For those of you that know me, or anything about me at all, you know I love Tolkien, in fact the whole reason I read and write and do anything today I believe can be traced back to reading the Hobbit my third grade year. Since I have grown up, my tastes have branched out but Tolkien is still the very center of my being. Tolkien metal seemed a logical step for me, I love metal and I love Tolkien. They really do go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Emyn Muil was truly a happy accident that I came across when I was searching for bands with similar atmospheric qualities as Summoning (I won’t even go into them right now but so much can be written on them) on Spotify. I came across Emyn Muil and it was as if lightning had struck. The sound of the band, a one man project, is cavernous and dungeon-y. I don’t even know if that makes sense but I can’t find words to describe Emyn Muil otherwise.
While they are inspired very much by Summoning, sounding similar to Dol Guldur, but they are are able to make their voice heard through the inspiration. Too many bands have tried to follow in Summoning’s footsteps and ended up sounding like a clone, but Emyn Muil has managed to sound like Emyn Muil.
The album’s title in English (translated from Tolkien’s Quenya) means “Turin Turambar, Slayer of Glaurung” and retells the darkest story Tolkien ever devised (seriously Game of Thrones has nothing on this story) about a man that, while being a hero, is beset with so many misfortunes the reader, or listener, is left to wonder why he does anything at all for the forces of good. Emyn Muil’s musicianship and storytelling skills are unmatched. They tell the greatest of Tolkien’s stories with grace, heart, and emotion that does seem to befit a black metal band.
Thus far Turin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga is the only Emyn Muil offering but there is such a wealth of Tolkien stories from the Silmarillion that could be mined for content, the Lay of Leithian comes to mind (Tolkien’s only work with vampires and werewolves) or the Alkabeth, the fall of ancient Numenor.
Summoning once wrote a song, Mirdautas Vras, that was written entirely in Black Speech, another of Tolkien’s many languages, but I think that Emyn Muil might be the first to give us an album completely in Black Speech, a language I think that was meant for black metal.