20 years of SIG:AR:TYR!
It was 20 years ago this month that I released the demo "The Stranger". It’s hard to wrap my head around how that time has passed from plunking away on an acoustic guitar in my basement in 2003 that grew into progressively more challenging full length albums in 2005, 2008, 2010, and most recently in 2016 (most of that still in a basement or bedroom!). I'm happy to finally announce after several years of the stress and tension of fighting with my own creativity, forging away piece by piece as each year went by seemingly without an end in sight, that a new album is finally completed, and the saga of SIG:AR:TYR continues in 2024. More details to come soon on the release, I’m just happy to breathe again and look forward to getting this album out there and heard. Thanks to all of you for your support… fans, friends, and bands who have been part of the journey. Here’s to 20 years… the next thousand years are ours!
Summer Solstice Update
I hope everyone is doing well as we continue to navigate out of this pandemic. I’ve been hard at work finalizing the last vocal tracks for the new album, and then it will be on to final mixing. I’ve also received the final version of the original cover art for the album. It looks amazing and suits the theme perfectly. I will announce the name of the album very soon. It seems every album something crazy happens in my life during the recordings (considering my albums usually span 5 years of work I guess that’s not so crazy) This time during 2020 it was some health issues, pandemic chaos, a new puppy, and moving back to my hometown to be closer to family. The pandemic has made everyone reevaluate where they are and what they are doing with their life. The transition has eaten into a lot of my creative time, but it also gave me a chance to look back on what I’ve recorded over the past few years and reforge and refine the results to make sure it reflects my compete vision. Each time I finish a SIG:AR:TYR album, I think it it’s my last, but somehow the well of inspiration fills up again and the creative urgency sets in to conjure new music into reality. Then it takes so much longer than I think to make sure what I’m creating sounds like what’s in my head. The “noise” of daily life interrupts the process, the focus broken, exasperated by chaotic forces outside my control and also self-inflicted change. For me working on an album is like endlessly chiselling a stone while holding the chaotic forces of the world at bay. However, once your vision takes its final shape, the triumph of order over chaos finally brings a smile to your face and some respite to your weary soul. It’s an ending and a beginning. You gaze at your creation that stands as a monument to your hard work and creative powers, and you hope it has some resonance to anyone outside your imagination. Then a short time passes, the joy of achievement fades away, and that past creation now looms over you like a foreboding tower… a warning of your creative doom to forge again once more.
Summer Solstice, 2021
Autumn Update - Where the Sun Never Sets
I've been very busy over the summer months working on the new album, and I'm happy to report that I've completed all guitars, bass, and synth on nine new songs. Only vocals and drums to finish. Very excited about how the songs have come together. It sounds like an album somewhere in between Beyond the North Winds and Godsaga. It also includes a couple of instrumentals that I have not done since the Godsaga days. The guitar solos are still there of course, a dying art that I won't let go. This time I tried to be more spontaneous and improvisational, and it’s more Uli Roth and Michael Schenker than Yngwie this time around. In these strange days, it's comforting to return to your roots, and that's what this feels like. Theme-wise the album is stellar oriented, compared to the stone/earth/wind/water themes of previous albums. In troubled times, we all look to the night sky for help, for an escape from this world, a citadel of stars to protect us... surrounded by darkness yet the light of a thousand suns guides our way... truly a place where the sun never sets.
It's hard to believe that it has been almost a year since the release of Northen. I did not want to repeat the large time gap that happened between Godsaga and Northen, so I've been working on a number of ideas, sounds, and riffs, and have almost an album's worth of material ready to be hammered into final songs and recorded.
As I might have mentioned before, I've grown quite tired of the whole Viking thing. Let's face it, the theme has been well worn to death, and Northen was meant to be my last foray on the subject. I'd like to get back to more general dark pagan themes, something more like the songs on Beyond the North Winds and Godsaga.
And this might come as a surprise, but I’m also quite tired of the band name SIG:AR:TYR. At the time I made it up while making my original acoustic demos, it seemed mysterious and clever, not realizing that the roots would dig in and grow into a demo EP and four full length albums over 13 years. But nowadays the name just seems unwieldy to me and too tied up in Norse paganism to reflect what I want to do next and shift to a slightly different paradigm.
So I've been thinking on a new name, not as a replacement of SIG:AR:TYR, but to reflect its evolution. It's possible I may change my mind and the name stays, but I feel a personal reboot is needed with a new start, even though what I'm working on now isn't too far removed from what I've already done.
