Musical Notes

A few songs/artists I’ve been enjoying:

Subheim – Away, from their album ‘Approach’

Excellent dark ambient/electronica.

sync24 – ‘1N50MN14’, from their album ‘Comfortable Void’

More dark electronica with ambient.

Twin Forks, ‘Scraping Up the Pieces’, from their self-titled album.

Stompy folk with a great rhythm.

Les Fragments De La Nuit – Devenons Demain II, from their album ‘Musique du Crépuscule’

Atmospheric, dark string/piano.

Musings on Summoning

Summoning are in my top three or four favourite bands – for a few reasons.

First, their lyrics are pretty much all Tolkien-based, but not in the geeky way – their interpretation of Tolkien is pretty solid and avoids the geeky/fanboy feel that lots of metal bands have when their lyrics are based on Tolkien or fantasy in general.

Their sound, especially on Oath Bound (which I would consider to be their best album , and one of the best metal albums ever put out [if you can really call it metal, which is debatable]) is absolutely brilliant – their music perfectly captures the mood of Tolkien’s early works like The Silmarillion. The music has a truly sublime feeling – it has the same enormous, tragic feeling that is so characteristic of Tolkien’s writing. I would say epic, but epic is a word that’s really been used and abused a lot in recent years – but tracks like Beleriand really do, in my opinion, capture what it means to be epic.

If I had to describe the sound of Summoning, I’d say dreamy ambient with some black metal influences, mostly in the vocals – the use of slow drum patterns, slow guitar and heavy, slow synths really sets them apart in the metal world, and honestly, I wouldn’t call their more recent albums metal. Oath Bound in particular is more ambient than anything, in my opinion. It’s mood capturing music – and as I said above, it captures the bleak, tragic and cold world of the The Silmarillion brilliantly.

Music and the Holy

If there was ever a piece of music that came close to capturing the absolute other-ness of the Holy, it is this piece. I’ve heard no other music that comes this close to portraying the Holy – and this piece goes far beyond any words but Scripture in its absolutely solemn, Holy sound. There will probably be some posts in the future about the role of art and aestethics in Christianity in the near future.