SIG:AR:TYR were a band who once held such promise. A group who displayed passion that transcended the constant trying of music historians and arty aficionados. Posers. However the new album is none of that. It’s the epitome of trying too hard.
It might just be that these guys have gotten louder, their spirit, the essence of their muse feeling forced where it was once riding on the winds of change. A tempest so violent that it could consistently power a farm of turbines sitting in the collection of natural energy.
Northen is a fortunate rehash of what other bands did to the true Norwegian Black Metal sound. It does win points for being interesting, and also musically sound, featuring some great times that delve concisely into the sentiments convey by the invocation of great riffs. However what it doesn’t do is sound different; it’s very much unlike its predecessors.
Falling short of being innovative, by a Borknagar and a Bathory, Northen tries to embody nord music without even scraping the surface, and sometimes comes across as a superficial homage. It’s a contrarian masterpiece as the riffs are so well pronounced. Yet always living in the shadow of something that’s been clearly heard before.
It is a memorable album, but not for the right reasons. It’s reminiscent of other good albums. The structure and the invocation to arias long since past is a nice touch, but twenty years and without conviction is still too soon and also too passé. Now Northen might be a good album but it’s not ready to descend quite like that.