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FIRST AND FOREMOST:

This is NOT going to be your run-of-the-mill “TRVE BLACK METAL” review of the year. If you are looking for something of that sort, I suggest you seek elsewhere! So please keep that in mind. This is an in-depth “study” and overview of their glorious work “With Doom We Come”, and a personal explanation of each song and musical and lyrical structure. I personally never even have considered Summoning to be a metal band to begin with, and I don’t think that they follow any trendy paths and stick to genres, fancy labels and what not. This is my personal opinion of course, and please read the review with respect and humility. Now please allow me, to allow you to throw away any preconceived notions and acquire some TRVE knowledge and wisdom.

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Death to light, to law, to love!
Cursed be moon and stars and stars above!
May the darkness everlasting old!
Drown Manwë, Varda and the shining sun!

Now, when the guys behind Summoning release a new album, the rumors spread throughout the whole of Arda and the entire continents of Beleriand and Middle-earth! Here in our small “Middle-earth” we call mother Europe, all the attention of fellow listeners, readers and thinkers alike points immediately to Austria. Why to Austria you might ask? Well, there are at least SEVEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY SEVEN reasons for that matter!

I want to start off this review by clarifying a few important points and clearly to state, that the music of Summoning is not only to be experienced and listened like some background layer to some weird drunken “trve” black metal gathering in the local pub, but actually studied and truly experienced in a profound way. It’s essential! The same can be applied for most of professor Tolkien’s works. You don’t just “read” his books, you study them! I personally don’t just “listen” to Summoning. I study their sound, themes and underlying messages. Song by song, note by note, word by word!

I have been a  Summoning listener (and I don’t like the word “fan”, because it suggest a “FANatical way of behaviour) for more than 12 years now, and during their musical career they have released a respectable amount of full length albums and singles. Not too many, and not too few. The proper term “Quality over quantity” is very appropriate and can be applied very rightly. The interestingly strange thing about Summoning is that they are resembling more of an extravagant Vianesse duo that compose Epic classical and bombastic music, than a metal-head wild bunch from Austria. They are more likely to be classified as a sort of Wagnerian masterminds of the 21st century! I am pretty sure that most of the long time fellow listeners and Tolkienites would agree on this matter. The album itself deals with themes from both The Lord of The Rings legendarium and The Silmarillion.

Now, very little is known of the gentlemen (Silenius and Protector, real names: Michael Gregor and Richard Lederer) behind this band and quite a scarce information can be found on the web or paper or on online magazines. Apart from few interviews, not much is to be discovered of their personal lives and what type of people they actually are. Yes, indeed, they maintain some social network sites and a facebook page, but they don’t do video interviews, “behind the scenes”, or other type of  YouTube videos or anything  else on the web. They don’t even do live shows! Which is great! They’re a shadowy bunch and they prefer to lurk in the darkness.  I do very much appreciate that fact and it gives a certain mystic and wondering for the artist in general. The more MYSTICAL and OCCULT, the merrier!

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Now to the actual Grimoire!

The album opens up in the most majestic and kingly way possible with the composition baldy named “Tar-Calion” also know as “Ar-Pharazôn“. Now a little back story concerning the lore of the person behind this glorious opening anthem, will be crucial a necessity to understand certain aspects of this track and how it stands on its own. Apart from that, the lads from Summoning always chose and preferred their themes and songs to lean on the more “darker” and “villainous” side of Middle-earth.

KNEEL BEFORE YOUR CONQUEROR!

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First Anthem

Tar-Calion also known as Ar-Pharazôn

Then Ar-Pharazôn hardened his heart, and he went aboard his mighty ship, Alcarondas, Castle of the Sea. Manyoared it was and many-masted, golden and sable; and upon it the throne of Ar-Pharazon was set. Then he did on his panoply and his crown, and let raise his standard, and he gave the signal for the raising of the anchors; and in that hour the trumpets of Numenor outrang the thunder.Thus the fleets of the Numenoreans moved against the menace of the West; and there was little wind, but they had many oars and many strong slaves to row beneath the lash. The sun went down, and there came a great silence.

Ar-Pharazôn the Golden was the twenty-fifth and last King of Númenor. He was the son of Gimilkhâd, who was the younger brother of the twenty-fourth King, Tar-Palantir. Ar-Pharazôn’s willful rule, and his great pride, led directly to the world-changing Downfall of Númenor and the founding of the realms in exile of Arnor and Gondor. “Pharazôn means “Golden” in Adûnaic, and is derived from the word pharaz, ‘gold’. Had Ar-Pharazôn taken a Quenya name, he would have ruled as Tar-Calion. This title does not appear to be a direct translation of his Adûnaic name, since it means “Son of Light” (from ‘cala’ ‘light’, and -ion, the masculine patronymic). Like all the other Kings of Númenor who took their royal names in Adûnaic, Pharazôn added the prefix ‘ar’ (‘high’, ‘King’) to his name when he seized the Sceptre.

“Ar-Pharazôn the Golden was the proudest and most powerful of all the Kings, and no less than the kingship of the world was his desire.”The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A

In his youth, Pharazôn and Amandil, the Lord of Andúnië and later the leader of the Faithful Númenóreans, were dear friends. After some time, Pharazôn departed from Númenor to participate in the wars in Middle-earth that the King’s Men were waging against Sauron. While in Middle-earth, he became a great captain and commander of the Númenórean armies. Pharazôn did not return to Númenor until a few years before the death of Tar-Palantir, when he heard of his own father’s early death. During his time there, Pharazôn was generous with the wealth he had acquired in Middle-earth, and the hearts of the people were turned toward him. He remained on the island until Tar-Palantir died. At that time, Pharazôn took the King’s daughter Míriel as his wife, much against her will, and against the laws of Númenor which prohibited first cousins from marrying. Pharazôn then changed her name to Ar-Zimraphel. Thus he usurped the throne and, taking the Sceptre into his own hand, proclaimed himself King Ar-Pharazôn in S.A. 3255

King of Númenor

Soon after Ar-Pharazôn’s unlawful ascent to power, he heard news that Sauron had been assailing the Númenórean settlements in Middle-earth since his return to the island. His captains explained to him that the fallen Maia wished to drive the Númenóreans back to the Sea whence they had come, and declare himself King of Men. They also told Ar-Pharazôn that Sauron wished to destroy Númenor itself, if possible.

Legacy and successors

Ar-Pharazôn’s tyrannical rule and rebellious resolve to break the Ban of the Valar and make war upon the west led to the end of the royal Númenórean line. Instead, the line of Elros was continued from the long line of the Lords of Andúnië. As Amandil of Andúnië did not return from his venture into the west, his son Elendil became the successor of a new kingdom that would rule from Middle-earth in exile. His two surviving sons, Isildur and Anárion followed him into exile and would in turn become his successors as well.

