Reviews for Summoning - Stronghold:
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Summoning's 'Stronghold' is, by far, the best album release of 1999. The album totally engulfs listener into an epic journey through a majestic, fragile, and dry landscape out of this world by brilliant blend of harsh vocals and tender sound. It is truly a masterpiece of an epic, atmospheric black metal.

Review by: tongchill

Easily one of the best albums ever. Everthing is just perfect. It not so much black metal sounding but more of an epic dreamish cd. The hard edge is gone (not the voice though) and thats not a bad thing its suits the music and brings out the moelodies and a smooth kind of way. They also have a very professional female vocalist on Where hope and daylight dies which is one of there best track ever, it got such a power. The music is relaxing, beutiful, pretty slow, heavy synths and very dark played at its absolut finest. This fifht album is a work of the masters, very proffessional and could and should be the soundtrack to the lotr movie coming up in december on the cinemas across the world. Buy or die !!!!

Review by: hellhamerrr

this is a must have. slow, rythemic, melodic, powerful. I think that pretty much sums up all of their albums but this one is a little different. the music is softer than before and more beautiful, powerful and majestic than ever. I can't help but love the addition of the female vocals that are very well done. also another lengthy release at over an hour. great stuff

Review by: seyone

Stronghold was firt Summoning album wich I heard, I got this almost by mistake, just tought one day to buy this. I didn't know anything about this then. After firts listening I was amazed. This was just that, wich I was looking for.

This is very good album, well this great *grin* Very atmospheric and proud record.
Atmosphere on this album stands from the begining until the end. This is one of the most interesting albums I've ever heard...

...if you like melodic/atmospheric bm (or something in that direction :p ) This might be the on for you, if you don't like that kind of music, this might be wrong purchase...

Review by: lawrenced

on stronghold, summoning made their first musical experiments since minas morgul.
the drums play an important part on this cd, creating some kind of gloomy mood. one song (where hope and daylight die) is sung! by a female voice (the gírlfriend of protector), that's kind of unusual but not bad.
awesome cd!

Review by: herrderwuestenlande

This is Summoning's best album. It's better than LMHSYF and even than Dol Guldur. The first four tracks are beyond beautiful. Truly sad, majestic stuff.

Review by: supercalme

This is really a good album. 'A Distant Flame Before The Sun' is my favorite track. But the only bad thing is that the production is too perfect. Fortunatly, the vocals are still brutal.

Review by: celtic-frost

This is release is SO atmospheric and SO fucking beautiful. You simply can’t do anything else but love this one. In my opinion this is the best Summoning-album. Minas Morgul and Dol Guldur are also great, but Stronghold beats them all. This would have been the perfect soundtrack to “The Lord of the Rings”-movies.

10 out of 10

Review by: Demonheart

THIS IS A GREAT album.It is just wonderful,the vocals and keyboards are great,and iths a bit doomy.Just great!

Review by: Meshuggah

this is simply a fantastic album!epic,melodic and aggressive....summoning have changed a few their style but they are equally fantastic! 9\10

Review by: impaled god

I think this album shows the dark side of us, It was the first summoning album I heard and I was completely identified with their sound. They´re one of the best black metal & epic atmosphere bands.

Review by: tarja_lp

Proberly BEST BLACK METAL ALBUM EVER. His only real opposer is "Dol Guldur".

Every track within this cd is a true masterpiece... well-crafted by the Tolkien wanderers epic metal masters.
His production is absolutely amazing, what makes him to just a flawless release. it's simply the hightlight of the entire BM genre.
I got it 4 years ago, and my thoughts about him never changed.

Just get it if you have any respect to black metal artists (not clowns).

Review by: TheSchattenjagger

nothing to say. just click on "Vote", select 10, the click "OK". I gave it a 9, but this albun deserves a 10

Review by: lobotomy

I know the vocals are very harsh, but the loud part of the final track ("A Distant Flame Before the Sun") is nothing short of beautiful in my ears. Summoning is almost definitely my favorite band in the entire metal scene, this album is one of my absolute favorites in my collection & I don't even consider it to be their best work. The first guitar passages you hear here are so very entrancing, & the album just flows from there. Also worth noting is that "The Rotting Horse on the Deadly Ground" has probably the most harsh vocals I've ever heard, although that's not where the song's quality lies.

Review by: Christmaster

Looking at the other reviews... Well, maybe I shouldn't write this at all. Nevertheless, I am going to. My patience for this album disappeared by the end of the third track. Then, I quickly skimmed the remaining songs; all the same: I can't remember hearing a single riff. Where have the guitars gone? The answer may be they never existed at all. I didn't hear any other stuff from this band and I don't think I will do so. In my opinion, this is no metal.

Review by: kafir

this album fucking rulez and NO DOUBT THE BEST SUMMONING ALBUM EVER. the production, the lyrics, the songs, the melody, everything is too perfect that cant get better. u can take any song here and put in other summoning album and it will be the most beautyful song there. absolutely perfect, this album is in my top 5 ever

hail Protector and Silenius

Review by: lobotomy

Some people's favourite Summoning album is one other than "Stronghold." I think they're crazy.

It is difficult to put into words the depth, the melancholy, the crestfallen weep that is this album. With the exception of a song in the middle where they wrongheadedly bring in a female vocalist for a throwaway piece, the album transports you to a world of harsh winters and bleak sorrow like nothing else.

My favourite track by far is "Like some "Like Some Snow-white Marble Eyes." Here Silenius uses a lyrical devices which repeats the last few words of every line, almost like someone in reverie, or lost in his thoughts.

"How countless they congregate
O’er tumultuous snow
O'er tumultuous snow..."

On and on it goes, with awkward pauses in the words that make one think of someone gasping for breath between tears:

"My horse...
Moved on...
Hoof after...
He raised...
And never stopped again."

It makes your flesh shiver.

The music itself is basically a vast landscape of layered harmonies and polyrhythms. The brew is mixed so thick that you do not know which instrument to listen to. Yet subconsciously the repetitive, cyclical guitar riffs, sharp brass stabs and the steady avalanche of percussion do their job in taking over your soul.

Lastly, the greatest accomplishment of this album is that, even though Silenius never sings (he strictly uses a not-too-high-pitched black metal style rasp), the words and the music are so LYRICAL, so POETIC in and of themselves, that your ear believes it has HEARD an actual melody. You find yourself trying to hum these songs even though you have nothing hummable. It is that inherently melodic. Above all, it's moving.

This is heavy music for people with room in their souls to accomodate it. One of my favourite albums of all time.

Review by: Stahlgewitter

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