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Sigur Rós - Heima CD (album) cover


Sigur Rós

Post Rock/Math rock

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5 stars I beginning to feel that Sigur Ros is a very special band. There is something quite magical about this 2 DVD set. Heima translates as "at home" and you can see that the band are very much at home back in Iceland after a long tour. On DVD 1, the music is separated by interviews with the band that reveal an intelligent foursome. They don't take themselves too seriously but they do take their music very seriously. Indeed this project shows a rare thing - a serious band that is not pretentious in any way. I love the interaction between the band and the locals. Live performances occur in all sorts of places, village halls, disused factories, open air gatherings. All sorts of people watch the band, from very young to very old and all sorts of artists contribute to the different tracks: a choir, brass band, violinists... Sigur Ros even showcase some elder members of the community singing. All through both discs, beautiful footage of Iceland is shown, and a wild slice of nature it is too. DVD2, by the way, has less interviews and so the music flows better if you want that (the songs are the same but in a different order with a couple of extra tracks). So, to the music - the band are amazing. Such beauty, such grace, such power (on Glossoli and Untitled 8). They are so talented, the keyboard player plays guitar and flute, the drummer plays keyboards, the bass player plays glockenspiel, the guitarist plays bass, and at one point they all play a homemade 4-man marimba. If you already know Sigur Ros, you will love this. There are great versions of Glosoli, Se Lest, Olsen Olsen, Popplagid (this was Untitled 8 on the "( )" album), Hoppipolla, Von and Samkeyti (previously called Untitled 3). One word of caution though - I don't think this is a place to start as a Sigur Ros listener. There's probably too much to digest with 2 100-minute DVDs. For fans though, this is a winner.
Report this review (#152791)
Posted Monday, November 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I remember I saw some reviews on Finnish papers that praised this as a totally groundbreaking and beautiful music film. In a way it's true that there haven't been - as far as I know - music DVD's quite like this one, but it doesn't mean it would be so wonderful viewing experience. I haven't listened to this Icelandic post-rock band very much, but I imagine that their cinematic music can provoke a lot of inner pictures to the listener's mind. In that sense it can be sort of anti-climactic to enjoy this music accompanied by a film, which, in the end, is very down-to-earth in nature. I liked the film all right, but maybe I was expecting something better after the reviews.

On the other hand, it's exactly that honesty (loss of ambitious effort to make something extraordinary and imaginary) that makes the film such warm-spirited and friendly and authentic. By the way, I'm concentrating on Disc One, not Disc Two which is a more traditional concert DVD. The key word is: Iceland. I guess the title Heima means homeland which at least would fit this perfectly. A big deal of the Heima movie is outdoors. Even when it shows the band playing. When they make their highly original music on the frontyard of some abandoned(?) country home, they are more like meditators than rock musicians.

The film includes short bits of interviews, ie. the band members speaking of their music, but they sink very well into the nature-oriented whole without breaking the spirit. Maybe because they seem so shy and far from rock star appearances, again. In general, there's not much talking (and this describes the music as well: even if you understood the language, the singing is used in a very instrumental way). And yet the film's not only about the nature of the country, it's also about its people. Ordinary folk gathering to a free outdoor concert (note how many small children!), queueing for lunch, etc. But to point out the everyday nature of it all is not quite true either. For example we see men making music instruments out of rocks and other natural things.

So, if you are interested in Iceland, you should see this film. And for a band fan this is a must. But to me it wasn't anything I would later return to; I was satisfied to borrow this from my library and view it just once (with some yawning too, to be honest). The package includes also a thick book of photos but nothing very interesting in them.

Report this review (#173069)
Posted Thursday, June 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars It is hard to know whether I should assign this documentary 4.0 or 5.0 stars.

If you like Sigur Ros and are interested in them as a band, take this as a 5-star review. The cinematography is really good. It is very good in letting you know where the band is in Iceland, in showing the people, customs, and sometime a little history about the place.

I have personally seen Sigur Ros in concert, and it was a great experience. In this video they are not only able to convey this power at times, but also their softer side in much more intimate settings.

It is true that at times it is more about Iceland than Sigur Ros. So, for those who only want to see them play, take this as a 4-star review. But since music is art, and art conveys.... an idea? a feeling?.... something, Sigur Ros conveys what they want through their music and images of their homeland. Therefore as an artistic proposition from a progressive band, it deserves 5.0 stars.

Personally, what I like seeing in videos is the artists performing, to be able to see their fingers or arms or legs hit the frets, toms, whatever. And the takes in this video are really good, sustained long enough, and not disregarding the help they get from the string quartet or brass instrument players.

