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Sigur Rós - Ágćtis Byrjun CD (album) cover


Sigur Rós


Post Rock/Math rock

4.14 | 561 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Ágćtis Byrjun"is yet another otherworldly album from one of the leaders in Post-Rock. The feeling of otherworldliness is stronger here than in any other album from Sigur Rós, I guess its because the use of strings is more prominent in "Ágćtis Byrjun" than any Sigur Rós album yet. The presence of the strings, guitar played with a cello bow as well as the misty keyboard sounds and twinkling percussion here and there conjures a floating, beautiful atmosphere which few bands can produce. It is for this reason that "Ágćtis Byrjun"is such an efficient, moving album and to this day remains Sigur Rós' defining album.

The musical feeling of "Ágćtis Byrjun "captures the spirit of some of "Tales From Topographic Ocean" (by Yes) for me, while not being quite as good. Also the fact that all the vocals on "Ágćtis Byrjun" are sung in Icelandic adds another element of otherworldliness, as I am left wondering what the lyrics mean. The vocals are usually repetitious with the same words being repeated several times, with instrumental interludes. Basically all of Sigur Rós' stuff follows this pattern; I have to admit that it does sometimes get rather annoying.

The most rewarding material on "Ágćtis Byrjun" is "Starálfur","Svefn-G- Engla"r, "Ágaetis Byrjun","Avalon" all of which display the same characterizes. That said the true stand out for me is "Starálfur"which was used in Wes Andersons' fantastic film "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" at the climax of the movie. None of the material on "Ágćtis Byrjun"is disappointing, what I love about this band is that when they release an album, everything on it is at a high standard. Even 'Von' wasn't too bad, it just didn't have as full a sound as following albums and the compositions where a bit weak.

"Ágćtis Byrjun"has been voted the best 20th cent. album by an Icelandic band, that is a great achievement. I don't know much about Icelandic music but I do know that "Ágćtis Byrjun"is some good quality music. The album reached a top charting of 52 in the UK (far below Takk) and set the scene for the band's following works. From the Thunderous soundscapes to the mellow string instrumental sections "Ágćtis Byrjun" is highly enjoyable. The one thing I don't understand are the angel-fetus creatures on the cover and in the CD booklet, what are they supposed to be?

"Ágćtis Byrjun" is a very rewarding album if listened to under proper circumstances. One day when your alone, and you have a good pair of headphones handy take a good long listen and soak in all the goodness of this album. A very good album and truly deserving to be considered among the most amazing Post-Rock albums ever. I'd recommend "Ágćtis Byrjun"to any fan of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, or anything similar. I'd also like to say to everyone that "Ágćtis Byrjun" is a very interesting listen and.come on, try something different.

Australian | 4/5 |


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