Summoning was formed sometime in 1993 by Silenius (Michael Gregor), Protector (Richard Lederer) and Trifixion (Alexander Trondl). Before creating Summoning, Protector was playing drums in a thrash/death metal band called Marlignom
and had embarked on a four year study of drums in music school. Silenius was in a doom metal band Shadow Vale
(at 16 years old) and had a few years in music school studying piano. Before Summoning, Silenius was making music, together with Pazuzu (Ray Wells) in a band Cromm
. Trifixion played in the band Pervertum
.Summoning recorded two demos (Upon the Viking's Stallion
and Anno Mortiri Domini
), as well as a split with the Austrian band Pazuzu (The Urilia Text
) and a five-track promo tape for Lugburz
. Nearly all songs from the demos were never released after or took place on CDs in a very different version.The demos sold quite well in a record shop in Vienna called "Why not". Some time later Silenius got in contact with T.T. (Thomas Tannenberger), eventually leading to the birth of Abigor. Silenius ended up doing all vocals for Abigor releases (except the demos) as a permanent member until 1999. The first Abigor album was recorded for the young Napalm Records label, which led to Silenius managing to get a deal from Napalm for Summoning's debut Lugburz
in 1995. At that time the members of Summoning were: Silenius - vocals, keyboards, bass; Protector - vocals, keyboards, guitar; Trifixion - drums (his last release with the band); Pazuzu lent some additional vocals and wrote some of the lyrics. Lugburz
was more traditional black metal and very different from the band's later releases that would follow.The band continued as a duo after the departure of Trifixion, releasing Minas Morgul
in 1995. This was the band's first release in their new style, an epic and atmospheric style utilizing guitar purely as a background instrument and synth almost as a lead, using re-recorded early songs. Dol Guldur
, in 1996, continued this style and saw an influence from Protector's darkwave project Ice Ages
. It also credits J.R.R. Tolkien for lyrics. In 1997, the Nightshade Forests
EP was released, and has since been included on the recent Dol Guldur pressings . After this, the band ceased all work for nearly two years, and also stopped work with many of their other music projects. But in 1999, Summoning returned with Stronghold
which, while still in the classic Summoning style, focused more on guitar work to create melodic lines rather than keyboards and synthesizers than in previous releases.In the year 2001 the follow-up Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame
was released. This release was a kind of combination between the old and new style of Summoning, with the keyboard lines being more epic and polyphonic while the guitars bore a similarity with the more complex and rock-esque guitar-style from Stronghold
. This time the band used more spoken-word samples to bring a more dramatic style to the songs and for the first time the band works with clear vocal choirs on the song "Farewell"
. The lyrical concept again was totally based on Tolkien's Middle-earth, but for the first time it was combined with some inspiration from Michael Moorcock's fantasy writings. In 2003, they released the Lost Tales
EP, which consisted of leftovers from the Dol Guldur
sessions.2006 saw the release of Oath Bound
, which consisted of all new material. The long break between the latest two albums was due to struggles in the band members personal lives, along with lack of ideas. This album featured a "relaxed arpeggio style" guitar sound, which the gave a more epic feeling to the sound. They also had better equipment available to them for this album and were able to create greater choir vocals than they had done before. A 4-song mini CD was suggested for release in 2007 containing at least one song which didn't make it onto Oath Bound
due to size issues. However, this idea has been abandoned and Protector has begun work on music for a full-length release, while waiting for Silenius to finish recording the next Kreuzweg Ost album.On February 2012, the band announced on the website that they were in the process of writing new songs, and are hoping to have most of the songs complete by the end of the year. On 27 December 2012 it was announced that all the guitars and Protector's vocal parts for the new album have been done and the upcoming album will be entitled Old Mornings Dawn
.In June 2013, Summoning released a new album titled Old Mornings Dawn. The album has 8 tracks made by Silennius and Protector with a few guest musicians. The music of the album focuses mostly on nature and J.R.R. Tolkien's Valinor.
On their debut album Lugburz
, Summoning showed the musical traits of a more traditional, raw black metal band, although had a reverberated sound to the production. After this album, the band began to develop a slower, denser, and more epic sound to their music, showcased in such albums as 2001's Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame
, and in 2006's Oath Bound
. Their trademark sound is characterized by very minimalistic and quiet guitars often low in the mix, heavily programmed and reverberated drums, multi-layered synthesizer and keyboard melodies mimicking a full orchestra which often dominates the rest of the mix apart from the saturated drums. Vocals are still sung in the traditional black metal fashion, however vocals are often heavily reverberated as well. Male voice choir sections also make an appearance on the albums Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame
(on the song Farewell
) and Oath Bound
(On the songs "Might and Glory"
and "Land of the Dead"