SIG:AR:TYR
Beyond The North Winds


4.5
superb

Review

by Simon Harris (SCREAM!) USER (57 Reviews)
July 30th, 2008 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: SIG:AR:TYR shows much progression with his new release with a bigger use of electric guitar, new vocal styles and an overall more straightforward song writting style.

In the past, Daemonskald has shown us he doesn’t like always doing the same thing with his music. The Stranger, SIG:AR:TYR’s first EP, was solely ambient acoustic guitars with some spoken sections. Next came his first full-length, Sailing The Seas Of Fate, that saw him taking the ambient acoustics from his first EP and adding some electric guitar and drums to create a new epic acoustic/metal sound but where the acoustic was dominant (as opposed to most other bands that play folk metal). Both the EP and the album were well received by the few that heard them.

On Beyond The North Winds, SIG:AR:TYR’s musical progression continues with added vocal styles, more straightforward song writing, a slightly stronger penchant towards black metal and a more important use of the electric guitar to create a very diverse album that keeps the core of the sound created on the last album.

The album opens up with some symphonic keyboards and a slow ominous drumbeat. After about 3 minutes of this the first few acoustic guitar chords come in. Then you are hit with heavily distorted guitars; the acoustic guitars still going behind them. But then something happens. It is not something big but if you are a fan of SIG:AR:TYR’s previous work you will know that this small change is something completely new to the sound. The acoustic guitar disappears leaving way to distorted electric guitar riffs and a slow drumbeat. This is the first of many changes to appear on the album.

First of all, the acoustic guitar is much less present than on the last album. But its presence is still pretty big. Sailing The Seas Of Fate had a few songs that featured electric guitar but only one that was driven by it(Skuld); whereas, Beyond The North Winds has 4 songs that focus more on the electric guitar(King Of The World, Beyond The North Winds, Under The Mountain and Etched In Stone). Each of these songs features some acoustic guitar but it is used either as an interlude between different parts of the songs, to create a short melody over a rhythmic electric riff or as a rhythm guitar to complement one of the electric riffs.
To balance out this new found heaviness, the album features 3 instrumental acoustic songs (Pale Autumnal Moon, Sword From An Unknown Hand, Among The Ruins) and one acoustic ballad (Far Away). Pale Autumnal Moon revolves around some strummed chords with an ambient sound sample as a backdrop. Sword From An Unknown Hand starts off with some slow chord progressions and incorporates some acoustic soloing. Among The Ruins is easily the best of the three and features elements from both songs. One problem that has followed SIG:AR:TYR since the beginning of their discography reoccurs here also; this is with the acoustic solos. They often turn into a low, blur of notes which is sad because there seems to be much talent hidden beneath them but it is almost impossible to hear.
The Way creates a balance between the electric and acoustic side of the music with its happy sounding strummed verses and powerful electric choruses.

Now about the singing. Those of you that have heard his two previous works probably expect more of the same spoken vocals with maybe some occasional screaming (like on Urd and Skuld). This type of singing is only featured on the first track and even there it is harsher than before. The rest of the album is separated between high, raspy black metal-like screams and Daemonskald’s new found clean singing. His voice sounds like a less peppy version of an operatic power metal singer (see Under The Mountain for the best example of this). The operatic sound of his voice suits the slower pace of his music very well and provides diversity not featured on his previous works.

Overall:
As stated earlier, Daemonskald has created a very diverse album. The songs range from instrumental acoustic (the three mentioned earlier) to black metal (Etched In Stone) to an acoustic ballad (Far Away) and even what could be considered a doom song (Under The Mountain). Lyrically the album revolves around nature and pagan mythology and is often written in a nice abstract way. But the lyrics falter drastically in Far Away where they cross the line into cheesiness. Instrumentally the album is very impressive. The acoustic and electric guitars intertwine to create unique melodies and epic songs. The electric guitar solos are always top-notch and always seem to come in at the right moment to add their own piece to the song. Sadly, the acoustic solos are often much harder to distinguish because the notes often come out sounding muffled. The drumming, although very simplistic, fits with the slower pace of the songs and allows the listener to focus more on the intertwining guitars and the lyrical content of the album.

Beyond The North Winds is another superb release by a band that has yet to disappoint. It shows and incredible amount of progression over past releases and manages to create something that is just as enjoyable while staying fresh and creative. A few minor flaws hold this back from a 5 (the acoustic solos and the cheesy lyrics of the acoustic ballad) but this will definitely stay near the top of my top albums of 2008.


SCREAM!



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SCREAM!
July 30th 2008


10388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Slightly different format again. Lemme know how you like it

Digging: Svartidau?i - Flesh Cathedral

Hawks
July 30th 2008


35837 Comments


Another great review SCREAM. This album sounds even better than the last one. Where did you find this?

SCREAM!
July 30th 2008


10388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ordered it off http://morbidwinter.com/

Its his record company's website. Just got it today and I've lsitened to it about 4 and a half times lolThis Message Edited On 07.30.08

Hawks
July 30th 2008


35837 Comments


I think I'll definitely be ordering this. This sounds like something I would really love.

SCREAM!
July 30th 2008


10388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Im guessing you checked out the 2 tracks you can stream on here?This Message Edited On 07.30.08

Hawks
July 30th 2008


35837 Comments


Shit I didnt even see those lol. I'll listen right now.

SCREAM!
July 30th 2008


10388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Clean singing on Under The Mountain took me a few listen to get used to but its great now

Hawks
July 30th 2008


35837 Comments


Only listened to Etched in Stone. Its enough to tell me that this album is amazing and I want this.

SHOOTME
July 30th 2008


2393 Comments


Great review.

foreverendeared
July 30th 2008


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

awesome review i need to get this

BallsToTheWall
July 30th 2008


44805 Comments


What everyone else said, good review. Sounds cool, I need to myspace them soon.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2008


16478 Comments


Cool, I'll have to get this.

AngelPhoenix
July 31st 2008


2764 Comments


I liked Sailing the Seas of Fate, but go bored with it quickly. Probably just not "metal" enough. This sounds like a step in my direction, will be checking this out a-sap

edit: Just listened to Etched in Stone.

Yowzers...This Message Edited On 07.31.08

SCREAM!
July 31st 2008


10388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yowzers being good, right my man?

quaazi
July 31st 2008


200 Comments


Etched In Stone sounds interestingly black metalish. I might check this one out.

jrowa001
July 31st 2008


8750 Comments


good review. i still need to get Sailing the Seas of Fate first

AngelPhoenix
July 31st 2008


2764 Comments


Yowzers being good, right my man?


Being much better than I expected, a.k.a awesome. Is the only place to get this the record company's website?

SCREAM!
July 31st 2008


10388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Its the only place i know of. It only cost 10$ bucks and its a great cd.

Hawks
July 31st 2008


35837 Comments


Thats definitely a great price. Might order this today.

Pebster49
August 1st 2008


2993 Comments


Killer review, I really like these guys, totally going to check this out.



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