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SIGUR RÓS

Post Rock/Math rock • Iceland


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Sigur Rós biography
Founded in Reykjavík, Iceland in 1994

SIGUR RÓS was formed by three Icelandic young men: Jónsi Birgisson (guitar, vocals), Georg Holm (bass) and Ágúst (drums). Later joined by Kjartan Sveinsson on keyboards they began their recording career in 1997 with the album "Von" which was not released outside of Iceland until the late 2004. "Von" was followed by a remix album "Von Brigđi" in 1998 and their first masterpiece "Ágćtis Byrjun" in 1999. After the recording of "Ágćtis Byrjun", which was received with praising reviews all around the world, the drummer Ágúst left the band and was replaced by Orri Páll Dýrason. The fourth album, untitled and often referred to as "( )", was released in 2002 and was received with love and acclaim both by critics and fans. The production of the much anticipated fifth album is under way and waiting to be released some time in 2005.

With "Ágćtis Byrjun" and "( )" SIGUR RÓS have really perfected their unique sound full of space and atmosphere. Jónsi Birgisson's falsetto and the use of a cello bow to to play his guitar are the most distinct factors in creating that sound incomparable to anything any band has ever come up with. The groups closest to SIGUR RÓS in terms of feeling and atmosphere are probably GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR and MAGYAR POSSE. "Ágćtis Byrjun" is a collection of very orchestated songs with Birgisson's voice and cello-bow-played guitar flying high and far across the horizon creating a place of beauty and tranquillity. "( )" is divided into two halves, the light and the dark, the summer and the winter, or however you like to describe it. The songs are much rawer and more straight forwardly arranged than on "Ágćtis Byrjun" creating a more solid but a little narrower, yet equally as exciting experience.

The biography on the official site says it well: "It's impossible to justify it with words, you have to listen to it to understand." Go to the official site linked to on the left and download the full songs offered there. You will love it.

: : : Pekka Turunen, FINLAND : : :

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SIGUR RÓS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SIGUR RÓS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.45 | 93 ratings
Von
1997
2.58 | 30 ratings
Von Brigđi
1998
4.14 | 515 ratings
Ágćtis Byrjun
1999
2.00 | 2 ratings
Sigur Rós & Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson: Angels Of The Universe (OST)
2001
3.95 | 338 ratings
( )
2002
2.94 | 24 ratings
Hlemmur (OST)
2003
3.85 | 304 ratings
Takk...
2005
3.28 | 146 ratings
Međ Suđ Í Eyrum Viđ Spilum Endalaust
2008
3.14 | 115 ratings
Valtari
2012
3.64 | 96 ratings
Kveikur
2013

SIGUR RÓS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.16 | 49 ratings
Inni
2011

SIGUR RÓS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.23 | 74 ratings
Heima
2007
3.10 | 10 ratings
Valtari Film Experiment
2013

SIGUR RÓS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.53 | 49 ratings
Hvarf / Heim
2007

SIGUR RÓS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.06 | 14 ratings
Svefn-G-Englar (EP)
1999
3.58 | 12 ratings
Ný Batterí
2000
2.80 | 5 ratings
Rímur EP
2001
3.69 | 10 ratings
Untitled #1 (a.k.a. Vaka)
2003
3.33 | 30 ratings
Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do (EP)
2004
2.42 | 12 ratings
Hoppípolla
2005
3.81 | 15 ratings
Sćglópur
2006
3.50 | 9 ratings
Hljómalind
2007
2.84 | 6 ratings
We Play Endlessly
2009
2.00 | 11 ratings
Brennisteinn
2013
3.17 | 6 ratings
Ísjaki
2013

SIGUR RÓS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ágćtis Byrjun by SIGUR RÓS album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.14 | 515 ratings

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Ágćtis Byrjun
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This would be the album that would bring Sigur Ros out of obscurity not only in their own country of Iceland, but in the entire world. Hard to believe that a band that sings only in their native tongue and also in another made-up language would be so popular in America also, but this band proved that it can happen. This was only the band's 2nd full album, but it is so innovative and beautiful, so well produced, that you would swear these were well seasoned musicians. These feats in and of themselves tell a lot about the artists involved, but it is only a huge plus that this album is one of the most beautiful experiences in modern music today.

