King of Asgard
Fi’mbulvintr

There must be some legal wrangling going on between Rikard Martinsson and his former band mates from Mithotyn, because the debut (Fi’mbulvintr) from Sweden’s King of Asgard―which features ex-Mithotyn/Falconer members Karl Beckmann and Karsten Larsson (with Stefan Weinerhall providing some lyrics)―is basically a Mithotyn album without the band name. Or Rikard for that matter.

Not only is it just because King of Asgard does blackened Viking metal, but because the band does it in a way that unmistakably brings the atmospheres of 1998’s Kings of Distant Forest in mind―clearer than Falconer ever did. The result is excellent and thus, a no brainer for Mithotyn fans. Fi’mbulvintr contains plenty of rousing, sword swinging goodness for people who enjoy acts like Amon Amarth, Ensiferum, Heathen Foray and such.

Especially when, like Amon Amarth, Heathen Foray and even Mithotyn, King of Asgard doesn’t rely on gimmicks or an overabundance  of hokey synths, flutes, harpsicords or such to convey the Viking-ness―not that there’s anything wrong with that. Though a few novelties do arise here and there such the brilliant clean and female vocals that start personal favorite “The Last Journey”, the less impressive clean vocals in “Brethren of the North and acoustic start to the somber “Heroes Brigade”, the atmospherics are pretty minimal.

Without forcing it, the Dissection-ish riffs and structures simply ooze chainmail and epic  gracious vistas of Nordic pride but most of all, the riffs are pure Mithotyn. Just listen to the tracks like the opening single “Einharjar” or “Never Again Will You Know of Flesh”, “Snake Tongue” and the moody title track.

With a slick production, vocals that rasp in the mid-range and an artwork that fits the sound―even if in the age of reunions and comebacks King of Asgard has a hard time admitting it―it’s clear what Fi’mbulvintr truly is: The newest addition to the Mithotyn discography.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 4th, 2010

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