Album Review: Sigur Ros - 'Kveikur'

13 June 2013 | 10:35 am | Staff Writer

Let the dark come in.

Assuming that Iceland invented ice, Sigur Ros is the second best export the country has created. Back with another bunch of song names and lyrics that you won’t understand, the group’s seventh record ‘Kveikur’ is one of their most aggressive yet.

Marked down as a huge change on the band’s timeline due to the departure of keyboard player Kjartan Sveinsson,Kveikur’ has been made as a three piece. This is fascinating because the lack of keys has certainly given the music a darker edge, but by no means have the epic proportions by which this band operate been diminished in anyway.

The opening recordings of first track 'Brennistein' feature bombing fighter jets and collapsing buildings mixed in with a heavy bass line and dirty beat, given light only by the airy vocals. If this is how big three members of Sigur Ros can sound, imagine these songs in a live setting when the group include another stack musicians in their live act as they so often do.

The title track, along with the opening, are the two heaviest, darkest moments of the record. The beats carry a weight with them that offset themselves against the dirty bass tones behind the atmospheric vocals. It is interesting when you place this record next to its predecessor ‘Valtari,’ a beautifully light album followed by this darkness. It’s not all doom and gloom however as moments of light do peak through. 'Isjaki' for example, which is reminiscent of the songs on ‘Valtari,’ glittered by chimes and strings, the falsetto vocals provide some of the best melodies on this album as they blend in with the piercing violins.

Another surprise for fans will be 'Yfiboro', a song that includes elements of dance in its production in the electronic beats that softly creep in under the otherwise mellow synth lines and vocals.

Lyrically, we can only assume everything is brilliant.

Sigur Ros, now a three piece, and possibly a little upset by the loss of a band member have made the darkest record of their career. Sonically however, nothing has changed, there are still more layers than the mind can grasp and as per usual, the band will take you on another amazing musical journey unlike anything else.

1. Brennisteinn

2. Hrafntinna

3. Isjaki

4. Yfirboro

5. Stormur

6. Kveikur

7. Rafstraumur

8. Blapraour

9. Var

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