Ar-Pharazôn was remembered by the surviving Númenorean lineage with a sort of grudging respect. Despite his errors, he was the first and last Human capable to beat and humiliate the powerful dark lord Sauron by himself. In remembrance to this feat, in Umbar was erected a monument to the Golden King of Númenor: a dark crystal globe, on a tall white column, which absorbed sunrays and glimmered in the night for everyone to see. The monument was destroyed when Umbar corsairs swore allegiance to Sauron

More lore about King Ar-Pharazôn can be found here: Tolkien Gateway

and here: One Wiki To Rule Them All

MUSIC THEORY

I remember watching a presentation by the very talented illustrator John Howe, and at the beginning he clearly said in a semi-humorous tone, but also in a very appropriate and mature way, that artists and especially painters and illustrators in general should NOT describe their art to anyone, or especially in front of an audience. The painting or the illustration should speak of itself. Adding words to a form of art that is intended to be experienced visually and not verbally may ruin the whole idea. In the same manner, regarding music or a single composition. It should speak on its own. Words and sentences cannot fully do the song a justice, but nonetheless, it’s still worth the try! So that’s why I am here, sitting on my throne (I mean chair) with the hope of making a detailed and unique review of this glorious work by Summoning.

…or  at least if the Valar will give me their permission to do so. Anyhow! Watch and listen carefully to the old hermit speaking in his own words.

Now let us try to examine the actual musical structure of this song.The opening thirty or so seconds begin with the pounding sound of mighty drums of war where the King delivers an awe-inspiring speech in front of his army of faithful Númenoreans before battle, or it may be interpreted as a conversation between the King and his faithful counselor in a secret chamber of his castle. It’s up to the listener, to use his or her imagination. Throughout the song, phrases such as “Kneel before your conqueror!”, “You will kneel!” and “My day will come!” are continuously stated, allowing the acoustic riff and the accompanying distorted riff in the background to create an atmosphere of unease. The folk whistles add a serene touch to the dissonance and the sudden blast of epic trumpets signifies the coming of a substantial fleet of Númenoreans. Like the Ulumúri, the great white conches of Ulmo, they produce the music of the sea which afterwards cannot be forgotten. There is no doubt that the lads from Summoning had mastered a rich variety of instruments and techniques along the years and that really shines with every new record they produce. Tar-Calion in my honest opinion fits very appropriately as an opening track for an album that is mostly focused on paying a serious homage to characters, creatures and places from The Silmarillion and also from the Appendices of The Lord of The Rings.

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John_Howe_-_Zirak-zigil

Second Anthem

Silvertine also known as Celebdil

“High on the mountains highest ridge
Where oft the stormy winter gale
Cuts like a scythe, while through the clouds
It sweeps from vale to vale;
Not five yards from the mountain path,
Silvertine you on the left espy;
And to the left, three yards beyond,
You see a little muddy pound.”

The album takes a step forward with Silvertine. A track centered on the mythos of the mountain peak, Celebdil, which was the site where Gandalf the Grey fought against the Balrog in The Lord of the Rings and where the two fell to their death.

Celebdil, also known as Silvertine and Zirakzigil, was one of the three peaks that stood above the Dwarven city of Khazad-dûm. The other two were Caradhras (Redhorn) and Fanuidhol (Cloudyhead).

Celebdil was the southernmost of the Mountains of Moria and the Endless Stair led from the deepest halls of Khazad-dûm up to Durin’s Tower on the peak of the mountain. There the final battle between Gandalf and Durin’s Bane took place

Celebdil is the Sindarin name of Khuzdul Zirakzigil, translated as the mountain Silvertine. Celebdil contains celeb (“silver”) and a derivative of the root TIL. Silvertine contains tine, “spike, sharp horn”

HISTORY

The Dwarves called the mountain-summit Zirakzigil. In ancient times, they built the Endless Stair – a spiral staircase of many thousand steps – from the roots of the mountain up to its peak. On an eyrie atop the mountain they built Durin’s Tower. By the end of the Third Age, the stair and the tower were remembered only in legend.

Then, on January 23, 3019, Gandalf and the Balrog climbed the Endless Stair to the summit of the Silvertine. There they fought the Battle of the Peak, which lasted three days. During the battle, Durin’s Tower was destroyed and the stairs were blocked. The Balrog of Moria was finally destroyed. Gandalf the Grey died and was soon returned to life as Gandalf the White. Gandalf was rescued from the Silvertine by Gwaihir the Windlord on February 17, 3019.

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  • In a 1968 letter, Tolkien identifies the Swiss Silberhorn as it appeared to him when camping near Mürren in 1911 as “the Silvertine (Celebdil) of my dreams.

MUSIC THEORY

And, as I am a man,
Instead a jutting crag, I found
Durin’s tower up from the ground…

Silvertine is a powerful track, laced with folkish overtones and a strong, almost cacophonous rhythm section. As the song plays, its strength comes in the pained screams of Protector as he narrates Gandalf’s plight. The flow of the the song and the melodies interlaced within it, gives the impression to the listener of an epic battle fought between two polar opposites. I am almost left with the impression that both Silenius and Protector are standing above the peak and performing their bardic magic in the form of an epic symphony,  composed by the dark lord Morgoth himself. The constant delivery and the pounding of the thick layer of the glorious Timpani, creates an even higher tension and creates a sense of a grand desire to hear more and witness the battle with your own eyes. I personally always preferred to use my own imagination when listening to all of Summoning’s albums. That helps substantially when you hear one of their songs again, because it creates a scenery in your mind and it unlocks it, and you can visualize every single detail when the music enters inside your subconscious mind. That’s how the power of music works! It’s MAGIC in every possible sense of the word. When the piano parts enter into the composition of the track, finally the moment occurs. The positive forces of good and justice encounter their dark and oppressive adversary, and the impending doom is waiting to be unleashed. Suddenly you have a mixture of epic trumpets, choruses, and the mighty monotonous riffs, that are trying to outrun one another and to achieve the final moments of the anthem while Protector repeatedly is chanting the astounding:

“And, as I am a man,
Instead a jutting crag, I found
Durin’s tower up from the ground…”

The song ends with a thunderous and heavy riff-based layer, complemented with the monstrous whips, tearing up the very fabric of  reality and the clashes of the immense weight of the Balrog, while falling to his doom on the peak. Also a morbid presence adds to the whole scenery, where a shadowy voice begins casting vile whispers and spells from the deeps to show, that there is no hope for salvation, and that the darkness will soon cover all of Middle-earth!

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Third Anthem

Carcharoth also known as Karkaras

“Upon the threshold, watchful, dire.
His eyes new-kindled with dull fire.
His teeth were bare, his tongue aflame.
Aroused he watched then no one came.”

Carcharoth was bred from the foul breed of Draugluin, the first Werewolf, and fed with elvish and mannish flesh by Morgoth himself. He was the greatest, most powerful wolf to ever live. Carcharoth was set as a guard on the Gates of Angband, and later he mortally wounded both Huan, the Hound of Valinor, and Beren.

HISTORY

After hearing of the Fall of Tol-in-Gaurhoth, where Huan had defeated Draugluin and Sauron, Morgoth decided to create a werewolf to kill Huan, who could only be killed by the greatest werewolf to have ever lived. Carcharoth became involved with the Quest for the Silmaril when Beren and Lúthien had to pass him on their way in. He stopped them, suspicious of Draugluin, (Beren in disguise) as he had heard of their death. Lúthien enchanted him with her magic, but on their way out Carcharoth attacked before Lúthien could enthral him again. Beren held out the captured Silmaril in an attempt to stay the beast, but Carcharoth bit off Beren’s hand at the wrist with Silmaril and all.

