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Summoning - Stronghold

8.9 | 679 votes |
Release date: 11 May 1999
Style: Atmospheric black metal


718 have it
88 want it

01. Rhûn
02. Long Lost To Where No Pathway Goes
03. The Glory Disappears
04. Like Some Snow-White Marble Eyes
05. Where Hope And Daylight Die
06. The Rotting Horse On The Deadly Ground
07. The Shadow Lies Frozen On The Hills
08. The Loud Music Of The Sky
09. A Distant Flame Before The Sun

Top 20 albums of 1999: 4
Top 200 albums of all time: 73
Featured in "Getting Into: Summoning"

Additional info
Produced and mixed by Protector and Silenius at Rachtschatten Studio.
Released by Napalm Records.

Guest review by
Bloody-Red sunset ...

Stronghold, with its bloody cover taken from an ancient painting - its epic and warm weather does not look like the previous Summoning's cool and atmospheric work, with massive spaces and assemblies just like the start of the album. You feel like an eagle rider, flying over the mountains and plains in the reach of Rohan and the Pelennor Fields, flying alongside the armies of elves and dwarves on the march, or taking up an ancient force like the rising of the sun against your eyes. The books that form the foundation of Summoning are very powerful in the space of the minimal, quiet album, revealing new and greater effects of the deep, epic music on us. Combined with very skillful craftsmanship, a kind of specialist black metal, the music has high production values for black metal, and because of this I would call it "black metallic music," to distinguish from the habitually low-quality productions of most black metal.

published 03.09.2017 | Comments (18)

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Comments: 38   Visited by: 1825 users
31.10.2018 - 20:18
Rating: 7
Somewhere between decent and only-sort-of-good for me, this album. An influential album to be sure and the atmosphere is kind of nice, but the songwriting just hasn't impressed me yet and I've given this album at least 10 listens over the years. How this is rated higher in the black metal albums list than anything by Emperor or Immortal is honestly kind of baffling. Not that there's anything wrong with loving it, of course. I just don't get it.
My one-man project's Bandcamp with free downloads:
29.11.2020 - 00:10
Rating: 9

Written by Metren on 31.10.2018 at 20:18

How this is rated higher in the black metal albums list than anything by Emperor or Immortal is honestly kind of baffling.

Today this ablum has about the same rating as At the Heart of WInter and Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk,
Anyhow I think it is hard to compare these albums at all. Summoning Black Metal is just totally different from the rest.
Btw, excellent album. Is it their best? I used to think so. But today I slightly prefer Let Mortal Heroes.
Highlights: Snow-white marble eyes and A Distant flame.
22.11.2021 - 17:25
Rating: 8
Nocturnal Bro
Written by Erik M. on 08.11.2013 at 23:48

And even though some people claim all their albums sound the same, this isn't true at all. Minas Morgul is the least accessible and it's a bad album to start off with (which I did though, and it took many spins until I liked the album eventually). But you've already checked out this one, so I'm giving advice when it's not needed. In any case, their sound still evolved quite a bit. For example, the difference between Minas Morgul and Old Mornings Dawn is very big. They definitely became more accessible I'd say.

Interesting - I also started with Minas Morgul and it took me quite a while to get used to the vocals. Come to think of it, Minas Morgul might be the first black metal album I heard.

I agree that their sound evolved over the next albums.

Stronghold is good, but at the moment I prefer Let Mortal Heroes, Oath Bound, and even Minas Morgul.

This album has a strong beginning (the first three tracks are fantastic!) and I really like the operatic vocals on "Where Hope and Daylight Die". But the rest of the songs weren't that interesting for me. If I know Summoning, I'll have to listen to it a couple of more times before really appreciating it...
27.11.2021 - 05:16
Rating: 9
The Galactician

Came to this band real late, but man…masterpiece. This record is brutal and beautiful.
27.11.2021 - 10:37
Rating: 9
A Nice Guy
Written by The Galactician on 27.11.2021 at 05:16

Came to this band real late, but man…masterpiece. This record is brutal and beautiful.

Better late than never
11.03.2022 - 17:42
Rating: 9
A Nice Guy
This is always such great album for me to come back too, it's a symphonic, and atmospheric masterpiece, with such a unique experience that has influenced so many bands and projects over the years. But nothing has even come close to the sheer epicness of Stronghold.

The songwriting and soundscapes in this album are incredible, each song has it's own majestic charm, with some beautifully crafted melodies. "Long Lost To Where No Pathway Goes", "Like Some Snow-White Marble Eyes", "The Glory Disappears" and "The Rotting Horse On The Deadly Ground" are all amongst my favourite tracks by this amazing band, aswel as "Distant Flame Before The Sun", the perfect epic closer for this epic album.

The only downside for me is the production, which made some of the guitarwork and vocals hazy, something I thought they improved on in their next up coming albums. And it's lacking the Tolkien inspired lyrical themes, which is what Summoning are renowned for, was a wee bit of a dissapoint, but that's only a minor fault overall.
02.11.2023 - 06:12
Account deleted
I've seen the words "Summoning" and "weed" in the same sentence numerous times.
16.01.2024 - 09:26
Rating: 6
Theory Snob
A bit meh and a bit decent, the last track is good, but overall the production isn't that good, the keyboards sound shallow and the songwriting is a little monotonous with little dynamics.
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