Over the years The Summoning has matured and gestated into an extravagant creature with depth and vision, something many new bands lack severely, could you sum up the growth of your creation thus far? To which (if any) sub-genre would you assign The Summoning?

Summoning has its roots surely in Black Metal music. Although the style of our music changed after the release of our first CD (which was pure Black Metal), there are still many elements of Black Metal left in our music, for example the screaming vocals, and the sharp guitars.
But there are also a lot of elements in Summoning that are contradiction to Black Metal. For example the drumcomputer, the dominance of the keyboards and, especially on Stronghold, a different guitar style. We also don't deal with satanic themes in our lyrics and use Tolkiens masterpiece "Lord of the Rings" instead.
So I wouldn't call Summoning a Black Metal band anymore, but I haven't found a name for our style yet. People are free to label our music as they want.

Wrought with majestic melody lines, distant pained shrieks, and pulse all its own “Stronghold” quickly became one of my favourites of last year. In terms of the new album can we expect to hear you heading in a similar direction or have you other plans in store for us?

With Stronghold we made some changes in our style. The guitars became more dominant and became often the lead instrument of a song (and not just an accompany to the keyboards). The keyboard sound often sounded not like orchestra sounds, they sounded more like keyboard sounds. The sound of the drumcomputer was on Stronghold often more close to the sound of a "real" drum kit.
We don't have any concrete plans for the next Summoning CD; but we think we will make the keyboards again more dominant than on "stronghold", but I want to keep the guitar style of stronghold. After the release of Nightshadeforest (which was a very keyboard orientated CD where the guitars were so quiet that they could hardly be heard), I got the desire for a more
guitar orientated album. Due to the fact that I am also making music for my Darkwave band "Die Verbannten Kinder Evas" (were there are not guitars or metal element at all)., I wanted to keep the boarder between those two bands, and didn't want Summoning to become a bit harder version of "Die Verbannten Kinder Evas". So for Stronghold I put all my inspirations in the guitar tunes and didn't add any additional keyboard tunes to the keyboard tunes of Silenius. I spent much more time in finding the right guitar riff than ever before, so that the guitar lines often became the lead instrument for the first time. That's why this album became so guitar orientated.
On the next CD we will try to combine the advanced guitar style with the more dominant keyboard style. But anyway all our changes are superficial ones; we think that our style hasn't really changed since "Minas Morgul". That means that we prefer to
strengthen our allready existing style than to try to search fro new ones the whole time. As long as there are no other bands sounding similar to us, we think we are on the right way.

Will you again be recording at Protector’s “Nachtschatten Studio” or will you be heading elsewhere? If so where?

I think the sound of Stronghold was absolute OK, so why should we use an other studio than mine? For me the best studio is the one were I have the whole recording process under my control. No sound mixer in the world can understand better how I want my music to sound than I do. Apart from that I have much more time to record the CD in my own studio, don't have to do the whole recoding in one session. I can stop and continuing the recording whenever I want.

Certainly a genuine highlight to “Stronghold” was the entrancing beauty of Tania’s operatic contributions. Will we again be graced with her dark soprano allure?

We haven't made any concrete plans for the future, so we don't know if Tania will sing on future CDs. This depends on the songs we will create, and if they suit to Tanias voice.

Shall we assume that the lyrical topics will again revolve around the exulted works of J.R.R. Tolkien? If not where now shall you head?

In the past we allready thought about changing the lyrical concept, but the fan in the meantime we realised that any changes in the lyrical concept would be blasphemy to our fans. So we definitely will continue with this theme. Summoning was always meant to be a musical translation of the dark side of the realms of Tolkiens middle earth concept.

With only the two of you one is forced to wonder what you do when presented with touring options ? Do abstain or dredge up another player or neither?

We solve this problem by not playing life at all:-) We think that Summoning is no live music at all, and that it would loos all mystic if we would give a concert. While listening to the music of Summoning, people imagine orcs, elves and dwarfs and surely no human sweating musician (having stress with their instruments).

When shall we next expect to behold a new Summoning album? Can we expect a similar length and number of songs ; or is this next effort to be laid out differently ?

As I allready said, there are no concrete plans for the future, but we both are fans of long songs which increase continuous from the beginning to the end of the song. So I think the length and the numbers of Songs will not change so significant.

On average how long does a new Summoning release take to write/record etc? With the complexity of all the tracks one would assume this process takes a lot of amendment is that correct?

This question is difficult to answer. We do not record a whole CD at one. We have very creative phases where we make about 2-4 songs in only some weeks, but then there are times where we have no ideas at all (which can last for many months). Normally Silenius composes the whole melodic basis on the keyboard, and after he has finished this process, I start to arrange his tunes and put additional keyboard or guitar tunes to this melodies.
The recording of "Stronghold" took a lot of time (about a month), because I wanted to get sure, that the CD will sound 100% as I want it to sound. After the recording of each song it was necessary wait some day to digest the sound of the new song (to get a distance to it), and then listen to the mix again. Often I had to make some corrections and again had to wait some days to listen if the songs is now perfect.

Side project wise what is the currents status of both full time members?

I am also making music for my dark wave band "Die Verbannten Kinder Evas". This band is a pure keyboard project with clear vocals sung by Tania (who can also be hear in Summoning) and me. It is a dark melodic music were I use orchestra sound like Horns, Oboes and a lot of Tympanies and Kettledrums.
Right now I am working very hard for the second CD of my dark, hard, electronic project called "Ice Ages" which will be called "This Killing Emptiness". In this music I use just synthetic sounds to play the melancholic tunes and noisy drum sounds for the rhythm. My voice will be deep and distorted by a guitar distorter, with a lot of electronic effect on it.
Beside that Silenius is about to release a military industrial project called "Kreuzweg Ost"; on which he worked together with Martin (Ex-Pungent Stench; now also Member of the band Hollenthon). It is a weird project with tons of sound samples of the second world war and also word samples instead of normal vocal lines.
"Kreuzweg Ost" as well as "Ice Ages" are not made for a metal audience, so people who know summoning and are interested in this kind of stuff should listen to it before they make a disappointing and confusing experience.

Best of luck with the new album! I would now like to present you with the chance to leave your fans with some final words, comments, or what ever you may desire.

I think everything important is allready said. I just want to say thank you for your interview.