Really worth watching and owning.

Report this review (#175738)
Posted Sunday, June 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars A girlfriend of mine, who I met at my study, decided that I had to join her to Sigur Ros - Heima. In the Netherlands the movie was only shown at Nijmegen University (where I study) and in de melkweg in Amsterdam. I had never heard about this band and didn't had very high expectations. Maybe I did not even have them, cause I had no idea about what was to come that evening.

As soon as the film started I was amazed by the beauty of what I saw. Everything shown in this film is so pretty! The nature is shown in a great and slow way so you can enjoy the view. Every-one I know who has seen this film wants to go Iceland! Sigur Ros came from this forgotten place and diceded to make a tribute to this country by giving free unanounced concerts in the most stange places. A disbanded fishfactory, in the middle of nowhere on the grass, in little towns and the big finally: Reykjavik. From every gig one song was recorded for the film. This alows the filmmakers to show a lot of different places, making the concerts very interesting and the sound is never the same. However, the sound on the whole dvd is very good.

The music Sigur Ros plays is hard to discribe. Its a natural fenomonan. Like they were possesed by the spirit of the eart itself. Its slow, melodic, moody, symfonic, lovely sometimes, intence and above all well played. The music is written by the whole band in one space writing the song together, so the sound comes as one big flow. No solo's, just one band working on one thing; the song and it's vibe. I have never heard of band that sounds like Sigur Ros. Only the spirit of German Krautrock legend (the) Can has a sound on Future Days that gives me the same feeling. Freedom! Pure expression on the feeling, not using the brain (to much).

And so this dvd gives us an outsiders view (you see them playing their songs) and an inside view with interviews with the member. These guys are no spoiled rockstars, they are actually kind of shy... you feel very much sympathy for these people. It's strange to see such people play shows that are just to amazing to discribe. A lot of the songs on this dvd are quite peacefull, but at some moments this band strikes as an heavy symfonic progressive rockband. Especially on the long song on the end the intence emotions lead us to the end of the movie. A great end!

Dvd 2 contains the song in their whole appearance, for the pure music fans. I think this is a well taken discision. It also contains some short movies of Iceland wich I don't thing are very important, but it's ok.

In summary: Great dynamic songs, strange and beatifull vibe. Great landscapes that even the roughest people you know will enjoy. A sound no-one can hate, because its just so elegant. One might only find this a bit boring if you can't enjoy the overall meaning of the songs.

This is simply one of the best musicmovies ever made, so yes, here it comes: five stars!!

Report this review (#175893)
Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The reason I purchased the DVD was due to excellent reviews on this site and I trust them. So I tried to enjoy the film the way it flew at my screen and sound system. First thing that really impressed me was the scenery in all shots of the film. There are clean town, great mountains and nice surroundings. This has already occupied my mind with a lot of what ifs as I really want to be there in that great places. Secondly, I really like the approach that the band made in presenting the whole concept or ideas of this film through many rehearsals, gigs at small audience as well as larger one. But the most interesting parts were when they played at open air with free tickets and every member of the audience family can take part in the concert at the mountain scenery. This is really great.

The music of Sigur Ros represents what people categorize it as pot modern or post rock style. In my opinion it's basically a psychedelic based with much more ambient nuances using a stream of acoustic instruments especially acoustic guitar. The center of attention is the lead vocalist and guitar player who seems to act as the leader of the band.

Unfortunately, the kind of music Sigur Ros plays is not something that really hooks my mind. It's okay in terms of flow and harmonies, but I got problem with being too slow, I cannot compromise with may patience in moving the music faster in tempo. Overall, it's a good video, especially the scenery and the band's approach in their music to the audience. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild (i-Rock! Music Community)

Report this review (#182079)
Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you do your homework, familiarise yourself with enough of their songs beforehand, then something special awaits...

I'd bought 'Inni', a kind of live greatest hits album, to try and break the code of their music. Doing so paid dividends.

Only a few songs carry from one to the other, but you understand what to expect throughout.

Documentary? No, I don't think so. It's the heart-warming story of a band getting close to their roots, their culture and their country.

The lack of pretension is apparent throughout. It is never about them.

But it IS about people. Families, the young and old alike. All belong, and all are welcome.

Their sound is comfortable amongst the starkness of the environment.

Towards the end, they tease you into thinking that their musical palette is pleasant, almost gentle, but fear not, the rawness of their power gets to be unleashed in an astonishing finale.

Life-affirming, rustic and very special. You may need to have to acclimatise yourself with them beforehand, but it's well worth the effort.

Report this review (#965441)
Posted Monday, May 27, 2013 | Review Permalink

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