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Stronghold


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Audio CD, June 11, 2002
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 11, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Napalm
  • ASIN: B00004TDNQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,394 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Rhun
2. Long Lost To Where No Pathman Goes
3. The Glory Disappears
4. Like Some Snow-White Marble Enes
5. Where Hope Und Daylight Die
6. The Rotting Horse On The Deadly Ground
7. The Shadow Lies Frozen On The Hills
8. The Loud Music Of The Sky
9. U Distant Flame Before The Sun

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
This seems like the perfect music to tell or read a fantasy story to.
Amazon Customer
I would reccommend this to fans of symphonic black metal, as well as fans of later Bathory, Ulver, Satyricon, and Emperor.
p_drl
It consists of very harsh guitars, with keyboards and ambient parts added in, and relatively "calm" screeching vocals.
IcemanJ

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By IcemanJ VINE VOICE on November 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This might be quite similar to my review of "Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame." A lot of the same things apply, but that doesn't mean the album sounds the same. Summoning's albums are so addicting to me for some reason. I am not really a fan of Tolkien, but that is who inspires this amazing band and gives them the medieval/fantasy setting in their music, thus their uniqueness and greatness. Even though the instruments are mostly synthesized or keyboard sounds, it doesn't matter. It's perfect like this. Summoning isn't anything close to traditional Black Metal. They have managed to become sort of a "calm and atmospheric" black metal. The songs are kind of slow-paced and quite symphonic, but they manage to give me such an adrenaline rush sometimes without being too aggressive. There are still heavy guitars and black metal style vocals, but it's just different. You'll know when you hear it. Some people might think the music is a bit too repetitive, but I like it like that, in this case. I think it makes more of an atmosphere, and also the parts are so good, you want them to be long anyway... it's the same situation as Agalloch. (another great band to check out if you haven't already)

As for the "fantasy" thing, this band is anything but cheesy or power-metallish. It consists of very harsh guitars, with keyboards and ambient parts added in, and relatively "calm" screeching vocals. As much of an oxymoron as that may sound, trust me it makes sense.

I really can't decide where this lies in my top summoning albums. It's probably my second favorite to Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame.

"Khun" is a short intro, starting off with some distant, majestic drumming, quietly adding a few other instruments, giving the feel of a dark, medieval day.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Note: I would give this four a half stars if I could.
Summoning is my favorite band on the planet and I've been a fan of their since their very first album. In case you are not familiar with your style, here's a quick breakdown:
-Slow, drawn out percussion
-black metal rasps
-very subdued guitars
-melody driven by medieval keyboards. Medieval and gothic keyboards, btw, are two totally different things, i.e. medieval rules, gothic ....
-lyrics DIRECTLY from Tolkein
-it should be noted that, imo, after Lugburz, none of Summoning's material is black metal at all. Indeed, sometimes I would have a hard time claiming they are even really metal at all anymore
Stronghold saw a slight shift in their style from a more melancholic sound to a more grandiose style on this release, with a touch of romanticism in the aesthetic (again, NOT GOTH CHEEZE), but maintained its overall structure as that of the previous releases. Someone on LARM once disparagingly stated that Summoning now write soundtrack music to "Gone with the Wind". This is somewhat accurate though I would use it as a compliment instead of an insult.
The first few songs are VERY lush and grandiose, simply beautiful, and develop wonderfully, with more dramatic and obvious crescendos in intensity and dense layering of elements than on other CDs. The last song is simply incredible and cannot be described, you must hear it to believe it, and no "Summoning's Greatest Hits" compilation would be complete without it. Simply fantastic.
There are, however, a few chinks in the armour, as I stated, this time around.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matt Stoessel on October 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
NOBODY can classify this work of beauty!
First of all, you might be wondering how long 9 songs is - 9 isn't a lot. Well, including the intro, it clocks in at 64:27 - that's incredibly long for 8 songs minus a 3 minute intro. Each track is extremely slow and what you would never expect for black metal. What is there really to say about such a CD?
Well, one of the songs is completely opera and in ALL of the songs, when the growler growls, it isn't as loud as it is in other black metal bands. Overall, this is the softest black metal band I can think of out of everything I've ever heard. This includes Samael, Rotting Christ, And Oceans, Dragon Lord, Cradle of Filth, and many others.
So how good exactly is this? To be honest with you, the first time I listened to Stronghold, I was expecting a medieval power metal sound, and the grunts surprised me so much that I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. If you want to get into black metal, this is one of many softer bands to do so with - perhaps the very first black metal band I would recommend, followed by Samael who is just plain unbelievable with their keys. That's another thing... Summoning isn't a huge fan of keys, but you won't be blown away with a blasting bass sound as with 90% of the death metal out there.
I don't really know what else to say, just that this is unlike anything I've ever heard before.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bram Janssen on September 30, 2003
Format: Audio CD
What brave music this band makes! Raw grunting vocals, thundering avalanching guitars - combined with symphonic sounds and medieval pacing. No pretence, no marketing, no extensive booklets. The duo calling themselves Summoning makes name with music solely, and deservedly so. It is not symphonic metal - like, for example Nightwish - at all. Mind! It is much closer to death metal than that.
Developing further the sound begun on their "Nightshade Forests", they have evolved into something unique. Done away with their drummer, they have increased the role of synthesizer percussion, adding to an already impressive use of the instrument. Their songs are epic and melodic, heavy and overwhelming.
Their lyrics are - as with all their released music thus far - inspired from poems by famed English author J.R.R. Tolkien. Vocal samples from radioplays and audiobooks of Tolkien's works also pass by. Blended and seamed together it moulds into Summoning. Impressive.
Hardly any music disappoints on this disc. Pay special notice to "Where Hope And Daylight Die" - featuring a fabulous uncredited soprano - and "A Distant Flame Before The Sun." The former is one of their most outstanding songs so far.
Not principally a death metal fanatic at all, this band excites me no end. And this is the album they're going to be remembered for.
It gets four stars
Bram Janssen
The Netherlands
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