SIG:AR:TYR came into being in 2003 as a one-man musical project from Canada dedicated to the dark, grim history and mythology of Northern Europe. In late 2003, SIG:AR:TYR released The Stranger, a six song atmospheric journey based on the acoustic guitar and an accompanying short story about a mystical encounter with Odin.

In 2005, SIG:AR:TYR released a debut full-length release, Sailing the Seas of Fate. The album, a mixture of metal and acoustic music, tells the story of a mythical Viking quest to the far northern reaches of the world to reconnect with their old gods.

In 2008, SIG:AR:TYR released the second full-length album
Beyond The North Winds that continued the blackened heavy metal and acoustic atmosphere introduced in "Sailing the Seas of Fate" to create a powerful and diverse album with themes of wind and stone that echo the call of the old gods.

In 2010, SIG:AR:TYR released
Godsaga, a darker, harsher album that explores the concepts of loss and sacrifice in the tales of both Egil's Saga and Odin's hanging on the world tree Yggdrasil. Godsaga fully united the metal and acoustic guitar atmosphere that had been forged for so many years.

In 2012, 10 years after its creation, SIG:AR:TYR mainman Daemonskald decided to finally bring these songs and tales to the live stage. Adding band members Mike Grund (guitar), Nicholas Ireland (drums), and Morgan Rider (bass), SIG:AR:TYR played its very first live show at the Winter is Coming Fest in New London, CT in October 2012.

In April 2016,
Northen was released by Hammerheart Records. The album deals with the end of the Viking age, and the adventures of the Norse in my own country, Canada. Unlike the permanent settlements in Greenland, their stay here was short-lived, and we are still discovering the extent of their travels, the artifacts from their small settlements, and unfolding the tales of their interaction with the native cultures here at the time. Northen is a tale of tribute to this small group of adventurers, who with a dynamic, and individualistic spirit, were still willing to throw stability and comfort aside to explore mysterious new places like Helluland, Markland, and Vinland, and try to be their own master in a changing world.

On May 31st 2024, the saga of SIG:AR:TYR continues with
Citadel of Stars, which sees a return to the dark atmospheres of previous works, weaving the past, present, and future into a landmark release that echoes the epic themes spanning 20 years of SIG:AR:TYR’s musical legacy. Citadel of Stars is both a mournful dirge for a dying age, and a hopeful glimpse into a rebirth among the stars.

What does the name SIG:AR:TYR mean?

In the world of fantasy author Michael Moorcock, the universe revolved around a battle between the metaphysical forces of Chaos and Law to keep Balance in the Universe. SIG, AR, and TYR are the names of three letters of the old North European runic alphabet that I chose to represent these forces. SIG:AR:TYR is a formula for living a dynamic, cyclical existence, a struggle between the extremes of fire and ice while remaining in balance with the natural world and spiritual realms.

Origin of the name SIG:AR:TYR

This is a short form version of the Old English word "sigel" which is the sun. The original reconstructed germanic name of this rune is "Sowilho", which is the Roman "S". The "S" Rune to me has always been considered the primal fire, or the root of Chaos, for that's what exactly the sun is on a physical (primal ball of fire) level and a spiritual one where it represents the logos and initiator of life for the particular galaxy it created. The loss of the sun, or its explosion as a supernova, would of course destroy all that is, at least for our solar system. It can be the creator or destroyer, something that we must mirror in ourselves to break free of the natural ordering of the universe. The energy released from a supernova as a star dies (or at least is transformed into something 'else') contains the only source of certain primal elements that feed new star systems as they coalesce. So you see, what we consider Chaos is not only an entropic destructive force but also a powerful creative force that transgresses the boundaries of an ordered universe.

In the Scandinavian runes, AR mean "year", or more specifically a "good year". This rune represents the culmination of a successful year in the symbol of the harvest. It is the completion of a cycle. In the Elder Germanic Futhark of 24 runes, this is the middle 12th rune (Jera). In this respect, it represents "balance" in the universe when the struggle of Chaos and Order are even in power resulting in the perfect time (the "good year") for physical and spiritual evolution. This is a symbol of Midgard or "Middle Earth". This is the middle of the worlds between the higher spiritual realms and the lower chthonic realms. In Northern mythology, it was the place sought after most of all by gods and men. In contrast to salvation-based religions such as Christianity, or spiritually negative ones such as Buddhism where Earth is considered evil and release from earthly physical bonds are desired, the physical centre of the Universe is considered to be the most important realm for spiritual evolution. The Norse gods did not laze around in some pointless heavenly abode where nothing happens. This leads to spiritual and physical decay and eventual dissolution of the soul itself into the organic universe. The gods recognized that this realm provides the most opportunity for evolution and would play out their adventures in life, love, war, and death in this realm to become more powerful in the next. This is why Midgard is considered the "crucible" of initiation.

Tyr is actually the original "sky-god" and most powerful of the Northern pantheon before being supplanted by Odin. The older Germanic form of his name, Tiwaz, is related to Zeus (the leader of the Greek pantheon) and Jupiter (Dyaus Pitar). The English day of the week, Tuesday, is derived from Tyr, which in French is Mardi (Mars, Roman god of war). Odin and Tyr are both related to war and death, but where Odin's objectives are chaotic, destructive, and bend the balance towards entropy, Tyr's battles are based on tipping the cosmic balance towards law and order. Tyr represents the concept of sovereign power based on justice. His name is related to the "Thing" the people's legislative assembly in olden Germanic times where they would mete out law and justice for their community. (Tuesday in German is called Dienstag "Assembly day"). As such, Tyr in some ways is the polar opposite of what "SIG" represents. It is like "ice" because it is like a permanent concept frozen in time, an eternal law that always was and always will be. But it is not "ice" of the natural universe (as represented by Isa), it is something beyond the natural universe that causes it to be ordered as it is. It is also interesting to note that the ancient Northmen associated the pole star with Tyr. In this form, Tyr is the immovable centre, the axis of the world, and the balance on which it revolves.

Together the terms SIG:AR:TYR strung together become a formula illustrating the forces of chaos, balance, and order. Their interweaving manifest in our existence as a physical creature, brought into being in an ordered Universe, where the chaos of our souls yearn to be born, live, and die, to further its power and evolution.