SIG:AR:TYR is a Canadian ambient/acoustic/folk/metal band and is the brainchild of composer Daemonscald. Probably not many of you have heard of SIG:AR:TYR or Daemonscald and hopefully my review will help put this ingenious composer into light.
The red runes spoke of these dark days
A tale forgotten beneath the dying sun
A darkened plague, eclipsing all that should be
To the north we sail, beyond the mists of time
Sailing The Seas Of Faith tells the story of a Viking quest to the far northern reaches of the world to retrieve an object to turn the tide of Christianity. The lyrics aren’t very straightforward but also aren’t so abstract as to stop the listener from understanding the concept behind the album. There are many references to Norse mythology within the songs. The way the lyrics are delivered is very special too. The album is mostly instruments but when a voice is heard it is usually someone talking faintly, almost in the background behind the instruments, adding to the gloomy, ambient feel of many songs. A bit of screaming is featured in the album. Urd features a kind of raspy singing reminiscent of Agalloch and Skuld has something similar but leaning slightly more towards black metal.
The instruments help the lyrics get the concept through to the listener. The whole album is almost completely acoustic guitar and even when electric guitar is played, the rhythmic acoustic guitar can be heard beneath it. For the most part the acoustic chord progressions have a somewhat slow tempo and a gloomy feel. When heard, the electric guitar only adds power to that feeling. A few solos (both acoustic and electric) are thrown into the music. The solos are actually the only real fault I find with the album. A few of the electric and acoustic solos are played very fast and take away a bit from the gloomy feeling of some songs. Thankfully those solos usually aren’t very long and the songs have time to save face before they end. Skuld finishes the album with a bang being almost completely electric guitar driven and with the addition of the black metal-like screams.
The drums are very simplistic but this does not drive the album down. On the contrary it is similar to a drum beat played to the march of an army and helps push the concept of the album even further.
As mentioned earlier, the album mostly has a gloomy feel to it to match the lyrics of the army marching in search of treasure and war. Songs like Dreaming Of The Dawn
and To Cronia
are perfect examples of this. But an army can’t always be in a state of depression and sadness. Songs like Frost On Dead Leaves
show this aspect and once again just give so much more dimension to the concept behind the whole album. The album’s heavier, more straightforward closer seems to hint at a battle at the end of their quest but the results of the battle still remain unclear even after reading through the lyrics a few times.
Sailing The Seas Of Fate is a very unique experience in the world of folk metal. The beautiful ambient acoustic melodies lead you through a journey and allow anyone to immerse themselves into the concept behind the album. Sadly the album is only brought down by some solos. It might take a little bit of time to grow but once it does you will be glad you checked out this underground Canadian solo project.
The new north shines like starry night
The martyr falls in black sun's light
The stone is set in middle earth
To eternal guide the blood's rebirth