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Sigur Rós - Kveikur CD (album) cover

KVEIKUR

Sigur Rós

Post Rock/Math rock


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The Truth
COLLABORATOR
Post and Math Rock Team
4 stars Sigur Ros is a band that needs no introduction, they are at the forefront of the post-rock music scene and have made sounds within that genre that no other band has managed to imitate. Kveikur is the second album following their small hiatus two years ago and the follow-up to one of my favorite albums of 2012 Valtari.

Speaking of Valtari, a wispy ambient-tinged post-rock masterwork, Kveikur is that album's about face. When I first heard the opening track Brennisteinn on youtube, I was quite stunned. There was a noisy, rusty, powerful booming track of post-rock with vocals from Jonsi that are almost at times demonic. The raw energy just emanated from it so beautifully. If every track sounded like Brennisteinn, Sigur Ros would have a masterpiece that sounds like nothing they have ever done before.

But that is not the case, it definitely sounds like nothing they've ever done before, the heavier more doom-invoking sound emanates through the rest of the album but none of the other tracks stun me quite as much as the opener. I still like them, however, the title track in particular is a lovely song. Every song is perhaps a bit more toned done, but that's not to say they are generic Sigur Ros, they are experiments in their own right and most if not all of them go the right direction.

Excellent and significantly different follow-up to Valtari, just not quite as fantastic.

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Send comments to The Truth (BETA) | Report this review (#990203)
Posted Sunday, June 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars The unorthodox-ness of Sigur Ros is (for me at least) part of their attraction. That they may challenge sound generally, for their cause, is what interests me. But making sounds for the sake of it probably won't pay the bills... So it's finding the right mix...

Initially, I felt that the balance was in favour of 'popular' songs, but the more that you listen to it the more that it all melds together.

Ultimately, it's an enjoyable and friendly album - catchy too.

3 and-a-half would be the fair mark, though I don't think that it's quite striking enough to manage a 4. Still, I like it.

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Send comments to sussexbowler (BETA) | Report this review (#992089)
Posted Friday, July 05, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars I love Sigur Ros, but I don't know about the last album, I feel Sveinsson's departure was really noticeable. It is clear that Jonsi is the leader, but all the members really share a great deal and Sveinsson always played the piano parts in a way that made the music beautiful, dreaming, imaginative. Kveikur is a good album but I think they wanted to change drastically from Valtari, which is the extreme opposite, and create something heavier. It is OK, there are no problems with that attempt; however, some down moments were missing in the album, and all the album keeps its high tone and the loud noises are repetitive in different parts. I didn't enjoy this album (nor the last one) as well as the previous albums (Agaetis Byrjun / ( ) / Takk / Med Sun I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalast) which are truly jewels! I know I need to listen to this album more times to get the good things, but the other albums got me since the very first moment I listened to them.

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Send comments to Memo_anathemo (BETA) | Report this review (#1016856)
Posted Monday, August 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Post rock kings Sigur Ros' 2013 album, Kveikur, is a pleasant surprise. I like this album much more than its predecessor, Valtari.

Unlike that previous release, Kveikur has a bite to it. A darker edge permeates much of this album. You can probably see a bit of this starting with the cover art and you can hear it in many of the tracks on the album. I think the songwriting is a bit stronger too, because I found much of Kveikur to be both immediate and more immediately memorable.

Overall, this is a strong release and fans of the band will definitely want to check it out, but I would also recommend it to those who may have found their previous release a little on the staid side. Kveikur will likely be able keep your attention a little more easily.

Highlights: "Brennisteinn", "Ísjaki", "Stormur", "Kveikur", "Bláþráður"

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Send comments to FunkyM (BETA) | Report this review (#1046402)
Posted Friday, September 27, 2013 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The latest Sigur Rós CD hasn't earned much attention yet on these pages: evidence, maybe, that their soporific ought-twelve album "Valtari" lulled even diehard fans into a blissfully narcotized coma. The band has since been reduced to a trio, and to compensate for the loss of their keyboard player the rhythm section was pushed forward in the mix, overwhelming even the awesome drone of Jónsi Birgisson's bowed electric guitar.

The end result is a surprising return to a younger, heavier Sigur Rós, while still marking a bold step forward in style and attitude. The new album takes the ethereal soundscapes that have always defined the Sigur Rós sound and forges them into a louder and more powerful noise, reminiscent at times of the Texas quartet EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY enjoying a Scandinavian vacation. Gone are the extended Post Rock crescendos, replaced by something approaching the icy extremities of Post Pop: a dense, agitated, surging wall of music with a welcome ray of bright arctic sunlight at its heart.

In a different setting the album might have sounded (almost) conventional. Songs like "Ísjaki" and "Stormur" are as accessible as this enigmatic band has ever been, but the majestic tempos and trendy over-amped distortion happily mask the relative simplicity of the writing, without hiding it completely. And the weirder effects sound like BJÖRK somehow crept into the recording studio while no one was looking and tampered with the master tapes.

Analog listeners will have to forgive the noisy digital production, atypically 'hot' for such an otherwise wintry ensemble, and sounding in places like the bitter end of a fried sub-woofer (or inner ear pan). Notice how effective the quieter moments are, minus all the grinding percussion and distorted guitars. And the pair of Japanese-market bonus tracks add a contrary touch of formless, near-industrial ambience, showing how beautiful an inorganic machine can be when the cogs are properly oiled.

Otherwise the album makes a brave attempt to re-establish Sigur Rós as the primal entity they once were, instead of the spent creative force the band seemed in danger of becoming.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#1104826)
Posted Wednesday, January 01, 2014 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Sigur Ros had made their name as one of the most tranquil and serene of the post-rock groups, but whilst albums like ( ) and Takk were widely embraced, since then many had felt their sound had stagnated and become formulaic. Kveikur represents a radical shift, working in a discordant undercurrent of industrial noise which works a sense of lingering unease into the group's sound. Whilst taking your sound in a darker direction isn't an automatic ticket to success, in this case the radical shift in Sigur Ros' sound refreshes it immensely and makes them more relevant that at any time since the release of Takk.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1174988)
Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2014 | Review Permalink

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