The Silmaril burnt away Carcharoth’s insides, and he became crazed with pain. A terror to Eldar, Men and Orcs alike, he passed south through Beleriand, consumed with an overpowering thirst. From this comes his name of Anfauglir, meaning ‘Jaws of Thirst’. He arrived in Doriath where Beren, King Thingol, Beleg Cúthalion and Mablung joined with Huan the Hound in the Hunting of the Wolf.

At last, he was discovered within the borders of Doriath itself, where he fought his last fight with Huan: the wolf and the hound took one another’s lives in that combat.

Both Beren and Huan were slain. When Mablung cut open the belly of the beast, he found there the Silmaril with Beren’s hand still around it, but when he touched the flesh it was swept away by a wind.

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ETYMOLOGY

Originally Carcharoth’s name was “Karkaras”, the Knife-fang, who was the father of wolves. He was a great grey wolf. Borosaith meaning Everhungry is another name for Carcharoth, and it is said to be used in old songs. The name is translated as Red Maw. The recognizable Sindarin elements are car(a)n “red” as well as carach “jaw” or carch “fang”.

The detail of Beren losing his hand to Carcharoth may be modelled after the Norse legend of the god Týr, who lost his hand to the wolf Fenrir.

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MUSIC THEORY

No flitting shade nor hunted shape,
Seeking from Angband to escape.
Now past that guard what guile or might
Could thrust from death into the light?

What is beautiful about the epic black metal sub genre is, that these songs aren’t just songs for the sake of music; their purpose is to tell stories through the unique approach of music – stories of heroism and triumph, of sorrow and loss of life. As the album progresses onto Carcharoth, the song that tells the story of the royal werewolf of Morgoth, the listener is again reminded that both heroism and tragedy play an important part in the band’s vision, and those stories filled with such qualities can be portrayed in a subtle and smooth manner without being overly repetitive and monotonous. The song’s overall feeling invokes a sense of dread, oppression and despair, but also of majesty and grandeur. The sorrowful riffs from beginning to end, shape the underlying structure and illustrate the painful longing for love, meaning, honor and salvation from the darkness the characters of Beren and Luthien inhibit. Now, this track must not be mistaken as a tearful ballad for a cheesy love story with unhappy ending.  Quite the contrary. It balances between the high and the low of the human condition and it shows a strong emotional bondage in its narative. Summoning devised a precious floaty composition that is neither too pretentious, nor too modest. From time to time the magical and epic trumpets enter into the scene and deliver the necessary blow that signals the beginning of the end and the fall of the archetypal enemy of Elves, Men, Dwarves, and all the free peoples of Middle-earth.

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War_in_the_North_CA_5

Fourth Anthem

Herumor

“My heart to joy at the same tone.
And all I loved, I loved alone…”

Herumor was a Black Númenórean who lived in the late Second Age. After the Downfall of Númenor he, along with Fuinur, rose to power among the Haradrim and served Sauron.

Like all Black Númenóreans, Herumor fell under the influence of the Dark Lord Sauron during the late Second Age while he was on the island of Númenór. He sailed east with Fuinur and with him settled with Haradrim in the lands of Harad, and the two became lords among the Haradrim.

His ultimate fate is unknown…

ETYMOLOGY

Herumor means “Black Lord” in Quenya (from heru = “lord” and morë = “dark”).

• In the defunct Middle-earth Role Playing game from the 1980s, Herumor is given an extended history. Fuinur is then his older brother. Tolkien, however, had nothing to do with writing this history.

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MUSIC THEORY

Now this song can either bring you to tears, touch you deep inside and leave a sorrowful trail or none of the above. It depends on how far your imagination can take you into unknown territories. For me personally it does both! The beginning of the track opens with the “confessions” (not in a Christian way) of the lone warrior-wanderer, exiled king and outcast confronting the will of the Gods, and who finally sees the world in its full beauty and at the same time needless cruelty. It seems to me, that we can see here the same repeating pattern of the Gollum story and legend. Herumor and Smeagol/Gollum both began as noble folk, but after some time became corrupted by the vile and dark sorcery of Sauron and the all the evil in Middle-earth. We can read in The Lord of The Rings how Gollum always “fought” against his darker side and was constantly on the path of redemption. The tiny exception here is that The Ring drove him mad, and that Herumor didn’t possess any magical artifacts to begin with. They were both driven by greed and lust for power. That is what destroyed them in the end. I’d like to think that Herumor, even as a Black Númenórean, carried the initial spark of good in him as all men initially did. That makes him in a way the “anti-hero” of the whole saga of the Númenórean kings and their lineage. Concerning the lore of Herumor “The Black Númenórean” much can be said, but let’s leave his story with an open end…

I can now touch on the musical aspects of the song:

From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,

From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,

From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken

The inception of this glorious hymn opens up with a sorrowful line narrated by the magical keys of a piano or some sort of synth and a chorus, plus the pounding beats of the drum. After the painful poetry and the confessions of our main character here, the tormented screams of Silenius can be heard repeating the line:

My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.

At the closing minutes of the song we can hear a chorus joining up forces together with the melting panorama of soundscapes and bringing a battalion of mighty trumpets to support the rusty riffs floating in the background.

On the brink of the abyss
with a blindfold tied tight
should I step into the mist
or retreat back to the light?

I don’t know what is in there
whether it be ground or a fall
I don’t know if I shall dare
to take the step and risk it all…

I can experience this primordial spirit of a song in a different and open-minded manner every time I hear it, and that’s what makes is so uplifting and in the same time so melancholic in its structure. The positioning of the each song in the album makes the previous and the next song in the list to create a sense of necessary belonging and importance to the whole Summoning Mythos and their ideas to portray Tolkien’s universe with musical brushes of excellence and magic.

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Barrow-downs,_Cardolan's_capital

Fifth Anthem

Barrow-Downs

The Barrow-downs or Tyrn Gorthad were a series of low hills east of the Shire, behind the Old Forest, and southwest of the village of Bree. Many of the hills were crowned with megaliths and barrows, hence their name. They served as resting places for the men of the north, as well as the Dunedain, until evil spirits called Barrow-wights, sent by the Witch-king of Angmar, began to inhabit them. During the Third Age, the hills lay within the bounds of Cardolan in the region of Eriador.

HISTORY

The Barrow-downs were first inhabited by Men related to the Edain in the First Age, together with the Hills of Evendim to the north. They fled east as Easterlings invaded Eriador and passed on to Beleriand, but after these had left or been killed in the War of Wrath the Edain returned to their old homes.

During the Second Age they were fairly numerous, and when they met with the Númenóreans the Barrow-downs were the first places where the Dúnedain émigrés from Númenor settled. The Downs were revered because of the Great Barrows. When Elendil returned to Middle-earth, the Barrow-downs were incorporated into the kingdom of Arnor.

After the split of Arnor in T.A. 861 the Barrow-downs became the capital of Cardolan. After Rhudaur fell to Angmar in 1409, the Dúnedain of Cardolan entrenched themselves here, but eventually the realm fell. Around T.A. 1636 the Witch-king sent the Barrow-wights that haunted the hills, preventing any resettlement; after Arthedain once again claimed the kingship over all of Arnor the Dúnedain tried to recolonize Cardolan, but this failed because of the Barrow-wights.

