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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire and brimstone
All Sigur Rós's music is a soundtrack to the Icelandic landscape. Their new album, Kveikur, does the volcanoes. The record opens with the thunderous bass line of Brennisteinn ('Brimstone'), a pyroclastic flow of a song: a percussive, aggressive statement of intent. The pace, intensity and sheer loudness of this opener is sustained throughout the album. It's a real...
Published 14 months ago by Jonathan Birch

versus
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A misplaced hodge-podge? Or a pre-emptive greatest hits?
I have been greatly anticipating the latest release from "Iceland's greatest export since Bjork" (as they are often undermined as... and that's coming as a Bjork fan)! To that end, I should begin on a positive note: Kveikur certainly surpasses their last offering Valtari, but sadly fairs badly against their previous offerings.

As suggested in the title (of my...
Published 14 months ago by Owen.Daniel


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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire and brimstone, 18 Jun 2013
By 
Jonathan Birch (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kveikur (Audio CD)
All Sigur Rós's music is a soundtrack to the Icelandic landscape. Their new album, Kveikur, does the volcanoes. The record opens with the thunderous bass line of Brennisteinn ('Brimstone'), a pyroclastic flow of a song: a percussive, aggressive statement of intent. The pace, intensity and sheer loudness of this opener is sustained throughout the album. It's a real change of direction for the band, and unquestionably a positive one.

The cover art suggests a dark, heavy album; and it is, in places. The title track is particularly powerful, combining anguished vocals and discordant violins and screeching feedback to chilling effect. But it's not all like that. As with previous Sigur Rós albums, there's a balance between light and dark, day and night, hope and despair. The counterpoint to Kveikur is Ísjaki ('Iceberg'): one of the most uplifting songs the band has ever written.

I've seen a number of critics describe Kveikur as a 'return to form', but I don't buy that: it requires that at some point the band lost its form. The truth is that Sigur Rós has never produced a bad album. Even last year's sombre Valtari makes sense in hindsight, now we can see it for what it was: an elegant and understated way of tying up loose ends, winding up the band's time as a four-piece and its record deal with EMI. Less than twelve months on, Sigur Rós has returned one member down, but with a new label, a new sound and a new sense of purpose.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear Not, 17 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Kveikur (MP3 Download)
Sigur Ros are not mega mega famous, but those in the music industry know all about them and have done so for many years now.

Their fans are a loyal bunch and i place myself in that group, and over the years since i first heard Von played on vinyl i have been mesmerised by their sound.

So naturally Kveikur was a hotly anticipated album, even moreso with the departure of Kjartan and Sigur Ros teasing their fans with new songs on their current European and American tour, giving us unforgettable performances of Brennisteinn, Hrafnatinna, Kveikur and the sublime Yfirbor­, the latter of which was the opener to the tour.

This new album is darker than anything they ever did, though Von still trumps all of them in the scary stakes, but Kveikur is so much more different. See, Sigur Ros have now grown up, and their sound has evolved to reflect this change, which seems a natural progression after the stillness of Valtari, or the poppy energy from Me­ su­ í eyrum vi­ spilum endalaust.

But for fans of sigur ros, new and old, this album will NOT dissapoint, yes it is more aggressive in places, more industrial sounding, even sexy in places, but its still very much a classic Sigur Ros, or will be eventually.

I wont give a track by track account of this album but i will point out the highlights, the biggest being how each song flows naturally to the next giving the listener yet another musical journey into the netherworld of Sigur Ros's collective hive mind, the first 4 songs from the album have been heard many times even before the release of the album, Bren, hraf and Yfirbor­ have been playded throughout their recent live shows, and Isjaki was released recently on the Sigur Ros website, so the first new song we properly hear is Stormur. Upon hearing Stormur we begin to realize that Sigur Ros may have saved the best til last, however there is nothing wrong with the first four songs, they are stunning but already familiar.

Stormur however, wow, typical sigur ros epicness, Stormur sounds like it came from the album Takk, which i know is a firm fan favourite and every album since has been compared to Takk, rightly or wrongly.

Rafstraumur did not dissapoint either, neither does Blá■rá­ur or Var.

As usual, Jonsi and his band of merry men have produced a masterpiece of musical wonderment, an album which will stand the test of time. Kveikur firmly places this band at the top of the tree now, and despite their success they still remain as grounded and as inventive and creative as they ever have been.

That said, this album is a different beast which should excite all who happen to come across it, be them fans of sigur ros, die hard fans of sigur ros, or those who have heard Hippopola and want to hear more. This is still Sigur Ros, of course it is!

Crucially, this album takes you away for a while, and brings you back gently as breathtakingly beautiful instrumental track Var plays out quietly. Kveikur is a damn fine album, many highlights, and some vivid memories for those lucky enough to catch them on their recent tour, myself included. I do have a minor confession to make, i have been listening to the album on the live stream on the sigur ros website, so i was quite familiar with it already even before it came out.

It seems the majority of twitter agree with me, #kveikur is throwing up non stop praise from those fans who are listening to this new album, calling it awesome, mindblowing, out of this world... Its all this and more. For those fans who have not heard their new material yet, your in for a treat, this will blow you away.

