SUMMOONIG The Dawn of The Old Age

SUMMONING, duo coming from Austria, have succeeded to create yet another masterpiece, entitled ”Old Morning Dawn”. Comparing to their previous records I could say, that the brand new material is indeed original and very inspiring. I have to say that I was indeed surprised with the upcoming record, but, at the end it turned to be one of the best full-length of this particular band. So, it was more than welcome to wait for seven years for such a great record. Once again their material is based on Tolkien’ novels, poems and tales and yet, one more time SUMMONIG has succeeded to perfectly capture the atmosphere of Tolkien’s world.

26072012010Hello there! Well, first I would like to congratulate you for Summoning brand new record. ”Old Mornings Dawn” indeed sounds refreshing and monumental! Thank you so much for one more marvelous and jewel-like record!
Silenius: thank you very much for this positive impression of our new work.

For the very beginning of the interview, how would you like to present ”Old Mornings Dawn”, from your own point of view, to our readers? Would you like to compare it with Summoning previous records?
Its again an album with lots of changes inside, without losing the musical path we started to walk with “Minas Morgul”. We kept as usual the main slow, epic style and again focus on our mail elements, like polyphonic orchestra-sounds and multi-layered rhythms. But this time the polyphony is even higher what made it necessary to make the sound also more clear. While in the past everything was very hidden by lots of chorus and reverb effect, this time we still have more of such effect than all other band i the scene, but reduced it quite a lot. Anyway I don’t think we can compare it with other. maybe only the title track with its medieval style reminded more on some songs of ”Dol Gultur” than any songs that where created after that album, but this song is not a typical song for the new album

As a matter of fact, ”Old Mornings Dawn” will be released in several different versions; some versions will also contain some bonus tracks, so it will be indeed welcome if you could tell us something concerning the bonus songs and special items of Summoning.
Silenius: the two bonus songs will be included in the box set and in all lp versions. the first song ”the darkening of valino” originally was supposed to be the intro but did not fit as an intro, so we added guitars and some spoken word samples from a bbc broadcast, so it has a similar approach to the songs known on the lost tales album. the second song ”with fire and sword” is the one missing song from the Oathbound sessions we did not change it, just made the sound fit to the new album. The box set also will include a patch, a flag and a necklace.

Nevertheless, why did you choose to have rawer sound of guitars this time? I guess that this is the rawest sound of guitars done by Summoning thus far. Also, it seems that you have incorporated many folk elements in your style when it comes to brand new songs…
Protector: I think this is a result of the general smaller use of reverb, so also the guitars got more direct and also with more deep frequencies. originally the sound we used while composing the songs was more like Oathbound but with the time we noticed that because of the high use of keyboard elements with where played often in a high pitch, we needed to create some counterpart and made the guitars deeper, what creates a more raw sound as you already described. But we did not really turn our melodies into a more folk styled direction. the difference is rather other sounds we used. for example Caradhras did not sound so much like a Irish sound before we got the idea to use that fiddle for the starting melodies. Also the mentioned reduction of reverb gave the songs something more direct and also in a way more alive, that also created a more folk styled impression for the listener.

What could you say us concerning the lyrics this time: as a matter of fact they are obviously Tolkien-based ones, but what parts of Middle-Earth history you aimed to cover this time?
Silenius: Yes they are of course again Tolkien based. Three songs more or less deal with the story and legend of Eдrendil the mariner, half man half Eldar, ancestor of the kings of Numenor, with the Silmaril on his forehead he became an immortal star. Two songs deal with the poems ”city of present sorrow” and ”the town of dreams”. These poems are very old poems of Tolkien, written in a time when the First World War still was raging and middle earth was not shaped yet. The rest we took from different poems from different unknown authors which we have woven together with the Tolkien universe.

For the first time ever, you used two professional narrators/actors to make a speech parts on the new full-length. So, could you say us how did you get in the contact with them and why did you choose to have the real narrators this time instead the samples?
Silenius: The male narrating voice was done by an English speaker called ”David Says”. Napalm Records came up with this idea and we are very happy with the result. The female voice who did the elven language in the intro and in the song “The White Tower” was a Hungarian woman called “Erika Szucs”.

Since I was able several times to travel and to visit Austria I have to say that your county has something really specific when it comes to environment and nature at all (not only the city of Vienna, but country side as well). How does effect you? Actually, many musicians that have started the style of black metal always have added that environment was indeed very influential element for them…
Silenius: In contrary to Protector I come from the countryside and nature is very important for me. Although I live and work in Vienna i have to leave the town whenever i get the possibility. The mountains and forests of my small home are a kind of refugee for me to recharge my energies.

Protector: As I make all my music in a dark black room without windows I cannot say that my surrounding really inspires me. Anyway I think it also would not happen in a big opened room.

In one of the newer interviews you have said that basically Tolkien literature is still the best one for you, and that you haven’t discovered anything new worth of your attention. Also, Summoning have used some of M.Moorcock’s lyrics during the period from 1999-2001. Nevertheless, have you be attracted with any new epic-fiction books, novels or even TV episodes such as ”Game of Thrones” and alike (I do not mean for using them for Summoning lyrical background, I mean just on reading or watching them)…
Silenius: To be honest I did not read to many fantasy books lately. Somehow I am a bit fed up with this, but this does not mean that I am no fan of fantasy in generally anymore. I already bought the first two DVDs of game of thrones but I still have not seen them yet. I am just a bit pressed for time lately, but I am very curious about that because it was highly praised everywhere. But all this won’t find its way to the Summoning universe. we are still bound to Tolkien, until the end of the bands existence.

Also, since we have the first part/episode of ”The Hobbit” out could you tell us your opinion concerning Peter Jackson’s new movie? Are you satisfied how did they capture the atmosphere of Middle-Earth this time?
Silenius: Yes its again very Hollywood like with a lot of free interpretations of Peter Jackson again, but nevertheless I like it very much, even the childish aspects (like for example the presentation of Radagast). in contrary to many other Tolkien purists I don’t think that only a 1:1 translation of the book would be the only true presentation of a movie. I think the artistic freedom of Peter Jackson is a cool one. i think both – the movie and the book – can stand beside with all their differences.

How do you react on various bands around that are trying to copy Summoning? Even more some bands have succeeded perfectly to copy your style, not only music-wise, but also they copied visual aspects as well. And, yet they make a nice success with that…
Silenius: First of all we think that there are still not too many bands around that copy us, but those few, like for example Caladran Brood do their job very well and get the attention they deserve but I don’t think that there will be a trend in the future because therefore this musical style is too specific.

I wish you all the best until next time, and thanks once more for the great music you create !

Thank you for the interview

Interview was done by Marko Miranovic