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When the Black Riders came north in their hunt for the One Ring, the Lord of the Nazgûl stayed in the Barrow-downs for a few days, rousing the Barrow-wights.  Fleeing the Black Riders, Frodo and his fellow Hobbits were ensnared by a wight in one of the numerous barrows probably in the same cairn which held the grave of the last prince of Cardolan. The four were separated from one another in a dense fog, and, all captured, ended up in the same barrow. Three of the Hobbits seemed under a spell, but Frodo, almost succumbing to the wight, was able to call out to Tom Bombadil. Tom, hearing his song, came with haste to the barrow and dispelled the evil spirit from the tomb. Tom Bombadil, whose house dwells in the Old Forest near to the Barrow-downs, had told them earlier to pass by barrows on the western side; the hobbits stopped for lunch on what must have been a barrow, and promptly fell asleep in the shade on the east side. After their rescue, the hobbits each took from the spoils of the tomb a finely crafted Dúnedain knife, and continued their journey towards Bree.

Under the Spell of the Barrow-wight, by Ted Nasmith

MUSIC THEORY

I will just say it from the very beginning. If the whole album was made in the spirit of this masterpiece of a song, I’d be the happiest Hobbit in all the Shire and beyond!!!

Now, personal preferences aside, this short segment brings much joy to my heart and it stands as the finest Epic DUNGEON-synth-like composition they’ve probably ever created! I am extremely modest and honest when I issue such a bold declaration. There are no lyrics or singing, as it should be for the nature of such soundtrack-based title is left to speak by itself. Here the imagination of the listener reaches its highest peaks in the entire narrative of the album. The war-like marching and drumming rhythms and the blending of the epic trumpet notes are the well-known method of the guys behind Summoning. This piece actually reminds me of the opening “Bauglir” of their 2006 masterpiece “Oath Bound”, but also very strangely of Protectors’ other project called “Kreuzweg OST”, where he composes pure cinematic epic soundscapes, which may be categorized as “Martial Industrial” in its essence.  He made and released two albums, but some samples from  his second album, “Edelrost” can be heard here.

So Barrow-Downs is truly a very refreshing and magical song and it does make you replay it over and over again without getting bored or frustrated by its monotonous nature. (there’s nothing of the sort here) It makes you stand on your feet and raise the banners and grab the necessary gear from the armory and embark on an EPIC adventure towards the old megaliths and foggy mountains and shaggy forests of the outside world. For that which is in Tolkien’s books can very much be found in our current world. At least in the rural, wild and out civilization areas. HIS Middle-earth is very much OUR Middle-earth of today. So I encourage you. Go out, venture upon the wild and unexplored, and please by all means, loose yourself, loose your way through your own imagination and I hope that one day you may find your own Barrow-downs, Fangorn Forest, Rivendell or any other fantasy realm!

ETYMOLOGY

In topography, a “down” is a low-lying hill, from the Anglo-Saxon dún meaning “hill”. In the United Kingdom, a down is a gently-rolling chalk hill in Southern England (seen especially in the North and South Downs).

A “barrow” (or “berrow”; from English beorg, berg, ‘hill, mound’) not to be confused with the wheeled vehicle, is a tumulus or other prehistoric grave-mound.

The name therefore would represent an earlier Old English form Beorga Dune “downs of barrows”.

Tyrn Gorthad was the Sindarin name of the Barrow-downs. Tyrn Gorthad is a compound of torn (“down”) and gorthad (“of buried”). In one manuscript, the name Tyrn Goerthaid was used by Tolkien. Goerthaid seems to be the plural of gorthad with lenited vowels.

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• A possible real-life inspiration for Tolkien was the Barrow Downs of Warwickshire, near the village of Long Compton.

fog_on_the_barrow_downs_by_jonathanguzi-d8zay85

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Felagund Among Bëor's Men, by Ted Nasmith

Sixth Anthem

Night Fell Behind

“Our business is like men to fight,
And hero like to die!”

MUSIC THEORY AND PERSONAL INTERPRETATION

Then mounte! Then mounte, brave gallants, all,
And don your helmes amaine:
Deathe’s couriers, Fame and Honor,

This is the first track of the album that is not named after a particular character and it doesn’t openly pay a tribute to any particular place or anything else subjectively in the Tolkien’s universe. Although the lads declare very clearly and precisely within the lyrics that it is about a gallant army of men and the glory and honor of leading them into battle. The song is of course open for many interpretations, but what shows very evident signs is, that it’s not Sauron’s or Morgoth’s amy or any army of the enemy. marching towards chaos and destruction. I personally like to imagine that it’s Theoden King of Rohan, who is leading the Rohirim into The Pelenor Fields and all his brave men to victory or demise, “For death and glory!” and FOR ROHAN!. “The horn of Helm Hammerhand shall sound in the deep! …ONE LAST TIME!”, or it’s  maybe Elessar, Aragorn King of Gondor standing before the Black Gates and gives a valiant speech to his troops, while Frodo and Sam are climbing the fiery hills of Mount Doom, in the hope of putting an end to this nightmare once and for all and have peace. It could be any army or any scenario.  Even it could be dedicated to the events of third age written in The Lord of The Rings or the Appendices. Or maybe in “The Children of Hurin”. As we can see above, a lot of inspiration was put into this album that came mainly from The Silmarillion and other writings by J.R.R. and Christopher Tolkien. That is the beauty of such compositions. The listener is left to judge and to imagine by himself/herself. Now, from a musical perspective the whole atmosphere of the track gives the impression from the very beginning of nobility and majesty…

 

Then mounte! Then mounte, brave gallants, all,
And don your helmes amaine:
Deathes couriers, fame and honor, call
Us to the field again.

No shrewish tears shall fill our eye
When the sword hilts in our hand,
Heart-whole well part and no white sighe
For the fairest of the land;

Let piping swaine, and craven wight,
thus wheepe and puling crye
Our business is like men to fight,
And hero like to die!

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Seventh Anthem

Mirklands

Well, here is Mirkwood! Greatest of the forests of the Northern world. I hope you like the look of it.

  • Gandalf The Grey

GEOGRAPHY

Mirkwood was a dense and heavy woodland that made up much of the eastern portion of Rhovanion or the Wilderland, that maintained its borders and relative shape for many ages. Its natural land features included (in the northern part of the forest) the Mountains of Mirkwood, a sizable river referred to in Tolkien’s map as the Forest River, that ran from the Grey Mountains down to Long Lake, and a smaller river that ran from the Mountains of Mirkwood to join with the Forest River west of the Elven-king‘s Halls. This smaller river was enchanted (or polluted) to such an extent that it caused slumber and forgetfulness to anyone who fell into it.

Mirkwood’s climate was relatively mild. Except for ways through the thickets of the forest, there were very few commonly used routes through Mirkwood save the Old Forest Road and the Forest Path. Mirkwood was approximately 600 miles long from north to south and 250 miles across from west to east at its width. During the events of The Hobbit it was home to giant spiders, and the kingdom of King Thranduil and his woodland elves; The Woodmen of Mirkwood also inhabited a small part of the forest.