People like to compare them to Pink Floyd, but there is no comparison to any band. The techniques they use are unique, like using a cello bow on guitar strings and then adding reverb to create atmosphere. And this album is completely full of atmosphere and emotion. When I listen to it, I marvel how some of this music is even earthly possible. It approaches celestial status at times, lifting you above everything. It is also very immersive music in that to fully appreciate it, you have to immerse yourself and really listen. There is so much going on even at regular levels, but also in many underlying passages. But you don't have to always be immersed to hear it's beauty. For example, the 3rd track "Staralfer", when I first listened to this album, I was not really immersed into it, but the beauty of the orchestration and musicianship pulled me in instantly. Just as another reviewer has mentioned, this album can bring you to tears, and this is one track that does it. It's hard to believe that the topic of the track is a child's fairy tale about a staring elf, but that is why I think it is important that the lyrics can't be understood, because it leaves that track and every song by the band open to complete interpretation. You can paint your own pictures in your mind.

But, the amazingness of the music isn't just limited to that track. It starts off with an "intro" which is simply the title track (Number 8) played backwards. But it prepares you for "Svefn-g-englar" which is also a lovely song, where the lyrics are repeated often, but the lyrics and the vocals are just instruments in the entire band. The birthing process through the perspective of a new born is the topic of the song. The use of the bow on guitar strings is used well in this song to increase volume and emotion of the track. Then the beautiful and heavily orchestrated "Staralfer" comes next and words can't express the emotion in this track. I love how the orchestra builds while Jonsi sings and then just drops off to what sounds like an electric guitar that is not plugged in to an amp being strummed while he continues to sing. An interesting side note here is that the strings in this track are palandromic, or the same forward and backward. I also find the track " Hjartađ Hamast (bamm Bamm Bamm)" extremely interesting and amazing, with totally unique sounds and textures, and at times copying the sound of a hammering heart, as is hinted in the title. Throughout the album, there is such an effective use of dynamics, and that is very relevant in this track.

"Viđrar Vel Til Loftárasa" is probably the closest song to a Pink Floyd type sound. It has a very long introduction which features a solo piano and an orchestra crescendo-ing and then a sliding guitar sound very reminiscent of Pink Floyd joins in very tastefully. Then vocals finally start, remaining somewhat subdued and far away this time, but the instruments still swell and ebb around the vocals. The effect is amazing. Then suddenly, there is that huge sound of the treated guitar and bow again, and it is joined by strings which eventually drown everything else out as it builds and tempo and pitch are sped up. Then it drops off suddenly and flows into the familiar drum beat and bass line of "Olsen Olsen". This is another beaut of a song. The far off voice starts sounding like Jonsi is singing from a distance, like from a distant canyon. And that flute melody that comes in from time to time is perfect. It gives the track a definite Celtic feel. When that melody comes back, it is played by the piano with strings chugging underneath, and then joined by the band and the orchestra and chorus. Love the jubilant feel of this one. As brass joins in, things get slightly disjointed and dissonant as it fades out. Before the track is over, you hear the flute far away in the distance. The title track is more acoustic sounding and is probably more of a traditional love ballad sound, but lovely nonetheless. There is still enough ingenuity in this track to keep it interesting. The song is fragile sounding, like it is likely to go wandering off into non-traditional territory at any time, but something continues to keep it restrained to it's boundaries. Everything is finished off with "Avalon", which is simply the strings section and the strumming section from "Staralfer" slowed down to about 1/4 of the original speed, and sounding rather muffled. It serves as an ambient ending to the album.

