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masters of melody - 95%

sonofnorway, July 6th, 2004

The mighty Mithotyn end their short, brilliant and tremendously underrated calling with a masterpiece of Viking metal. If you are familiar with these Swedes’, you must posses this CD. If you are foreign to these melodic masters, let me tell you a tale.

After the first 2 albums, “Gathered” does not drift from the characteristic sound; lead guitar-driven melody. Weinerhall is a magnificent mid-paced melody-maker. A remarkable aspect of this album is the frequent change of pace. True to form, Mithotyn use powerful mid-pace melodies and progressions with many drumming and rhythm changes. Even though the drums are nothing beyond belief, they compliment the guitars by providing an attractive varying base for the melodic instruments to flow over. The bass, while present, is in a severe back-up role. It can be heard and certainly provides some balls, but don’t look for any deviation from the rhythm guitar line. The lead guitars are the main focus of your attention. While the overall mixing is better than the previous efforts and all instruments are presented well, your attention is definitely seized by the lead guitar: leads and the occasional solo. A change from the previous album sees the vocals more deathy, lispy and raspy. The effect is a more intense vocal delivery. However, there is one vocal change that will surely distance some fans: the clean vocal “chorus.” In a noticeable change from there past, Mithotyn decided that some “Northern” chants would spice up the mix. I totally like what they did, though I can see why some fans would dislike the addition; it almost translates to Stefans’ career change into the power metal arena with Falconer. At times the chants have a larger role singing a chorus and other times they just give a rhythmic bark, but they do not dominate the album and are not present in every song.

On another vocal note, the last song, “The Old Rover,” is totally clean and if you like the tone, works very well. The tale and music slowly build momentum and power and leaves you wanting more, much, much more. Sadly the boys break it up and we are left begging for scraps from the plate of Falconer. I hope you like power metal.