HISTORY

Mirkwood dates back to the earliest days of Middle-earth. The Elves passed through it on their Great Journey from Cuiviénen into the Far West – it was where they made their first long stop before continuing onward. Thereafter, Mirkwood was the dwelling of the Wood-elves (the Nandor, elves descending from the wandering Teleri elf Lenwë) for many thousands of years. The Sindarin Elf Oropher, one of the Grey-elves, who was the grandfather of Legolas, established the Woodland Realm proper, and it become the primary settlement of the elves from the Second Age onward. It was around this time that Men, possibly ancestors of the Northmen, began making permanent settlements in and around the forest. When Oropher was killed in the War of the Last Alliance, the kingship passed to his son Thranduil.

Mirkwood had been called Greenwood the Great until around the year TA 1050, when the shadow of the Dark Lord Sauron fell upon it, and men began to call it Mirkwood, or Taur-nu-Fuin and Taur-e-Ndaedelos in the Sindarin tongue. From then on, Mirkwood became a haunted place inhabited by many dark and savage things. Sauron established himself at the hill-fortress of Dol Guldur, an old Elven fortress that Oropher had control of, on Amon Lanc within its southern region, and drove Thranduil and his people ever northward, so that by the end of the Third Age they were a diminished and wary people, who had entrenched themselves within the Mountains of Mirkwood. The Old Forest Road (also called the Dwarf Road or Men-i-Maugrim) crossed the forest east to west, but because it was so close to Dol Guldur the road was mostly unusable. The elves then made a path farther to the north, which ended somewhere in the marshes south of the Long Lake of Lake-town.

ETYMOLOGY

Mirkwood is the Anglicized form of the Norse name Myrkviðr or mirkiwidu, originally hailing from Eddaic poems. Myrkviðr was the name of a “dark boundary-forest … the great forest that divided the land of the Goths from the land of the Huns”. In a letter to his grandson Michael, Tolkien says that “Mirkwood is not an invention of mine”, and continues to discuss the origin of the name in Old English and Old Norse writings.

Projected into Old English, the term appears as Myrcwudu in Tolkien’s The Lost Road, as a poem sung by Ælfwine:

Sea-danes and Goths, Swedes and Northmen,
Franks and Frisians, folk of the islands,
Swordmen and Saxons, Swabes and English,
and the Langobards who long ago
beyond Myrcwudu a mighty realm
and wealth won them in the Welsh countries
where Ælfwine Eadwine’s heir
in Italy was king. All that has passed.

The first recorded use of the word Mirkwood is found in William Morris‘s The House of the Wolfings (1888)

Second, Third and Fourth Ages

In around the year S.A. 750 the Sinda prince, Oropher, removed from Lindon to Greenwood where he was taken by the Silvan Elves as their lord. This forested region to the east of the Anduin is where Silvan Elves, of Nandor descent and the Avari, lived. Oropher built his halls at Amon Lanc and was accepted as the leader of the Wood-elves of Greenwood, later the Elves of Mirkwood, forming the Woodland Realm.

The first millennium of the Third Age probably saw the creation of the East Bight by men living in the eastern eaves of the forest. These men may have formed part of the Kingdom of Rhovanion led by Vidugavia. Men, such as the Éothéod, and Hobbits also lived in the vale of Anduin and were likely responsible for the retreat of the forest’s western border.

At the beginning of the Third Age Thranduil replaced Oropher as king of the Woodland Realm. Probably as a result of massive losses at the Battle of Dagorlad the Silvan population of Greenwood was diminished and became mainly concentrated in the hills then known as Emyn Duir. This included the abandonment of Amon Lanc, and around the turn of the first millennium Sauron, under the guise of the ‘Necromancer‘, returned to Middle-earth and in T.A. 1050 built a fortress there. The hill and the fortress together become known as Dol Guldur, the “Hill of Sorcery”.

Sauron’s arrival caused a darkening of Greenwood, and at this point it became known as Mirkwood. The children of Shelob, giant spiders, as well as bats and orcs in Dol Guldur’s service occupied the forest and it became thicker, darker and covered in cobwebs.

This caused the Silvan population of Mirkwood to retreat even further, residing apparently exclusively in the Elvenking’s Halls at the eastern end of the Forest River. The ancient Old Forest Road was abandoned by men and Dwarves alike, with a new but seldom used path being made further from Dol Guldur and the Hobbits near the forest’s eastern border migrated away.

Mirkwood remained a place of fear throughout the Third Age, though the kingdoms of Erebor and Dale flourished briefly in the time of the Kings under the Mountain. This prosperity was ended by the arrival of the Dragon Smaug who brought yet further desolation to the area north-eastern Mirkwood. Small homesteads of ‘Woodmen’ are also recorded as living in the western edge of the forest south of the old road in 2941.

In 2850 Gandalf visited Mirkwood and discovered that the Necromancer was none other than Sauron, who had regained his powers, millennia after the Battle of Dagorlad.

The shadow over Mirkwood was lifted, albeit temporarily, in 2941 when the White Council, prompted by the Wizard Gandalf‘s discovery of his true identity, drove Sauron from Dol Guldur. Gandalf also instigated the Quest of Erebor which resulted in the slaying of Smaug in the same year. The combination of these two events allowed the re-established kingdoms of Erebor and Dale, as well as the Woodland Realm and a confederacy of Woodmen led by the Beornings to flourish for a brief period.

However, only ten years after these events Sauron, now based in Mordor, sent the Witch-king of Angmar and the other Nazgûl to secretly reoccupy Dol Guldur and begin amassing an army of Orcs and Easterlings there. In 3018 these attacked the Woodland Realm, as well as Dale, Erebor and Lórien, in the opening moves of the War of the Ring.

On 19 March 3019 Thranduil repulsed Sauron’s forces in a bloody battle under the trees and mounted a campaign to clear northern Mirkwood of Sauron’s servants. At the same time the elves of Lórien led by Celeborn and Galadriel assaulted and destroyed Dol Guldur, and began to cleanse the southern part of the forest. Celeborn and Thranduil met in the midst of the forest on Elven New Year and formally renamed the forest Eryn Lasgalen. They then agreed to divide it between the Woodland Realm from the northern edge of the forest to the mountains, the Beornings from the mountains to the Narrows and East Lórien from the Narrows south.

Though initially they prospered as the darkness was lifted, the elves of the Wood of Greenleaves were destined either to depart for Valinor or fade into rustic forest spirits. The forest probably then ultimately fell under the dominion of men, the descendent of the Beornings and the men of Dale.

TN-Entering_Mirkwood

MUSIC THEORY

“Good-bye, proud world, I’m going home.”

If melancholy had a twin brother, then his name certainly would be called Mirklands! The song opens up in the most sad and slow way possible. The guitar riffs here can be barely heard and I think that was done intentionally, to make the other more “important” parts of the composition to shine. Here Silenius doesn’t just randomly scream, because he is required to. He narrates the story like a bard is doing in front of the bonfire, surrounded by his tribe. The title of the song is not actually named “Mirkwood”, but it’s more than obvious what the lads wanted to portray with it. Again like the previous track, here we face a musical grandeur and storyline that is open for many interpretations. This song is a statement and it gives the listener the feeling of a long farewell and departure to other lands, to other places and times.

“I am going to my own hearth stone
Bosomed in yon green hills, alone,
A secret nook in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned”

Now it seems to me, that it may very well be a departure towards the evergreen places of Middle-earth by the Ents or the The Elves, whose time has come to make their journey back home and give way for the next age. For the next age shall be the age of Men!

