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Sigur Rs

Post Rock/Math rock

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Sigur Rs Von album cover
2.56 | 112 ratings | 10 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sigur Rs (Victory Rose) (9:47)
2. Dgun (Dawn)(5:50)
3. Hn Jr... (Mother Earth...) (7:18)
4. Leit A Lfi (Search for Life) (2:34)
5. Myrkur (Darkness) (6:14)
6. 18 Sekndur Fyrir Slarupprs (18 Seconds before Sunrise) (0:18)
7. Hafssl (The Sea's Sun) (12:25)
8. Verld N Og (A World, New and Crazed) (3:29)
9. Von (Hope) (5:12)
10. Mistur (Mist) (2:16)
11. Syndir Gus (Opinberun Frelsarans) (Sins of God (Revelation of the Savior)) (7:45)
12. Rukrym (Ssenkrad (Darkness backwards)) (9:01)

Total Time: 72:19

Line-up / Musicians

- Jn r Birgisson / vocals, guitars
- Georg Hlm / bass
- gst var Gunnarsson / drums

Releases information

2xLP XL Recordings ‎- XLLP609 (2015, Europe)

CD Smekkleysa ‎- SM 67 CD (1997, Iceland)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SIGUR RS Von ratings distribution

(112 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (34%)
Poor. Only for completionists (13%)

SIGUR RS Von reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by FloydWright
2 stars While I did find a little more to listen to on Von than Bryan Adair, I concur with his overall conclusion that this is an album only for the real SIGUR ROS fan who is interested in seeing just how much the band has changed. To me, it's absolutely incredible that they were able to follow this with the absolutely spotless, sweeping, symphonic Agaetis Byrjun...because this poorly-produced, slapped-together seeming album could well have sunk the band, and is really more of a 1.5 than the 2 I gave it.

Had I been listening to Von with no knowledge of what was to be honest, I would have either expected the band to fall into obscurity except for its native Iceland--and if it did have a breakthrough, for it to be in the poppier vein of "Hn Jr" or "Myrkur", the latter of which has serious shades of RADIOHEAD. "Myrkur", almost alone among SIGUR ROS' songs, actually has lyrics that you can sing to if you pay attention and follow the lyrics booklet (yes, this one actually came with lyrics!)--even if you don't know Icelandic. "Von" itself also avoids excess and becomes a likeable song, with some pretty vocals from JONSI BIRGISON.

Overall, this is more of an ambient collection than a serious musical album. Tracks like the opening "Sigur Rs" and "Haffsl" have a great atmosphere at times, but then they run on too long for their own good and often fall apart at the end, ruining the ambience they have created. Other, somewhat shorter tracks like "Verld N Og " (which I personally liked) are also in the ambient vein. This percussion piece would probably satisfy people who enjoyed "Convergence" on RADIOHEAD composer JONNY GREENWOOD's solo album Bodysong, although I think the latter piece is more satisfying. Other tracks are a complete, pretentious disaster, most especially "Rukrym", which is something like six minutes of dead silence and then "Myrkur" run backwards...and most especially "18 Sekndur Fyrir Slarupprs"--which if I am reading that properly, seems to mean "18 Seconds for Sunrise"...and I believe it's 18 seconds of silence! I can't even remember properly because there was so little to cling to.

While I can't give this a 1, this album will probably try the patience of even a dedicated SIGUR ROS fan, and only the serious fans should get this one--as a historical piece.

Review by Prog-jester
2 stars This is it - when obscurity plays for album, not against it.

