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SIG:AR:TYR is a folk metal act originating from Canada, originally the one-man band of Daemonskald. SIG:AR:TYR was formed in 2003, as a musical project dedicated to the dark, grim history and mythology of Northern Europe. The style of the project mixes metal with dark ambient music, using acoustic guitars to create an ambient atmosphere while taking much influence from folk and black metal styles.

The first release of SIG:AR:TYR was the six track demo, The Stranger. The style on this release was not metal, featuring ambient folk music. The demo received some excellent reviews and SIG:AR:TYR was signed to Karmageddon Records only two months after the demo's release. Unfortunately the label went out of business before SIG:AR:TYR was able to release anything through it.

SIG:AR:TYR was later signed to Morbid Winter Records and released the debut full-length album Sailing the Seas of Fate in 2005. This was the first release from SIG:AR:TYR
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Beyond the North WindsBeyond the North Winds
Hammerheart 2015
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SIG:AR:TYR Discography

SIG:AR:TYR albums / top albums

SIG:AR:TYR Sailing the Seas of Fate album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Sailing the Seas of Fate
Folk Metal 2005
SIG:AR:TYR Beyond the North Winds album cover 4.42 | 8 ratings
Beyond the North Winds
Folk Metal 2008
SIG:AR:TYR Godsaga album cover 4.46 | 3 ratings
Folk Metal 2010
SIG:AR:TYR Northen album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Folk Metal 2016

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SIG:AR:TYR The Stranger album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
The Stranger
Non-Metal 2003

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SIG:AR:TYR Reviews

SIG:AR:TYR Beyond the North Winds

Album · 2008 · Folk Metal
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Beyond the North Winds is the second album by Canadian one-man band SIG:AR:TYR, which was released in 2008. SIG:AR:TYR began as a folk/dark ambient project and released a demo in this style in 2003. Their 2005 debut Sailing the Seas of Fate introduced some metal into the sound, creating a form of folk metal. Beyond the North Winds builds upon the sound of Sailing the Seas of Fate, bringing in even more of a metal influence, and retaining the acoustic folk and dark ambient ideas of previous releases to create what is a much heavier and metal dominated album.

The opening nine and a half minutes track, King of the World, is a great showcase of the direction that mastermind Daemonskald has gone with on Beyond the North Winds. The riffs are much more prominent in the mix, and the production more suited for something to have a kick to it, rather than the atmospheric sounds of prior offerings. This is still very much an Atmospheric take of metal, however here we start to get the best of both worlds. The result, in my opinion, is the strongest of the SIG:AR:TYR albums released to date.

Sailing the Seas of Fate was a solid first full-length, but it suffered from the fact that it was best taken as a whole, to fully be able to appreciate the atmospheric journey that it was, as there weren’t really anyone songs in the mostly instrumental release that really stood out as an individual highlight. It was album that you had to take, press play, and just absorb. In that, it was a success. But Beyond the North Winds goes one better by doing just that within a greater metal aspect, and has many tracks that can be taken on their own as highlights of the album. The intense opener King of the World is just one of them. The title track that follows is easily on the best songs of SIG:AR:TYR. It’s also certainly one of best uses of folk melody with the acoustic guitars with a backing of heavy guitars. The closing ballad Far Away is also a particular treat.

The album retains tracks reminiscent of SIG:AR:TYR’s roots as well, with Pale Autumnal Moon and Sword From An Unknown Hand showcasing the dark ambient sounds behind the stunning acoustic tones that Daemonskald gets out of his instrument. Here the style is used as transitional tracks (or breather pieces if you prefer), between the metal songs. I normally hate anything along the lines of introductions, interludes, or outros, however all I really have to say is that if every artist did them in such style as this then I wouldn’t be complaining.

Aside from going pretty much fully metal on Beyond the North Winds, another major change in the sound is that there is a greater focus on vocals. Daemonskald delivers in three distinct styles on the album – whispering than gives a feel of narration, or perhaps to better describe them, like the words of some Pagan ritual; black metal rasps, which aren’t the strongest in the world but are done in a very effectual way, and clean singing. I really like Daemonskald’s clean singing, and Far Away is a great example of how good this guy really is. The presence of more vocals makes Beyond the North Winds a much easier album to get into than the prior demo and album, but the music is far from commercial since, especially in regard to the still present dark ambient and folk parts, which give the release a really dark feel than I suspect metal fans will find appealing.

Many of the tracks are long, but they don’t feel drawn out in any way. The music grabs instantly and is able to make eight and above minute durations pass in what seems to be the blink of an eye. The lead guitar work is stunning, not least because some of with some of it Daemonskald swaps his electric for an acoustic. The music overall is much more folk metal than any of the other SIG:AR:Tyr releases, but black metal elements are present as well, which hint at the direction that SIG:AR:TYR took with the follow-up to Beyond the North Winds, 2010’s Godsaga.

Beyond the North Winds is an album that I can’t find fault in. Not only is this a unique take of folk metal but it is also masterfully crafted, and it beggars belief that this is all the work of one man. For this amazing release SIG:AR:TYR deserves nothing less than full marks.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scoring 10.0/10)

SIG:AR:TYR Sailing the Seas of Fate

Album · 2005 · Folk Metal
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Sailing the Seas of Fate is the debut full-length album by Canadian one-man band SIG:AR:TYR, which was released in 2005. SIG:AR:TYR’s only prior release is the demo The Stranger, which features a mix of folk and dark ambient music, with no relation to the heavy metal world that SIG:AR:TYR starts to become a part of with Sailing the Seas of Fate.

