I have no problem admitting that yes I'm a huge nerd and have been waiting for this record for six years. SIG:AR:TYR was one of the first pagan metal acts I really got into and this new record, Northen, is something I have wanted for years. the crushing soundscapes and Bathory-esque dedication to true viking metal has always captured my imagination and represents everything that makes this band so great. Simply put - this is a band who expand their sound consistently and brought the world of pagan metal to a whole new level.
The way that SIG:AR:TYR mainman Daemonskald is able to invoke beautiful pagan images with his distinct lyrical sensibility has always excited me and on Northen he reigns proud, more triumphant than ever before. He paints pictures of a time forgot and mystical worlds - making each song almost a tone poem in and of itself. Beyond that, Northen demonstrates a clear step forward in Daemonskald's songwriting - the guitar solos in particular on this record are spectacular and fit into his distinct marching riff style. It makes for a gentle pulse that eases the listener in to bold sonic pastures that resonate for years.
Northen is an easy record to fall in love with - especially for those of us who have a passion for the Gods and legends of the north. It's an album that devotees have waited more than half a decade for but that delivers on ever level. SIG:AR:TYR is one of those bands who get the fundamental forces behind pagan metal and when they hit the studio something greater than themselves is invoked. Northen is a valid candidate for top ten albums of the year, and though the hype train hasn't kicked off yet, I get the impression it will be only a matter of time.
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