VERSION: LP Marmorized Grey Vinyl 140 grams Limited Edition of 200
2 Dark Cathedrals
3 Pagan Warfare
4 In The Forest
5 Vision of Souls Once Lost
6 Blood Moon
7 Journey Into The Frozen Wasteland
8 Ancient God Of Winter
9 Hail The Dark Lord
Review from Metal-Archives.com by Lost Wisdom
What more can be said about this album other than ‘masterpiece?’ Ritual’s ‘The Summoning’ is one of the greatest USBM albums to exist. While not being a very well known band, Ritual proved highly successful with this album, if not in sales, then in songwriting capability. Everything about this album is great: the guitar tone is excellent for black metal, the drums aren’t too loud, nor are they too quiet, bass is actually present, and the vocals are well done, though allow me to elaborate..
The album starts off with a short intro, with what sounds like synthesized guitars, and an ambient-like keyboard underneath setting the mood for the album. The first track ‘Pagan Warfare’ shows a perfect example of how black metal should be performed: aggressive, fast and raw! Other tracks, such as ‘Visions of Souls Once Lost’ and ‘Dark Cathedrals,’ show the more melancholic and melodic side of Ritual, blending beautiful, and well written melodies under haunting rhythm guitars. The guitar tone on this album is amazing! Lots of bass and treble, which is perfect for black metal as I see it, mid-range tones usually don’t pass by me real well, and this album has none from what I can tell.
The album is just nearly perfect, except when the drums go into blasts, then they sound really dry and barren and don’t mix well at all, and the bass seems very inaudible in these areas as well. A very atmospheric album, ‘The Summoning’ has a nice use of keyboards, and also includes an all-keyboard track, ‘Journey Into The Frozen Wasteland.’ The album does have a bit of repetition, but that helps to achieve the atmosphere that is present on this release. Definitely not a cheap, throw-away album, very memorable and enjoyable to listen to. If you’re searching for some classic black metal, and you want something that is reminiscent of the earlier black metal scenes that was still very different and ahead of it’s time, I suggest you definitely check out this album!
All in all, this album gets a 100 from me, but I really believe it deserves so much more. I listen to it, as well as Ritual’s other albums, near enough daily. If you can pick this up, do not miss the opportunity! You will regret it!