I have...I have been a sword in the hand and
I have been a shield in the fight and
I have been the string of a harp and
I can shift my shape like a god!
FarewellSummoning was formed in 1993 by drinking buddies Richard Lederer, Michael Gregor and Alexander Trondl, who met in a pub in Austria. They secured a deal with Napalm Records in 1995 and released their debut Lugburz, a traditional Black Metal album that was quite different from their later projects.Shortly after recording Lugburz, Trondl was kicked from the band for being "a commercial-thinking asshole". Lederer and Gregor continued as a duo, and instead of getting a new drummer changed to keyboard percussion to produce a more epic, atmospheric style. They combined this with low-key guitars and multi-layered synthesizer and keyboard melodies mimicking a full orchestra, while retaining the growling vocals to produce what would become the trademark Summoning sound. Most of their lyrics were inspired by the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, with some songs taking lyrics straight from poems/songs in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Some of the songs on Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame are also inspired by the works of Michael Moorcock.They released five more albums in this style: Minas Morgul; Dol Guldur; Stronghold, which put more emphasis on more complex and melodic guitar work; Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame, the first album to feature clean vocal sections; and Oath Bound, characterised by relaxed, arpeggio-style guitars.Since Oath Bound, both members have taken time out to work on other projects, with Lederer working on music for a full-length release while waiting for Gregor to finish recording the next album for his solo band Kreuzweg Ost.They announced a comeback in 2012, and the new album Old Mornings Dawn was finally released in summer 2013.Their current line-up is:
- Richard "Protector" Lederer
- Michael "Silenius" Gregor
- Alexander "Trifixion" Trondl - Drums
- Ray "Pazazu" Wells - Guest vocals on Lugburz
- Tania Borsky - Guest vocals on Stronghold
- Lugburz (1995)
- Minas Morgul (1995)
- Dol Guldur (1996)
- Stronghold (1999)
- Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame (2001)
- Oath Bound (2006)
- Old Mornings Dawn (2013)
Summoning and their music provide examples of:
- Album Intro Track: Basically all albums have them.
- Badass Boast: "Farewell"
- Bilingual Bonus: Usually from Tolkien's Fictionary.
- Especially "Mirdautas Vras", which is just as threatening as it sounds once translated.
- Black Speech: "Mirdautas Vras"
- Concept Album: All of them.
- Ending Theme: "Farewell" was used for the closing credits of Damnatus.
- Epic Rocking: Most Summoning songs clock in at 7 minutes or more.
- Fanfare: "Mirdautas Vras" is a rare example of a villainous fanfare, and qualifies as Crowning Music of Awesome. Listen here.
- "Bauglir" might count as a fanfare as well.
- Garfunkel: Averted, as both Lederer and Gregor provide the vocals for different songs.
- Genre-Busting: After Lugburz they went from Black Metal to...atmospheric metal? Epic metal? Ambient metal? Summoning still classify themselves as "black metal" and most people go with it just to simplify things.
- Grim Up North
- Heavy Mithril
- "I Am" Song: "Farewell"
- Indecipherable Lyrics: Most of the tracks from Lugburz qualify.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: The cover of Mortal Heroes.
- Instrumental Theme Tune: Each album traditionally starts with a short instrumental piece. Some other songs are instrumentals as well.
- Looped Lyrics
- Loudness War: The CDs from Stronghold onward were clipped. Vinyl editions, such as Old Mornings Dawn, often got separate masters that were free from this problem.
- Lyrical Dissonance: They always sing in growling vocals, even when the lyrics come from one of Tolkien's more upbeat compositions. This occasionally leads to The Cover Changes The Meaning (see below).
- New Sound Album: Closer to a full-blown Genre Shift, from Minas Morgul onward (as explained above).
- Shaggy Dog Story: "Northward"
- Spoken Word in Music
- The Cover Changes The Meaning: "The Shadow Lies Frozen on the Hills". By taking the more sinister verses as lyrics and adding Psycho Strings, they turn a hobbit walking song into Nightmare Fuel.
- The Song Before The Storm
- Theme Naming: Their first four albums are all named after towers from Middle Earth. Also, every album cover except "Mortal Heroes" has a picture of a mountain on it.
- Title of the Dead: "Land of the Dead", the final song of Oath Bound.
- Villain Song: "Mirdautas Vras" is meant to be narrated by Sauron.
- Voice of the Legion: The choir segments in "Farewell", "Might and Glory" and "Land of the Dead" are actually sung by just Lederer and Gregor, with a reverberation effect.