''Von'' was surrounded with a flair of mystery, as the Icelandic-only debut album by the all-mighty Post-Rock gods SIGUR ROS. Re- issued in 2004, it has become on of the major disappontments for many that year. In fact, there was nothing special about ''Von'' - it was nice album, a little bit too rough and raw, a little bit too muddy recorded and weak in songwriting side. It has some nice moments, notably the title track - almost 10 minutes of frightening ambience for an album's opener, quite challenging! Besides it's SR's darkest track still, I like it very much but find it useless as a song ;) Other tracks fall into Shoegaze/Psych Rock category, with wall-of-sound approach, a little bit of early Pink Floyd here, a little bit of Ride there and even a bit of Kraut-Rock everywhere. Definitely non-essential, serving for fans to let them know how SR has began; but if you're deeply into loose Psychedelic stuff, this one is worthy of checking

Review by Moatilliatta
1 stars While Sigur Ros did become one of the leaders in musical innovation, and a masterpiece machine to boot, they didn't quite get it right the first time around. In fact, it was very far from right. Far left, I suppose. Or is it wrong? I get confused with contexts far too much! Anyhow, the band's debut, Von, is more of a tolerance test than an album. Much of this album is amibence, some of it draws from shoegazer music, and the rest is somewhat psychadelic. The lush sound backdrop was attempted here (the abysmal production more or less defeats the purpose), and Jonsi's voice is what it is, but other than that this bears practically no resemblance to the Sigur Ros we know and love today. And that time I mean it in a bad way. The only track worth keeping is the title track.

Apparently the band originally paid for this album by washing windows at the studio they recorded it at. Neat story, but don't let it fool you into thinking you should own it! My advice is to steer clear of this one, start with their first proper/good full-length gtis Byrjun. Everything from that one on is brilliant (and well-produced)! History has its place, and often times that place is history. Such is the case with Von. It's hard to give out one-star reviews, because often times there is some good in an album, or it will please some people. But here, in addition to the fact that I would score every album after this with at least four stars (probably even going straight fives), I'm going to give this one the dreaded single-star score. Don't look into this album unless you are already familiar with the band's other material!

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Von" is the debut full-length studio album by Islandic post-rock act Sigur Rs. The album was released through Icelandic label Smekkleysa Records in June 1997. The recording sessions were spread over a 2 year period, and the end result was not what the band expected when they began. "Von" made only very little impact upon release and only sold a few hundred copies in the bands native country and it wasnt until the international success of their sophomore album ("gtis byrjun"(1999)), that "Von" was noticed and began selling more copies.

Stylistically "Von" is atmospheric/ambient post-rock. Its often layered and noisy droning sounds and almost avant garde in nature (which is established right away on the 9:46 minutes long eponymously titled opening track), but touches of melody can be heard throughout the album. Other then that and a few more "regular" structured rock oriented parts (tracks like "Hn Jr ...", "Myrkur" and "Syndir Gus (Opinberun frelsarans)" feature parts which are examples of that), "Von" is a completely uncompromising release. Its also a very long release featuring no less than 12 tracks and a total playing time of 71:58 minutes. That feels like a very long running time, when the music is as ambient, experimental, and repetitive as it is here.

"Von" is well produced and the musicianship is obviously on a high level, but with material as uncompromising, droning, and ambient as this "Von" is arguably an aquired taste. I personally find at least half of the album tedious and outstaying its welcome, but thankfully Sigur Rs do manage to cram in something that doesnt sound like whales song put through the grinder on repeat, and that does make those parts of "Von" a relatively listenable release. Still when at least half of the album feels like a long almost painful drag a 2 star (40%) rating it is.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars The ethereal post-rockers from Iceland hit it big with their huge international hits "gtis byrjun" and "( )" but the band really began way back in 1994 in Reykjavik slowly developing their post-rock visions and finally releasing their debut album VON ("Hope" in Icelandic") in 1997. This is one of those overproduced albums that the band states turned out nothing like planned but when all was said and done decided to stick with the finished produced due to all the money and time expended. While the album was only moderately successful in their native Iceland at the time of release, after international fame came from the more ethereal and successful albums that followed, VON was re-released and has since become an well established and well known release in the band's discog.