With this song I don’t feel that I need to explain the very essence of melancholy, because how can words describe such  a primordial and archetypal feeling? It gives me more pleasure to let the anthem speak by it’s sheer brilliance of sadness and lament.

“Good-bye to Flattery’s fawning face,
To Grandeur, with his wise grimace,
To frozen hearts, and hasting feet,
To those who go, and those who come,
Good-bye, proud world, I’m going home.”

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Morgoth Punishes Húrin, by Ted Nasmith

Eight Anthem

With Doom I Come

Death to light, to law, to love
Cursed be moon and stars and stars above
May the darkness everlasting old
Drown Manwë, Varda and the shining sun

Morgoth, also known as Melkor, was the greatest of the Ainur. He fell from glory when he disrupted the Music of the Ainur and defied the will of Eru Ilúvatar. Morgoth corrupted many of the Ainur to his allegiance, fought the Valar, and corrupted Arda. His theft of the Silmarils and wars against Elves and Men encompassed much of the history of the First Age. Eventually, Morgoth was bound in chains by the Valar and thrown into the Void, leaving the permanent damage his evils had done, and his servant Sauron, to trouble the world.

One day, according to prophecy, Morgoth will rise again in great wrath, but he will be destroyed in the Dagor Dagorath.

HISTORY

The first and most powerful of the Ainur that Ilúvatar created was a spirit known as Melkor. Because he wandered through the Void in an attempt to find and use the Flame Imperishable, the source of Ilúvatar‘s creative activity, Melkor developed ideas unlike those of the other Ainur. His feelings grew rebellious against his creator, for he wished to create sentient beings to inhabit the Void and was dissatisfied by the fact that Ilúvatar had not done so. However, Melkor could not find the Flame, for it was not in the Void, but with Ilúvatar.

The Music of The Ainur

When the Ainur made music, Melkor wove his strange thoughts into his song. His song clashed against the Theme of Ilúvatar, disturbing the Ainur around him and causing some of them to attune their music to his. For a while the Theme of Ilúvatar and the discords of Melkor warred against one another. But Eru smiled, and sent forth a new theme. Most of the Ainur joined with it, but Melkor rebelliously opposed it even more violently. At last, many of the Ainur stopped singing in dismay, and Melkor’s discords gained dominance. Eru sent out a third Theme against Melkor, sweeter and more beautiful than the others, and unquenchable. But though Melkor could not defeat it, still he opposed it. At last, Eru halted the music completely with a single chord.

Eru then publicly rebuked Melkor, saying that all music finds its source in himself, and thus Melkor could not create his own song or truly alter the Themes of Ilúvatar. Thus, though Melkor opposed Eru to his last breath, he only furthered the cause of Ilúvatar in new and wondrous ways. Melkor was shamed and angered by this judgment, but hid his feelings. When Eru showed the Ainur the product of their music, , Melkor was one of those who begged to enter Arda, pretending to be willing to cultivate it and guide it for Ilúvatar’s glory. He actually wished to dominate Arda and its creatures, especially the Children of Ilúvatar.

Nonetheless, he was allowed to enter Eä and come to Arda with the other Valar. Once there, Melkor declared to his colleagues that he was the master of Arda henceforth. Manwë, his brother, did not understand his evil, but fearing that Melkor might try and disrupt their labors in Arda, called forth many more Ainur to protect them. Melkor departed to the remote regions of Eä, leaving the world in peace for a while.

Wars of The Valar

But Melkor took form more majestic than any of the Valar, great and terrible and burning with his malice, and he came to Arda to destroy the Valar’s work in preparing it. There was war, the First War with Melkor, in which mountains were felled and brutality inflicted on the Valar. Though he disrupted their work and destroyed much, a great spirit named Tulkas came to Arda from other regions of Eä to combat him. After Tulkas drove Melkor away, the Valar managed to complete Arda, and the world was established.

The Valar dwelt in a land called Almaren, and raised up two lamps to light the young earth: Illuin and Ormal. Melkor, meanwhile, had attracted the attention–and in a few cases, admiration–of the Maiar, the lesser spirits of Arda. Melkor had many spies among them, and from them learned all that the Valar did, and bided his time. As the Valar sat down to a feast at the completion of their labors, Melkor gathered together those loyal to him, and looking down on the beautiful Arda, was filled with hatred. Tulkas was wedded to Nessa at that feast, and she danced before the Valar. Tulkas fell asleep, and that is when Melkor struck.

Melkor with his host passed over the Walls of Night and returned to Arda once more. Without the watchfulness of Tulkas, the Valar were unaware of his coming, and he began to delve in the depths of the earth, making a fortress called Utumno northwards beneath the mountains in the dimness of Illuin. The Spring of Arda became blighted as the cold evil flowed out of the fortress. Death and illness took the green things of Arda, and animals fought and killed one another, while flies brooded in massive numbers. The Valar knew then that Melkor was at work, and sought his hiding place.

But Melkor struck the first blow. He came to them in ire and war, destroying Almaren and the Two Lamps, and caused the world to be filled with flowing fire and surging water. The symmetry of Arda was broken. And in the darkness and confusion Melkor escaped, returning to Utumno. All combined, the Valar were a match for Melkor, but they needed their strength to keep the world from collapsing into ruin and could not pursue him, nor did they know exactly where he had fled to. The Spring of Arda had ended in turmoil.

ted_nasmith_-_melkor_weaves_opposing_music

Dominance of Middle-earth

With Almaren destroyed, the Valar departed to a new continent across the sea, Aman, and built Valinor. They also established new sources of light, the Two Trees, to light the world. Melkor, meanwhile, wandered across the face of Middle-earth, in various guises, but armed with cold and fire. Some of the Valar were unwilling to forsake Middle-earth, however; Ulmo and Yavanna, particularly. Also Oromë would ride in Middle-earth, killing the terrors of Melkor, who began to fear that the Valar might rise up against him in wrath.

Melkor brooded in the north and built his strength, gathering his demons about him, breeding great monsters, attended by his Maiar-servants later known as Balrogs. He also created another fortress and armory called Angband, in the northwest of Middle Earth, to resist any Valarin attacks. He placed his greatest servant, Sauron, in control of that stronghold. The Valar acted against Melkor in force, but they were routed, his might too great for them to overcome.

After his victory, Melkor began to delve more great fortresses and pits where he massed his hordes and wicked armies, confident in his domination of the world. Melkor, by wandering about in the dominion he now wrested, also learned of the awakening of the first of the Children of Ilúvatar, the Elves. He instilled fear in them, and slew or captured many of them. Some of those he captured, it is believed, may have been transformed into Orcs by torture and breeding.

Time in Valinor

The Valar were not long, however, in discovering the Elves. Fearing that they would be destroyed or corrupted by Melkor, Manwë decided that Ilúvatar wished them to recover Middle-earth at all costs. Bitter from their previous defeat, they arrived in Middle-earth with their full might. They laid siege to Utumno, and eventually destroyed it after a great battle during which the face of Middle-earth was transformed, though their losses were devastating in the process. Melkor was captured and chained with the chain Angainor, but Sauron escaped. Melkor was imprisoned in the halls of Mandos, and remained there for three ages, plotting revenge. Still recovering from the grievous siege, the Valar could not pursue and destroy all of Melkor’s forces that scattered from the icy fortress, and many foul creatures and minions escaped, left to brood amongst themselves until their master’s return.

