Summon - _Dark Descent of Fallen Souls_
(Grinding Peace Records, 1996)
by: Henry Akeley (8 out of 10)
I was stoked to see these guys play at the Michigan International Metal Fest, and they definitely didn't disappoint. Boasting ex-members of Masochist, Summon play crafty black metal with excellent, articulate vocals and a keen sense for song structure, plus some sonic twists that distance the band from today's hordes of wannabe-Scandinavian clones. Keyboards are used very sparingly, and the tempos consistently vary within each song. There are no drawn-out hyper-speed marathons, but there are still plenty of well-timed bursts of sharp, skull-drilling snare blasts. Also, Xaphan's riffing technique and guitar sound has more in common with the thrashy morbidity of early Sodom (_Obsessed by Cruelty_ especially) than with the tremolo-happy approach of the Scandinavian second wave. Still, these guys are no mere retro band, and _Dark Descent..._ is NOT just another bandwagon-jumping "black thrash" regurgitation of trademark eighties styles. Songs like "Eve of Anti-Creation" and "Beyond the Gates of Storm" display the strong, varied dynamics typical of some of the great eighties bands, but still maintain a sharpened contemporary edge. Very cool stuff, with a fairly unique sound.

(article published 14/9/1997)

8/12/2000 P Schwarz 7 Summon - Baptized by Fire
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