ALBUM REVIEW: KVEIKUR, SIGUR RÓS

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Iceland is a mysterious place, and musicians hailing from there are similarly enigmatic – think Björk or Sigur Rós. 

 

The latter, one of the more well-known post-rock acts of the late 90s and 2000s, have recently released their seventh album, Kveikur. After their previous album Valtari was released last year, it seemed like Sigur Rós had run out of ideas. Their keyboardist left to try something new, and breakup rumours abounded.

 

Each track is intense, and each stands out on its own, from the icy ‘Stormur’ to the heavier, more rock-based sound of the title track.

 

A year later, the band has reinvented itself: the Icelandic three-piece are back with an album that is full of an energy and vibrance that their previous effort failed to capture.  The album opens with a crackling static that gives way to pounding percussion and a churning bass line, and it’s clear from the outset that this is a much darker sound than their previous work.

 

Each track is intense, and each stands out on its own, from the icy ‘Stormur’ to the heavier, more rock-based sound of the title track.  In many ways, Kveikur is a return to classic Sigur Rós: expansive soundscapes layering Jónsi’s ethereal vocals, the haunting sound of a cello bow on guitar, complicated percussion patterns and classical instrumentation.

 

Kveikur is out now on XL Records.

 

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