|Review: Mithotyn - In The Sign Of The Ravens|
|In The Sign Of The Ravens|
Label: Invasion Records
Year released: 1997
Genre: Folk Metal
Review online: January 30, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:In The Sign Of The Ravens
Rated 3.13/5 (62.5%) (8 Votes)
This is the rare Black/Folk/Viking Metal album that actually has some interest to Power Metal fans, as the main songwriter for Mithotyn was Stefan Weinerhall, who would later go on to form Falconer. I had heard that this was not a good album, and so I got it used strictly as a curiosity. I was therefore quite surprised at the quality of the music. I should learn to stop listening to Dimmu Borgir fans.
This is very cool and atmospheric folky Black Metal. Mithotyn were very into the whole Viking thing, and so similarities to other bands of roughly the same school are to be expected. There is a kind of Summoning/Dagorlad vibe at work here, although much more straightforward than Summoning have ever managed. The real highlight of the album is the superior guitarwork of the aforementioned Mr. Weinerhall, which should come as no surprise to those (like me) who are fans of his work with Falconer. This is very melodic and at times almost mellow stuff. The vocals are sparse and not too loud, which is fine with me, as I'm only into this for the catchy and involving guitar melodies. Rather than chunky riffing and blastbeats, you get a lot of midpaced to slow melodic Black Metal with folky harmonies and inventive riffing. Fans of more extreme music will not find this very aggressive or evil, (it certainly isn't 'tr00') and fans of melodic metal will likely find the vocals too harsh (except for the clean vox on "Tills Dagen Gryr"), but I have to say I really enjoy this album for what it does. From the song titles you can tell this is the sort of album meant to draw you in and create a mood, and I have to say it mostly succeeds. The production is not the greatest, with the low end and the drums rather muted and the overall mix a bit weak, but for this kind of stuff I don't mind a more primitive production job, as it sort of adds to the mysterious feel.
The package is OK, with a single-fold booklet (which therefore is not a booklet at all) with some decent art and no lyrics. At least it's a jewel case and not a horrid digipack edition. The vocals are such that you cannot make out 90% of the lyrics, and so I really wish they had been printed.
So despite what you might have heard, if you like this sort of folky melodic stuff, this is definitely a band worth checking out. Mithotyn produced two more albums before half the lineup departed to form Falconer, and I would very much like to get ahold of those, as this debut shows a lot of promise for the subsequent works.
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