Middle Earth Musings
CoC chats with Protector and Silenius of Summoning
by: Quentin Kalis
A quick perusal of the CoC archives reveals that of the four Summoning albums reviewed, none received lower then 8.5 out of 10, with _Dol Guldur_ managing the rare distinction of obtaining 10 out of 10 -- a rating I agree with wholeheartedly. Those of a cynical bent would point out that our archives do not include reviews of _Lugburz_, their first album, nor does it include their last release, the odds and ends EP _Lost Tales_, neither of which rank as Summoning's finest moments. Then again, it does not include the amazing _Minas Morgul_ either. But this is by the by, as the cumulative effect of the Summoning corpus is one of amazing quality and originality, all too infrequently heard amongst "atmospheric" black metal acts. Although they haven't released anything in a while, CDs such as _Dol Guldur_ and _Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame_ are frequent visitors to my stereo. Both key members were kind enough to contribute towards this interview conducted via e-mail.

CoC: There seemed to be a noticeable shift in style with _Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame_, which tended towards a more epic vibe. Is this the future path for Summoning, and will the new album sound like this?

Silenius: The future for Summoning definitely follows the epic direction, and so the new album holds a lot of epic but also complex song structures -- but nevertheless is still totally in the Summoning style. But not so dark anymore as we did on _Minas Morgul_ and old releases in general.

Protector: Now for some more detailed musical information. There will be even more tunes combined on the new CD and the drums will be more complex. There will be more different drum sounds as well. Also the guitars will change. We will keep the traditional tremolo black metal guitar style for the refrains, but for the strophes the guitars will be more floating this time (less rhythmic and more in the arpeggio style).

CoC: _Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame_ was released in 2001. Why was there such a delay in releasing a follow-up?

Silenius: There are different reasons for that. First of all I got involved in a very stressful relationship in the two years after _Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame_. Second, I was a little bit burnt out and had no really cool song ideas for a long time. Meanwhile, most of the songs for the new album are composed, but again it will take a little bit until we can release this album because of some new problems. I also have a new job, and this job costs me a lot of time.

Protector: Actually, we always have large breaks between our releases, as we also have to work for our other projects, which are of the same importance as Summoning for us.

CoC: _Let Mortal Heroes..._ was also the first time that lyrical influence was drawn from outside Tolkien's world. Will any more fantasy authors serve as lyrical inspiration? What is the inspiration for the upcoming album?

Silenius: _LMHSYF_ was not the first one where we used different lyrics. Also in _Stronghold_ we used old British poems from some other authors. Most of the new lyrics are again from Tolkien, from "The Silmarillion", but we also have some war poetry included, done by some unknown authors.

CoC: Silenius is involved in Kreuzweg Ost. It has been accused of being right-wing. Would you say that this description is justified? Is there anything about these albums that would or could draw comparisons with the current NSBM trend in terms of the ideas expressed?

Silenius: Kreuzweg Ost has nothing to do with right-wing ideology. It is military industrial and we put a lot of samples from different wars and soldiers live within, but the concept is not a right-wing one -- just a kind of sound cinema for the ears. As it is no metal band, it has of course nothing to do with NSBM or BM in general. This project is very influenced by the industrial and power electronic scene. By the way, the new CD will be released during the next month under the English Cold Spring label.

CoC: Napalm Records -- who are responsible for all previous Summoning albums and thus the logical choice of label for Kreuzweg Ost -- have refused to release it, on the feeble grounds that they are not signing any new artists. Would you care to express an opinion on this, and whether given their position in the market and ideology, they were justified in refusing to release it?

Silenius: The refusal of the Kreuzweg Ost release is just a commercial aspect. The first one did not sell a lot and therefore they did not want to commit to the new album. On one side I was of course disappointed, but on the other side the typical Napalm audience of course was not the suitable audience for the music of Kreuzweg Ost. So I am quite satisfied to release on Cold Spring. This label is specialized for this kind of music and is one of the bigger ones within the industrial scene.

CoC: Will there be any more Ice Ages or Die Verbannten Kinder Evas albums? Both are described as "electronic darkwave" albums. How do think these two projects differ in style?

Protector: Sure there will be more releases of the above mentioned bands. Actually the new Die Verbannten Kinder Evas was finished almost two years ago, but because of problems with the female singer it has been much delayed; but finally I gave up and will search for a professional singer without problems. Concerning Ice Ages... in the last few months I really dealt much with software synthesizers and virtual analogue sound processing, and have very fine ideas for the new Ice Ages and have already made basic tracks for the new songs. The songs will be harsher and dirty, colder and darker.

CoC: Why are Summoning borrowing melodies from their side projects -- Ice Ages, Kreuzweg Ost? Couldn't this be seen as a sign of laziness or lack of inspiration?

Silenius: It could be seen as that, but after all the end versions of both songs with the same melodies are total different, so it cannot really be said that we are lazy. There is a new Kreuzweg Ost song which is exclusive for the new Cold Spring label compilation, which will feature a melody line which will also be featured in a new Summoning song. But if you compare the two songs, you will hear that they are very different, and I bet that you won't notice the similarities in the beginning.

Protector: Well, maybe it is lazy to take a tune from another project instead of creating a new one, but for me it is less lazy than doing some cover versions (especially if a metal band covers another metal band). And as we never did any cover versions, I think people can forgive us for stealing!

CoC: What will the upcoming box set consist of? Will it include any unreleased material, demos or new tracks? Which albums will be included?

Silenius: It is far too early to talk about the box set. At the moment it is important to release the new Summoning CD. Everything else we will see later. In the beginning it was planned to release the box set at the end of this year, but as the Summoning release is still delayed, we think that the box set will not be released before next year.

CoC: Thanks for the interview! Is there anything else you would like to add?

Protector / Silenius: Thanks for the interview. We can just say our standard line: up the hammers to all our fans.

(article submitted 24/5/2005)

3/16/1997 S Hoeltzel Summoning: Messages From Mordor
3/26/2006 J Montague 9 Summoning - Oath Bound
1/14/2002 P Azevedo 8.5 Summoning - Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame
8/12/1999 A Wasylyk 9.5 Summoning - Stronghold
7/14/1997 S Hoeltzel 8.5 Summoning - Nightshade Forests
1/2/1997 S Hoeltzel 10 Summoning - Dol Guldur
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