Album Review: Sigur Rós - Kveikur

Album Review: Sigur Rós - Kveikur

Friday 21st June, 2013 9:33AM

On track one of their seventh album, Iceland’s most acclaimed musical sons Sigur Rós perform a great feat in modern music - they make you think you’ve put on the wrong record. With trillions of digital files floating round cyberspace, surely every now and then things must get a bit mixed up and someone ends up scoring a lawnmower off Trade Me when they really wanted an ice cream maker. ‘Brennisteinn’, which appropriately translates to ‘Brimstone’ in English, seems at first, like the aural equivalent of the aforementioned scenario. The song begins with crunching, churning white noise, then huge, monstrously heavy bass and drum hits kick in. It’s only when frontman Jónsi Birgisson begins his unmistakably vocal you realize that no one’s screwed up and you’re not listening to Rammstein’s latest offering. The listener is then further reassured when the trademark bowed electric guitar and soaring string section arrive. After a couple of huge choruses and verses, a breakdown reveals the angelic howl of Birgisson alone and unaccompanied before the band crashes into a massive bridge/outro section. ‘Brennisteinn’ could be the most disconcerting, enthralling, signal-of-intent openers since Radiohead’s famous curveball ‘Everything In It’s Right Place’.

Click here to continue reading this review of Sigur Rós' new album Kveikur.

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