Thank you Jonsi, Georg and Orri, and all those who play a part in making this stunning work of art. My ears are a happier place for yur music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy addition to any album collection., 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Kveikur [VINYL] (Vinyl)
As an occasional listener of Sigur Ros rather than a fan, I do like this album as it has an edge that separates it from their earlier offerings in a way which adds even more to their style. It is certainly worth a listen. I purchased the Vinyl version and can promise that in conjunction with a pretty decent turntable and equipment, Sigur Ros sound great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sigus Ros go progressive, 13 Dec 2013
By 
Derek Halden - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kveikur (Audio CD)
Sigus Ros always sounded a bit like the prog rock band Yes but this offering puts them centre stage as the leaders of the new progressives. It is much less post rock than their previous offerings and those that like 'prog' better than 'post' will like this album best. In reality there probably never was a distinction and this album closes the gap.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brave New World, 19 Jun 2013
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kveikur (Audio CD)
Now seperated from instrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson, the trio that is Sigur Ros take an entirely different route with album 7 : the same, but different. No one else could make a record like this, but built on a foundation of guitar, bass, and drums, an integral part of the band, the keyboard/piano/strings that made the band matter and gave them the key dynamism, the drama, that made Sigur Ros so distinctive. With "Kveikur" the band have taken everything they used to have, and gone left with it : no longer airy, silent earscapes, but tense, dramatic, noise, built on crescendos of drums, bass, guitar/violin, and Jonsi's well known, abstract voice-as-melody work which somehow makes this the same, yet different, the same Sigur Ros ; in an artistic watershed, think of this as the same moment as the departure of Alan Wilder from Depeche Mode, where a key architect's influence falls away, and the band is the same, yet not the same. Songs such as "Brennisteinn", "Var" and "Kveikur" are familiar, having been in the live sets for several months, but at the time, felt incongrouous, as if they didn't quite fit, with the band now a rhythmic, coiled snake, reminiscent of the same kind of drama that filled stadiums for The Cure and Depeche Mode two decades ago. But also, here is a kind of music that is the soundtrack for thinking, for gazing out on a platform waiting to go home, for the absent minded meditation of washing up and reading. You might be forgiven for thinking it was all downhill after the fragmentation of the core quarter after 15 years together, but no. "Kveikur" is a promise of a continued future in the same, unqiue world, that Sigur Ros have always lived in. You are welcome to visit.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darker, more distorted, I like it., 10 July 2013
This review is from: Kveikur (Audio CD)
Sigur Rós have always been creators of large expansive soundscapes. Their albums are places to explore, discovering new Icelandic islets and inlets with each listen. Kveikur though seems a much more immediate listen, especially the excellent opener Brennisteinn which is more distorted and dark than I was expecting, the title track is a belter too. I think Kveikur is a step forward for the band and I find my appetite is whetted for coming albums.

Now, I always like to leave readers with a recommendation of a little gem they might not otherwise find. If you're a fan of Sigur Rós then you have to listen to a band called Takeda, trust me;)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Euphoric, 13 Oct 2013
This review is from: Kveikur (Audio CD)
I've got nothing against ambient music. From Eno on, various cds have captivated me over the years. However, after the work of stunning genius that was Agaetis Byrjun, a piece of music that was so rhythmic, melodic and emotionally charged that for a good six months I listened to little else, their follow-up cds disappointed. () was ok. Takk, to these ears, a little better. But after that, they kind of lost me, with Valtari's noodly somnabulism making it my least favourite Sigur Ros album.

Kveikur is, for me, a blistering return to form. The crashing opener, Brennisteinn, and title track, Kveikur, are masterpieces of layered sound that build and build. And if there is a more beautiful song than Hrafntinna around this year, I haven't heard it. From a simple verse, it develops into an anthemic swirl of wonderfully harmonizing voices and instrumentation that makes my heart leap every time I hear it building up to its euphoric climax.

I saw Sigur Ros headlining at this year's End of the Road festival on a cold clear night beneath the stars. I've been going to see live music for decades, and this performance was one of the most sensational I have ever witnessed. Not everyone liked them. Friends I was with wandered off after a couple of songs. Gradually the crowd consisted only of those who 'got it'. By the end of the set, there was laughter, tears and odd displays of strangers hugging one another. And each time I listen to Kveikur it evokes the atmosphere of that gig. I am totally in awe of this astounding group and, in particular, their latest album. Absolutely stunning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 July 2014
By 
Eamonn Durning (2,Ashleigh Close, College Farm Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kveikur (Audio CD)
Great melodious cd, Sigur Ros are really on a winner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Icelandic band, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Kveikur (Audio CD)
Hmm, I like their music but this is not what I was expecting as should have done a little more research. I am now told that their first album is thought of as their best so I will now buy that. Great Icelandic band though with atmospheric music.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good - but more of the same, 18 April 2014
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This review is from: Kveikur (Audio CD)
if Sigur Ros is your thing, than this is your thing, however it is not essential, and is not a marked progression from Takk
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