The music here has, for the most part, actually got much more in common with The Stranger than anything metal related. If you were to put Sailing the Seas of Fate up next to its 2008 follow-up Beyond the North Winds, you’d notice a clear difference. The album sounds like something of a transitional release between it and The Stranger. Metal elements are introduced here, appearing very early on in the opening track, Dreaming of the Dawn, and the riffs are very clearly influenced by the black metal genre, although the end result of the album is best described as a unique brand of folk metal. Metal sections have a very small focus on the album however, and the real star attraction here is the excellent use of acoustic guitars to create an atmospheric record. Use of vocal is few and far between, and like the electric guitars sound fitting to black metal at times, but at others the man behind the project, Daemonskald, uses more of a whisper to deliver the lines. It’s quite effectual, either way.

The most surprising track is the closing Skuld, in that is the most metal dominated track, featuring chugging riffs, black metal vocals, and more typical use of electric guitar. It still retains the excellent use of acoustics though, and there is a great ambient metal feel to the track’s intro in particular, but overall it has a very clear shift from the folk/ambient dominance of the previous tracks.

Although as I said above the album does have the sound of a transitional release between the distinctly non-metal SIG:AR:TYR that made The Stranger and the very metal SIG:AR:TYR that has, at the time of writing this review, released two following studio albums, the most recent being the black metal dominated Godsaga, this is still very solid material from Daemonskald. The atmospheric sections are on par with The Stranger, and the new found metal influence is used to great effect, while retaining the feel of an atmospheric record. This is atmospheric metal, and a very atypical take on the folk metal genre, and I highly recommend it and SIG:AR:TYR’s other releases to anyone who is looking for something that goes beyond the usual standards of metal music. This is, in all fairness, the weakest of the SIG:AR:TYR releases, and I even prefer the demo by a small margin, but this is still a great addition to any metal collection.

The only thing it really suffers for is that it has a lack of individual highlights, which may be in turn because of the lack of vocal lines to hook the listener into singing along. Taken in one hit and just enjoying it for its atmospheric qualities and the album is a great success, but if you don’t find the idea of that appealing, then Sailing the Seas of Fate clearly isn’t an album for you, but I still highly suggest you look into the following releases, which feature a very different focus to this one.

Still I do highly enjoy Sailing the Seas of Fate and will of course rate it for how it is meant to be taken. On that note, I think this a great journey through these so called seas of fate, and happily award SIG:AR:TYR a score worthy of a really great album. I say again though that there are better SIG:AR:TYR releases, which hopefully should give you an idea of just how strong the discography is.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scoring 8.2/10)

SIG:AR:TYR Godsaga

Album · 2010 · Folk Metal
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Canada’s SIG:AR:TYR is the one man band of Daemonskald, and Godsaga is his third album with the project. It came out in 2010. To describe the music of SIG:AR:TYR in short what we have here is far from your typical metal music. Stylistically the past couple of releases were part folk metal and part dark ambient, featuring heavy use of acoustic guitars throughout. There was also something of a black metal quality on the first two albums, Sailing the Seas of Fate (2005) and Beyond the North Winds (2008), which has really came to the fore on Godsaga, at times the guitars have a raw sound to them and the vocal delivery when Daemonskald uses growls has even more of a black metal quality to it, although his vocals are not the in your face type, at times it almost seems as if the voice takes a back seat in order to integrate itself as a part of the overall atmosphere of the album. The overall results are something that is quite hypnotic but may take several listens to fully understand for the new listener.

The record opens with the short Nights All Nine, one of the few times that we get to hear the clean vocals of Daemonskald. This is an acoustic song that gives me the mental impression of it being performed in less contemporary times with its lyrics that deal with Norse Mythology, in particular the God Odin. It feels as if it is being directly sung to Odin as in the form of an prayer. After this we start getting some more metal sounds out of the album with the excellent Midwinter Sacrifice.

I supposed however that while SIG:AR:TYR produces music that is more unique that many other folk metal bands, when looked at on its own it may be said that Godsaga is a very good but somewhat formulated album. Really once you are passed Nights All Nine and Midwinter Sacrifice you will have heard what Godsaga offers as an album and know what to expect from the rest of tracks. However if you find that you can get into this then you’ll be like me and won’t be put off by that, because what we’ve got here is something pretty special and I’m looking forward to checking out other SIG:AR:TYR releases because while this is formulated it’s also a winning formula that has come together is a great atmospheric journey through Norse Mythology and while personally I don’t see myself playing this album an awful lot I’ve been listening to it long enough to know that when the mood for it hits what we have here is a near perfect album – there is not a bad track on here.

My personally favourites however would be Nights All Nine, Midwinter Sacrifice, Blood of the North, Sonatorrek, Godsaga and Black Sun’s Bane. Admittedly that is most of the album I just listed there. The only tracks I didn’t mention are Eternal Return, Sleep of the Sword and Distant Northern Shore. These are great too but don’t quite stand up to my favourites. With an album this strong through, maybe these will be your favourites instead!

One thing that I find really special about Godsaga is the way Daemonskald plays those acoustic guitars, lead guitar parts on the acoustic are not infrequent in the music and to me are a very special part of the SIG:AR:TYR sound. They give the music an almost classical vibe at times that really does credit to the dark ambient side of the music while also working well in a black metal context. Overall really great stuff.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scoring 9.3/10)

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