At the end of his time, Melkor was presented to his brother Manwë. Melkor, swallowing his pride with thoughts of vengeance, prostrated himself before the throne of Manwë, begging for pardon. Manwë granted him thus, though Ulmo and Tulkas were displeased with this judgement. Yet the Valar would not let him leave their sight, and he stayed in Valmar. Before long, he began to exert his corrupting influence on the Elves, especially the Noldor. For the Vanyar did not trust him, and the Teleri he thought too weak for his designs, but the Noldor were curious, and eager to learn what he could teach them.

Revenge against The Valar

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In time Melkor found his greatest adversary and yet greatest tool in the form of Fëanor, the eldest son of Finwë, High King of the Noldor. Fëanor was the creator of the Silmarils, which Melkor lusted after. As Melkor subtly spread lies and half-truths about the Valar and the Coming of Men in the form of rumors, Fëanor was greatly influenced, though he hated Melkor himself and had no idea that he was their source. His new ideas of wide lands and realms to rule touched the heart of Fëanor, and the hearts of many other Noldor. They began to murmur against the Valar, and the peace of Valinor was disturbed. Fëanor soon stirred up trouble, and while on trial before the Valar it was revealed that Melkor was at the bottom of the murmurings and troubles. Tulkas left straight-away to deal with him, but found Melkor gone. He had escaped.

Melkor was not seen for a while, but then appeared at Formenos to Fëanor, tempting him with words of friendship, and an offer of vengeance against the Valar whom Fëanor perceived had wronged him. Fëanor wavered, but Melkor pressed his advantage too much. He touched a chord about the Silmarils, and Fëanor, seeing his designs and lust for the jewels, cursed and rejected him. Melkor departed in anger, and went south past the mountain of Hyarmentir, to the shadowed valley of Avathar where there dwelt Ungoliant, a mysterious dark spirit in spider-form once his servant, but who had disowned him after his failure. After some time he convinced her to dismiss her fears with the offer of rich rewards, and she wove a cloak of shadow about them both.

Then Melkor and Ungoliant attacked while there was festival in Valmar. Melkor pierced the Two Trees with his lance, and Ungoliant drank their sap. Then she drank dry the Wells of Varda, and the two fled north to Formenos, leaving the land once more in darkness and confusion. At Formenos Melkor slew Finwë and ravished the treasury of Fëanor, including the Silmarils. Then he passed over the icy Helcaraxë, entering once more into Middle-earth. He was soon back in Angband. He had struck swiftly and surely. But Fëanor cursed him, naming him Morgoth, and by that name he was known ever after to the Eldar.

Characteristics

Morgoth and the High King of Noldor, by Ted Nasmith

It was said of Morgoth that “his might was greatest of all things in this world.” He was the most powerful being in existence, second only to Ilúvatar, and perhaps more powerful than every Vala put together. Fitting to his name, Morgoth eventually took a form great and terrible, and soon was unable to leave it. He received many scars and wounds over the ages: his hands were burned forever when he touched the Silmarils, Fingolfin wounded him seven times during their battle and inflicted a wound to the foot that caused him ever after to limp, and Thorondor scarred Morgoth’s face.

Physically, Morgoth was described as highly imposing, and was reckoned to a tower compared to the warrior Fingolfin, and the shadow of the shield he wielded was like a stormcloud. Ever since his downfall, Morgoth held a desire for power; above all else, however, Morgoth held deep hatred of the mere existence of intelligent or beautiful life. Unlike his servant Sauron, Morgoth’s ultimate goal was solely the destruction, not control, of all that he despised. He was nonetheless persuasive, and could sway and corrupt many forms of life to become his willing servants.

Morgoth wielded Grond in battle, a weapon he presumably forged himself in Angband (unless Sauron or Gothmog had held it safe after the Siege of Utumno), and was clad in black armor, with an iron crown. Despite his strength initially, he continually spread his residual influence, corruption, and might thin across Arda after his treachery and suffered several defeats, and his power slowly, though significantly, weakened. He alone of the Valar had a deep fear of death, and even against inferior foes he held a hesitance to ever risk his own life.

The Future

Morgoth remains in the Void, unable to return to Arda as long as the Valar maintain their power over it. Nevertheless, according to the Second Prophecy of Mandos, Morgoth will come back and attack Arda. He will fight a great battle, called the Dagor Dagorath, against the Valar and their allies, but will ultimately be slain by Túrin Turambar, the Man he cursed. By finally defeating Morgoth, Túrin will avenge not only himself, but all members of the race of Men, since Morgoth seduced them long ago. In other versions Eönwë is the one who will kill Morgoth for his love for Arien (previously named Urwendi), instead of Turin. This is said at the end of The Hiding of Valinor. Either way, the prophecy states that Melkor will bring great devastation to Arda, which will be remade into a greater form after his permanent defeat.

Legacy

Morgoth’s will was suffused into the matter of Arda, so in a sense he is never truly gone. Arda was marred by him so deeply that only Eru could fully repair the damage. Those who wished to follow in Morgoth’s footsteps, such as Sauron, found that by using his residual influence, they could easily corrupt races they wished to dominate.

ETYMOLOGY

The Sindarin name Morgoth (“the Black Foe” or “Dark Tyrant”) was given him by Fëanor.

Tolkien experimented (but apparently never reached a decision) with different Quenya translations of Morgoth: Moringotto, Moriñgotho, or Morikotto.

Melkor means “mighty arising” or “‘Mighty-rising’, sc. ‘uprising of power'”. The name is generally used to refer to this Vala prior to his theft of the Silmarils; for after the theft Fëanor named him Morgoth.

Melkor is a compound of mbelek- (melek, “great, mighty, powerful”; root BEL, MBEL) + óre.

The older form of Melkor is said to be Melkórë.

In earlier versions of the legendarium, the form of the name was Melko. At one instance in a late glossary (c. 1959), Melko, meaning “simply ‘the Mighty One'”, is also said to be an alternative form of Melkor.

MUSIC THEORY

There once, and long and long ago
Before the sun and moon we know
Were lit to sail above the world
When first the shaggy woods unfurled

Have you ever witnessed a birth of a world? Or maybe a birth of a galaxy? Or ever better. The birth of the entire universe? I know I have, and it was a close to a psychedelic experience, but not in the way the average individial can imagine. It was an experience close to coming in contact with the pleroma. That “divine” spark we are so desperate to unlock in our daily meat-grinding reality, we call life.

Now in my humble and honest opinion, “With Doom I Come” is a solid statement and a homage to one of the major and key figures in The Silmarillion and the whole Tolkien legendarium. Melkor, Bauglir or Morgoth, (the name which Fëanor, the greatest master of the Silmarills have given him), deserves an entire album dedicated to him only, and his personal story. His persona and development as a character in the entire mythos and his role as a primordial antagonist, is so vast and deep, that I have not a single doubt that it can be written as musical score. Though, I only have doubts that the lads behind Summoning will ever do such a bald thing. …but who knows! There are countless possibilities where the artist/s step out of the “frame” and unleashes that bubbling alchemical spell of pure chaos and unpredictability.