I’ll have more news soon when the songs coalesce and take enough shape that I’m able to get some sense of where it will all end up. Expect more pagan metal… I’m not changing course, but maybe it’s time for a new ship…
Spring Equinox, 2017
The time has finally come! Northen is released! You can purchase CD's directly from Hammerheart Records and boths CDs and digital from my Bandcamp page.
Legacy Magazine in Germany has premiered the song "Crownless" from the upcoming album Northen, set for release April 15 via Hammerheart Records!
Metal Injection has premiered a new song "Vinland" from the upcoming album Northen!
Reissues of the first three albums Sailing the Seas of Fate, Beyond the North Winds, and Godsaga are now available from Hammerheart Records. They are in a new digipak CD format and they look beautiful!
They are also available directly from me on my Bandcamp page.
If you can hang on a few months until April, the new album Northen will be available together with the reissues as a full discography box set.
I recently visited L’Anse aux Meadows at the northern tip of Newfoundland. It was amazing to finally see the place I’ve been writing about for the last few years, the only known evidence of the Vikings in North America.
Reissues of my previous albums “Sailing the Seas of Fate”, “Beyond the North Winds”, and “Godsaga” are planned for November via Hammerheart Records. The new album “Northen” is scheduled for release in April 2016. More information soon!
Pleased to announce that I'll be working with Hammerheart Records for the release of the new album Northen, and also a re-release of the previous albums!
Check out their Facebook page for the announcement.
I’ve received the final graphics layout for Northen and it looks fantastic! I’m also *just* about finished my final mixing before the mastering stage.
Will have some news soon on how this is being released and hopefully a timeframe!
Here is the front cover for the new album "Northen"!
Really captures my love of old illustrated books. The artwork was created by Sara Stuart. Layout and graphic design by Paul McCarroll.
Update on the new album “Northen”! Drum recordings are complete, and about to start final guitar and bass tracking. Also, Paul McCarroll, the artist/designer who worked on some of my previous albums, and who has also done work for Primordial, Mourning Beloveth, and many others, will be doing the CD layout for “Northen”. It is all coming together slowly but surely! Although I have sent many demos out over the last year, I do not currently have a record label, so this will most likely be released independently. Really excited to get these new songs out there!
I have completed writing the final song for the new album Northen! What a journey it has been!
Here is what should be the final track listing:
4. Markland (The Hammer Fades)
9. Last Ship Sails
An interesting thing to note compared to previous releases is that there are no instrumentals on this album. I did not plan it that way. Whatever inspires me to tell the story and set the mood I want is what comes out of me! Now on to the next steps of getting into the studio to get the drums recorded!
Time for an update! I only have one more song to demo for the new album "Northen". When that is complete, we will be ready to record the drums, and everything else should flow quickly after that. I'm very happy with the songs so far, it has taken a long time to get them together (over a year and a half since the first concept came to me) but I'm satisfied that they will be 9 very strong songs that hit hard with memorable riffs, solos, and words that will tell the tale of the Norse in Canada 1000 years ago, and the mystery of what it is to be one of the "Northen".
April 26th, 2014
Interview with eV’s Underground: Thinking up things in the Dark
April 4th, 2014
Wanted to give a quick update on the album, I'm still fighting my way through the last few songs. They all revolve around the three North American areas explored by the Vikings in their sagas, Helluland (Baffin Island?), Markland (Labrador?), and Vinland (Newfoundland and beyond). As you know it's very important to me to have my albums flow like a book, and it usually takes me longer than I expect to fit it all together the way I want it. I hate to give dates but I'm hoping by late May I can have the tracks down and ready to get into the studio get the drums done.
Unfortunately, I have not had any response to the album demo I sent out to most of the major metal labels back in Dec/Jan, I know it can take time, but hope fades, and now looking at other appropriate smaller labels, or may even just release this on my own.
I'm hoping this summer after the album is complete to take a trek to L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland to see this lonely outpost for myself, the only major archaeological evidence we have of the Norse in North America.
December 4, 2013
You can now finally purchase SIG:AR:TYR CDs (Godsaga, Beyond the North Winds, and Sailing the Seas of Fate) and Godsaga t-shirts through the Bandcamp page, in addition to the previously available digital downloads. I'm currently out of medium shirts, but hoping to get them in soon!
November 18, 2013
Thanks to everyone that came out to the shows in Montreal and Ottawa on the weekend. We had a blast and met many new friends! See you again someday! Work now continues on the new album “Northen”. Getting to the final few songs and really looking forward to getting this completed and released.