeches and screams.

The songs are shorter here than on Oath Bound and seem to rely more on catchy melodies than on constant repetition. The melodies like I said above are more accessible and catchier, and there's a lot fewer long buildups to choruses and climaxes like on Oath Bound. To sum up songwriting: more concise, more catchy and shorter songs.

There's some real killer songs here, and really no song is bad. The samples used on "South Away" and "In Hollow Halls Beneath the Fells" are executed perfectly and really add to the songs. There's a good number of samples used here, mostly from old The Lord of the Rings radio dramas, which is a pretty neat idea to use in music like this.

The star of the show here is the last song, "Farewell," though, with it's dramatic trumpets and amazing choir use(this is first time clean vocals were used in Summonings music if I'm not mistaken). The chorus to this song is amazing, actually the entire song is amazing and is for me the highlight of the album.

Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame is a good solid album, with a really cool medieval feel. The songs are catchy and easy to follow, and really show the songwriting strength of Summoning. While not the band's best album, this is definitely a keeper.

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