You can debate the merits of U.S. black metal versus Norwegian black metal versus Tibetan monk black metal 'til you're blue in the face. The same goes for assessing a band's "kult" worthiness. The fact remains that Michigan's SUMMON have been at it for well over a decade now and still don't give a shit about genre categorizations. It's the fire in the belly that counts and SUMMON's got it. Blackened style notwithstanding, the material on the band's new malicious platter, "Fallen", features a hefty dose of thrash and an old school mentality, making it a METAL album above all else. Much like ANWYL's "Post Mortem Apocalypse" album, the fire rages out of control, the thrashing very much in the forefront and the smell of burning flesh ever present. Never ashamed to salute the old masters and always punishing the pretenders with jagged IMMORTAL-like riffs (not to mention the vocals), a calamitous blast style of drumming, and some mighty fine songwriting, prolonged exposure to SUMMON results in permanent damage to the ears and a lacerated soul.
With all the polish and studio gimmickry of many of today's extreme metal projects, one forgets what real metal is supposed to sound like: angry, raw, and ripping. "Fallen" is all of those things. More of a death/black mix assaults the listener on songs like "Blood Red Skies", while the shrieks of pain on the title track send chills down the spine. Violent thrashing takes center stage on the catchy "Upon Wings of Chaos" and the old school anthem to end all old school anthems, "Loud as Hell…Fast as Fuck", the latter particularly hostile to poseurs and trend artists (as in "Fuck your band!"). Quite honestly, "Loud as Hell…Fast as Fuck" is one of the best blackened thrashers I've heard in a very long time, and one I'll not soon forget.
Personally, I can't enough of this stuff. There is nothing false or preconceived about it. "Fallen" is just down 'n dirty, flesh ripping blackened thrash metal. That's good enough for me.