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Sigur Rós - ( ) CD (album) cover

( )

Sigur Rós

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.98 | 358 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Verisimilitude
5 stars The more atmospheric and gradual approach of ( ) makes it a more rewarding experience then the pervious album, Ágćtis Byrjun, to my ears. Sigur Rós music uplifts into images of vast plains and empty expanses, left to your mind to insert images and emotion.

The album greets you with an almost blank white face. The familiar shape of the two brackets are coloured with a black and grey static of some nondescript image and the music greets me in much the same way. Although a quick visit to the Sigur Rós site will tell you that the album is split into a lighter and a darker half, most of it remains extremely open to personal interpretation.

This is what I like about ( ), Sigur Rós greets you with no title, no track names and no clearly decipherable lyrics, which are written in Hopelandic - a language only translatable by its emotion - and to me the pleasure is discerning your own thoughts into all this.

After the initial explosion of apocalyptic ambience, Samskeyti (Untitled 3) presents itself as an evolving piano that climaxes into your head with a flood of sound. The gentle building, emotion and imagery is really a unique treat for your ears. Njósnavélin (Untitled 4), translated as "the spy machine", is another beautiful piece. Again, another climatic experience, and - as with the majority of Sigur Rós songs - extremely unobtrusive in its delivery. I wouldn't be surprised if many called it their "fall asleep" album.

Immediately afterwards the 30 seconds of silence ends the lighter half of the album and precedes its darker companion. Álafoss (Untitled 5) slows the tone down and expands on the atmospheric, spatial and emotional emptiness that lurks within Sigur Rós' music. The power of its sound can only grow on you.

There is no easy way to put it, they aren't immediately an accessible sound, ( ) is darker then Ágćtis Byrjun. Sigur Rós puts considerable energy into generating original compositions that I feel draws their power from emotion generated through the music and vocals, rather then the music itself. This could spell danger for impatient or shallow listeners, it takes more then a few listens to really get into ( ) otherwise it may merely come off as a novel idea that's been extended into an album.

Featuring interesting uses of instruments, such as E-Bow (Untitled 6), where Georg Hólm uses an e-bow on his bass, or just a flood of sound so expressive in its almost chaotic build that you almost hold your breathe waiting for it to end, such as Popplagiđ [The Pop Song] (Untitled 8)...

I liked what Jón ţór Birgisson - whose piercing and almost sighing vocals continue to overlap throughout ( ) - had to say about the album. "The booklet in ( ) is empty so people can write down or draw their interpretations of it. It's a kind of "human experience". Everyone has their own opinions and when people buy the album it's kind of unfinished so people have to finish it themselves. It's not the singer telling stories, it's sort of a soundtrack for each person's life. So they can write lyrics for their own lives."

( ) has the potential to become one of the best, emotionally gripping and rewarding sounds you will hear and in my opinion - because I've been enjoying it for a considerable amount of time - it already is.

Verisimilitude | 5/5 |

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