MITHOTYN’s debut album is a hard and cold Viking Metal release. On this early stage, the band had not yet adopted much of the melodic elements that appear on later releases. The music is dominated by distorted guitars, which play repetitive and hard riffs, supported by frenetic drumming. The vocals are almost entirely growled on this album. Some Viking chants, which are almost compulsory in this genre, can be heard on this album, but they were also increased on the later releases. The chorus of the best song, the title track “In The Sign Of The Ravens” is clean and even includes some female chanting.
The band creates a mystical feeling with folky keyboard melodies behind distorted guitars and growls and chants. This band knew what results they wanted from the beginning, but they improved significantly in the time between this album and their third and last, "Gathered Around The Oaken Table". This album may seem a bit repetitive, but that depends on what the listener is used to. There is more variation here than on most Black Metal releases, for example. The growls on this album don’t follow the music as good as they could do sometimes and the vocals improved the most of all the elements in MITHOTYN’s music during the years that followed.
Overall, MITHOTYN made a solid Viking Metal album with mystical and epic melodies, heavy distorted riffs, good keyboard, and decent lyrics and vocals. However, they improved a lot during the following years and this is their weakest release. The three first songs are typical for the album, but they still stand out as the best. I think the decision to include the short Swedish interlude “Tills Dagen Gryr”, the instrumental folky song “Lost In The Mist” and the happy keyboard outro “Let Thy Axe Swing” on this album was wise. These songs add a little variation and create pauses in the album’s general heaviness. My final evaluation is: mystic, heavy and dark, but could have needed better vocals, and more stand-out tracks.
(Online August 28, 2007)