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Sigur Rós - Ágćtis Byrjun CD (album) cover


Sigur Rós


Post Rock/Math rock

4.13 | 511 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I think that, through the portal of post rock (and modern avant prog), I have finally found my way out of the seventies. I've tried modern genres like neo prog (too commercial for my tastes), prog metal (not ever much cared for metal, and being prog doesn't help it), and retro prog (the most disgustingly derivative and soulless prog I know - Anglagard excepted), and not one has inspired me even the least bit. RIO/Avant prog has been looking like a potential source of good modern prog as well, and combined with prost rock, it looks I might finally break free of the shackles of the seventies. And when I say shackles, I mean shackles. So mired have I been in the seventies that when I heard of Sigur Ros's then new Takk album, my first thought was, "I wonder how it will compare to their old stuff," forgetting completely that they don't yet have any "old stuff," at least not in the way I meant.

Moving on to Sigur Ros, and more specifically Agaetis Byrjun, brings up the (at this point inevitable) mention of Mogwai's Happy Songs For Happy People. Not because these albums are related by anything other than prog sub-genre, but because Happy Songs For Happy people was gateway into the land of post-rock, and so, for the time being, all the post-rock albums I review will be measured by how they compare to Happy Songs For Happy People. This does not mean that I am looking for a Happy Songs For Happy People clone. far from it, in fact. What I mean by this is that I am looking for albums that will make me feel with the intensity that Happy Songs For Happy People. And Sigur Ros's Agaetis Byrjun lives up easily to those expectations.

I don't get the same feelings that I get from Mogwai, but I do get feelings. Whereas Mogwai made me feel a mad rush of emotions pervading every inch of my body, Sigur Ros has almost the opposite effect. Agaetis Byrjun is such a work of beauty that it makes me feel calm and at ease, perfectly relaxed and in a mood to simply do nothing. Agaetis Byrjun makes me just as calm as Happy Songs For Happy People gets me riled up, if not even more so. I want to say more, given the strength of the feelings, but there's not much else to add in that regard. If you are ever getting hyper, this is an album that will calm you into tranquility.

I've said it already, but it deserves saying again: Sigur Ros's Agaetis Byrjun is a work of absolutely stunning beauty. Some of it is beauty in the sense of what most people automatically conceive of beauty, but the most truly beautiful parts of this album are those that, at first listen, seem anything but beautiful. Two good examples of this are the climax of Ny Batteri (one of the greatest I know in my relatively limited post-rock experience) and the almost avant-garde Hjartao Hamast (Bamm Bamm Bamm). Every pore of this album oozes beauty, often right in the forefront, but also often lurking in the background for the listener to find. Wherever it is, however, the beauty is always there. And, trust me on this one, it's worth your while to find it.

Sigur Ros's Agaetis Byrjun is one of the best post-rock albums I know, and up with CAN's Future Days as one of the most beautiful albums I know. This album is perfect at making the listener feel, and indeed, this feeling is so peaceful that after I listen to this album, I don't want to disrupt my newfound peace by listening to anything else. Ultimately, it is my favorite post-rock album, and certainly one of the greatest albums ever released (it earns serious consideration for my top ten albums ever), a masterpiece.

Pnoom! | 5/5 |


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