It's quite the surprise that this is a sort of a proto-SIGUR ROS album that has all the elements of future releases in play but doesn't quite make them gel together in the brilliant cohesive manner of later albums. The ethereal parts are here of course as are the post-rock elements but they don't quite wanna go on a date together yet and what we are treated to here are snippets of ideas albeit lengthy meandering snippets that exhibit sonic interests but haven't been put on the work table as to how to properly gestate their nascency into a fully functioning organism, therefore leaving a disjointed feel for the whole shebang, And no one hearing this album at the time would ever been able to predict that this album would lead to a band that would create some seriously bizarre and original music.

Track one which is ironically titled "SIGUR ROS" which is a frightening ambient track with high pitched vocal screeches, synthesized horrific sounds and depressive developments that ultimately cedes into the second track "Dgun" which sounds like the Cocteau Twins on valium or something. A rather de-popped space pop version of something on "Victorialand" where the female vocals echo and bellow amidst the shimmering sonicities of ambient keys creating the sonic counterpart to a desert mirage. It turns into a full-fledged ambient desert caravan surreal effect that creates a most surreal and outlandish collage effect of a single melodic note being accompanied by sound effects. Tracks like ""Hn Jr ?" are very Dead Can Dance-ish but with heavy alternative rock accompanying it.

As stated, this album is really packed full of different cool ideas but doesn't quite simmer them down into a digestible tonic and a little bitterness must be experienced to get much out of this album, but if you have a taste for such things, then this is a crude and raw first step into the SIGUR ROS universe as it shows just how the group threw all the ingredients into the cauldron and boiled them down into a musical blessing. Personally i love this album on rare occasions as it requires the precise mood to enjoy but when that mood hits me, VON is a distinct and bona fide mood enhancer indeed. This is probably one of the hardest SIGUR ROS albums in that it has frenzied guitar passages despite accompanying mid-tempo percussion.

As with many debut albums, i have a soft spot for the totally experimental that the brave and the bold display. SIGUR ROS is one of those bands. The passion is on full flame here even if the full compositional prowess had not yet developed. I love this album simply for its utter unpredictability where ambience and hard post-rock alternate, marry and then divorce in sudden whims of passion. While not nearly as ethereal as future releases, VON is definitely a post-rocker's eclectic dream come true with jangle pop, ambient, drone, shoe gaze and avant grade all having a sublime orgy of sonic possibilities and for that it is truly innovative in its approach despite not being mature enough to create something that would pass as totally grown-up.

3.5 rounded UP because this is a really cool album that doesn't get enough love

Latest members reviews

4 stars I am rather shocked at the general low ratings this album gets, as I think (outside of Aegetis Byrjun) this is their best. I certainly prefer it to the boring Takk. It's extremely strange to say the least. Pretentious? I don't think so - not when it only sold 300 copies on its first release (s ... (read more)

Report this review (#196716) | Posted by PinkPangolin | Thursday, January 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Hard to describe, so Im not going into an individual song description. Most of it sounds just like surrealistic troppy noise making. A couple of tracks are quite good (such as Myrkur or Hafssl), but mostly its just directionless and uninspired. Overall rating: 1 star POOR: ONLY FOR COMP ... (read more)

Report this review (#132684) | Posted by Peto | Saturday, August 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars It would take a prophet to predict Sigur Ros' illustrious future from Von. Sigur Ros deal much more with an electronic sound than anywhere else in their career. The tremendous atmospheres and full, lush, layers of sound that they built their latter career on make only brief appearances here. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#132545) | Posted by Equality 7-2521 | Friday, August 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When people first started raving about Sigur Ros, back before they were *everywhere* (we've even just noticed their music used as the soundtrack to an autopsy scene on the TV show CSI!) and we had yet to hear them, we were so excited. This sounded like the band for us. Ethereal but rocking, with ... (read more)

Report this review (#44798) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I was a little suprised in hearing this album the first time through, not knowing what to expect. I had heard SIGUR RS's later albums beforehand. The least to say I was pleasantly suprised. It does not hold up as well as their later stuff as far as musical direction goes. It really takes a whil ... (read more)

Report this review (#34510) | Posted by Azrael2112 | Friday, March 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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