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Sigur Rós - Ágćtis Byrjun CD (album) cover


Sigur Rós


Post Rock/Math rock

4.14 | 556 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Play a Floyd fan track #7, "Vidrar vel til loftarasa," and for nearly 5 minutes you'll be able to easily fool him/her into believing it's an (amazing!) outtake from DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, - from the atmospheric sound effects, to the Wright-like piano, to the Gilmour-like guitar. That is, until Birgisson's falsetto voice comes in, and his titanic-sized guitar "solo" follows. (In post- rock, post-Sonic Youth fashion, the guitar isn't used for soloing but rather for shifting dynamics and atmosphere.)

This is an album one must listen to over and over to fully appreciate. Most of the songs are pretty long, and take their time to reach their destination. However, unlike the following album, ( ), the songs are pretty varied, and the music is never dull. In the vinyl age, nearly every Sigur Ros recording would be a double-album.

The CD begins with sonic pings a la Floyd's "Echoes," and segues into the mammoth "Svefn- g-englar." A brilliant beginning to a brilliant album. It's so hard to pick favorite moments, but these include the strange dynamics of (the U2-like) "Staralfur," the changing tempos of "Ny batteri," the seismic tide that threatens to wash out of your speakers in "Hjartad hamast," the strangely tranquil "Olsen olsen" that ends in a boisterous sing-a-long, to the Eno-like soundscape of "Avalon" that closes this album.

This is an album where you'll be able to pick out influences - Floyd, Eno, My Blood Valentine's LOVELESS, and perhaps even Page's dynamic use of a violin bow on his guitar - and yet the band manages to create something startling original. Highly recommended.

jude111 | 5/5 |


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