First, check the Summoning overview on LebMetal.com here.
I got the EP 3 days ago and let me say that I am not getting enough of it! If perfection truly exists in ambient black metal then Summoning will surely be a major candidate for the perfect ambient black metal band! Nightshade Forests is just a reassurance that Summoning are way ahead of their time. They are a band that really defied all expectations, set new limits for bands and showed how black metal can be beautiful but at the same time cold and dark.
The album is mostly keyboard-oriented, the guitars can be faintly heard and the vocals are high pitched and raspy. The EP actually contains pre-written songs that were going to be released on the “Dol Guldur” album, but the band decided to release them later on. If you want to travel to a world of fantasy then this EP will provide the vehicle to take you there. Just listen to the keyboards on Mirkwood and the drums that make the song truly epic along with the vocals that come soaring above the well-put orchestra, sending chills down your spine and taking you to a world away from reality, giving you a taste of how it feels like to be in a realm where magic exists and where mythology is actually reality.
Kortirion Among the Trees is the second title on the EP and it is a very calm song; if you close your eyes you can actually picture yourself walking in a forest at night admiring the magnificence of nature and getting more and more perplexed by the sheer majesty of nature. The melody of the song is very hypnotizing, and that is what ambience is all about! It is not merely repetitiveness, it is hypnosis in the music form. A lot of bands attempt to make ambient black metal but they end up being repetitively dull! That is obviously not the case with Summoning.