Now musically speaking, this otherworldly composition is as unique on it’s own as every single other track in the list. The album opens up again with a thick and rusty guitar layer in a slow and daunting rhythm, as if The Dark Lord himself approaches the fiery and foamy furnaces of Angband. The leading magician operating inside the pilot cabin once more is none other than that shadowy wizard, Protector himself, and for the closing ceremony of the album he gives his best to portray and evoke in the imagination of the listener, the scenery we all are all familiar with in the pages of The Silmarillion. Now the lyrical approach and the way the text is structured and written, should no be confused with a petty attempt of a “masters” and “servants” scenario. Quite the contrary. The serve no one, but their own visions. Now Summoning has always been writing history along the process of creating music and the essence and the function of the historian, is to give an account of the subject and the events, and not let his personal bias overshadow the actual facts. Every string, every blast of a drum, every key, and every choir we hear playing in the background has a very precise and measured function, almost akin to a Pythagorean tuning in a sacred geometrical proportion. The elevating and almost astonishing to the point of a “peak experience” and “extrasensory journey of the senses” final parts of the song, in the form of  the required and familiar choir, are the culmination of the entire album,  and they create an atmosphere so welcomed and filled with greatness, that after a few minutes when the music stops, the conscious mind of the listener enter in a state of  pure “awe” and purification of the mind and elevating of the senses on every possible level. That feeling when you can recognize what human beings are capable of, and what can they can achieve when the will is strong and the proper use of Magic is applied by the practising Magician. For Aleister Crowley, THE GREAT BEAST, and the grand scholar himself very rightfully described Magick as:

“The Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will

Including both “mundane” acts of will as well as ritual magic. Crowley wrote that “it is theoretically possible to cause in any object any change of which that object is capable by nature”.

Crowley saw Magick as the essential method for a person to reach true understanding of the self and to act according to one’s true will, which he saw as the reconciliation “between freewill and destiny.” 

(Crowley describes this process in his Magick, Book 4)

 

Now back to our close examination of the themes and music behind this composition.

When the stage is set and when the lighting and the atmosphere is ready, the “actors” inside the sonic circle of stage are ready to perform their play. Only that the observers (we the listeners) can only experience through their (out) speakers or whatever system they use to play their records. During the 19th century, the German composer and Magician, Richard Wagner was applying the fundamentals and in its core the same magical formula in his operas and plays, like Silenius and Protector are doing  today in the 21st century. What is striking about the whole Mythos of all the Germanic born artists (including musicians/composers, painters, writers, poets and artists in genral), is that, they all have a common ground of expression, wrapped in a thick layer of metaphysics and alchemy, and it seems to me that they’ve been drinking from the same deep well of inspiration and essense since they have emerged from the deep chasms and primordial groves of Ancient Europe. Germanic people simply possess their own unique “charge” and it’s History that can proove it, if the “true-seeker-warrior” spirit is willing to dig deeper enough, study and read “between the lines” of the many Historical accouts. Now, i’m not implying  that only Germanic people possess this skill. Every culture have their own magiacal ways and methods. It’s all about how the implication and perspective of the individual are applied or the group of people working towards a certain goal. The history of The Occult and Magic is very important aspect and it can show paths that didn’t existed before, and also it can open doors to unknown territories and realms. Both in the physical as well as in the spiritual.  It was after all, William Blake who said:

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, ’till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”

This statement can ring the highest bell of the highest peak in the world and can awaken the deepest desires in man’s soul and body.

The doors of perception have definitely been cleansed for the me with the entire album and especially with the final track –  “With Doom I Come”. It came with a thunder and doom indeed and left its mark in my subconscious. For whoever can feel, hear and understad in the purest and truest way the cosmic brilliance of this album and this song, then can truly call him/herself, a carrier of the “Secret flame of Anor”. We all have it folks, all we need to do is to look within first and see it with our own eyes and our senses, marvel at its beuty, be grateful for such works and the grimoire that the lads from Summoning had created,  and after that we can explore the vastness of our inner and outer spaces, and of our dreams, fantasies and the well of the subcounscious mind, and above all, strive towards GREATNESS and discover the creative DAEMON inside you and craft, hit the hammer on the avil of your own psyche and create your our own MAGICAL GRIMOIRE!

Who looks outside dreams who looks inside awakes

  • Carl Jung

I know I have created mine with the very process of  wiriting this review down, and by the fact that you are interested in reading it and maybe become inspired to write your own? I have other passions besides writing, but the dusty tomes in my library, the music I like to listen and the natural world outside are chiefly from where I draw most of my inspiration.

Now it is time to conqueror another forgotten kingdom and cast the shadowy spells of my creative spirit by other methods and in other places.

I express my full  gratitude towards Silenius and Protector for giving me such a firm and solid ground for inspiration to write this review, but I also send my thanks and I salute everyone who had the time to read it. I shall continue with my work by posting reviews and articles like this one, here on my blog, and in the meantime, load the album in whatever music system you’re using, play it, and after the enchantment had coverered your whole being, open The Silmarillion or any of Tolkien’s books and delve deep into lands and stories, and meet familiar characters and cretures once more. There’s not only shadow there, but there’s also light!

Farewell all you faithfull readers,  seekers and travelers!

I leave you with the spells of the song itself…

And shadowy shapes did stare and roam
Beneath the dark and starry dome
That hung above the dawn of Earth
And shaken it with silver mirth

In later days when Morgoth first
Fleeing the Gods, their bondage burst
And on the mortal lands set feet
Far in the north on his mighty seat

There once, and long and long ago
Before the sun and moon we know
Were lit to sail above the world
When first the shaggy woods unfurled

There once, and long and long ago
Before the sun and moon we know
Were lit to sail above the world
When first the shaggy woods unfurled

And shadowy shapes did stare and roam
Beneath the dark and starry dome
That hung above the dawn of Earth
And shaken it with silver mirth

In later days when Morgoth first,
Fleeing the Gods, their bondage burst
And on the mortal lands set feet
Far in the north on his mighty seat

There once, and long and long ago
Before the sun and moon we know
Were lit to sail above the world
When first the shaggy woods unfurled

There once, and long and long ago
Before the sun and moon we know
Were lit to sail above the world
When first the shaggy woods unfurled

Death to light, to law, to love
Cursed be moon and stars and stars above
May the darkness everlasting old
Drown Manwë, Varda and the shining sun

Death to light, to law, to love
Cursed be moon and stars and stars above
May the darkness everlasting old
Drown Manwë, Varda and the shining sun

Death to light, to law, to love
Cursed be moon and stars and stars above
May the darkness everlasting old
Drown Manwë, Varda and the shining sun

Death to light, to law, to love
Cursed be moon and stars and stars above
May the darkness everlasting old
Drown Manwë, Varda and the shining sun

 

Buy the album here:

summoning_logo

 

ARTICLE WRITTEN AND EDITED BY:


WTS_3

Alliance_of_ME

 

MMXVIII

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Summoning – “With Doom We Come”. Album review and an in-depth philosophical and scholarly look from a NON-METAL HEAD perspective.

    1. Thank you mate! I very much appreciate your feedback and your interest in reading and liking my review. By all means, there shall be more future Summoning reviews and of their previous albums too, and I also intend to write an extensive review for the two bonus tracks in “As Echoes from the World of Old”. Stay tuned! Good day, or night!

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