When you listen to this album, you can see why it was so well received everywhere in the world and also lauded by critics. It is an amazing album, which strongly proves that Progressive Rock is alive and well. This is a definite masterpiece, though it is not universally accepted by all prog-heads, there is no denying that if you let yourself into this music, that it is simply amazing. Some have a hard time liking it, but to some, the love for this music just comes naturally and others need time to listen to it seriously. This is a definite 5 star masterpiece, and in my own rating system, it even gets that very rare 6 star rating. Perfect.

 Hvarf / Heim by SIGUR RÓS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
3.53 | 49 ratings

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Hvarf / Heim
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Between the two albums 'Takk...'' and 'Međ suđ í eyrum viđ spilum endalaust,' the Icelandic post-rock band SIGUR RÓS released this double disc album titled HVARF / HEIM which some sources seem to list as a compilation and others as a bona fide album release. Disc one - HVARF contains three unreleased tracks, the track 'Von' from the debut album as well as the track 'Hafsól' which was originally only available as the B-side of 'Hoppípolla" from 'Takk...'' Disc two - HEIM is a set of six live acoustic versions of tracks that were presented on the documentary 'Heima' which presented SIGUR RÓS's tour around Iceland in the summer of 2006. Of these six live performances, 'Von' is included as well making it appear twice on this release. Although they are live performances, it is impossible to tell that they are so since there is no audience noise participation and sound as polished as any studio release. The tracks are taken from the albums '( ),' 'Á'gćtis byrjun,' 'Takk..'' and 'Von.'

Like their bona fide studio albums, HVARF / HEIM was very successful all across Europe and with the independent crowds in the US. This Icelandic act delivers the expected journey into the frosty cold post-rock journeys that they have always been known for but the albums comes across as a more chilled and laid back affair sounding most like the ''g'tis byrjun' album with sensual airy keyboard runs accentuated by Jón ''Ţór " Jónsi" Birgisson's ethereal falsettos (in Icelandic) accompanied by bass and drums. In other words, the band performs just as expected without any deviations from the norm. The chord patterns and floating cloud atmospheres lollygag leisurely through the friendly skies while mid-tempo beats prance about like lucid pegasus ponies on a lazy afternoon and none of the unreleased would sound the least bit out of place on any of the albums prior. And unfortunately they fail to craft distinct identities from the other.

Soundtracks have to work double duty to win me over. They were created exclusively for accompanying the visuals and commentary that fits into a bigger scheme of things as background music for a film or documentary but often soundtrack music doesn't have the gusto to pull off unaccompanied listening alone and such is the case with HVARF / HEIM for me. The fragility of SIGUR RÓS' sound is like that of an eggshell and one tiny crack and the whole system fails. While carefully crafted albums work beautifully even the less loved debut 'Von,' random track offerings such as HVARF / HEIM just seem a little lackluster as the tracks just aimlessly float by without the context of the visuals that they were designed to augment. Overall there isn't enough to win me over on this compilation and / or album. It's not that this isn't pleasant music in the least and any hardcore fans will surely want to own this one, however it's just not one that draws me in for repeated listens and lacks the distinct charm that albums like 'Takk...' so successfully employed. The unreleased tracks are the more interesting ones.

 Takk... by SIGUR RÓS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.85 | 304 ratings

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Takk...
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Continuing their dream pop laced post-rock with classically ethereal and spaced out melancholic rock like no other, SIGUR RÓS released their fourth album TAKK? six years after their breakthrough album "Ágćtis byrjun" caught the world's attention with their bizarre mix of ambient art rock set out in a classically tinged post-rock world that was as alien as their native Icelandic topography. Well, fourth album if you're not counting the 2003 documentary soundtrack "Hlemmur" which was limited to the world of electronica with sounds solely created to accompany the visuals. TAKK? (means 'thanks' in Icelandic and other Scandinavian languages) continued the success following "( )" and hit the number one spot on Iceland's album charts and was another international success story as well. As with previous albums the lyrics appear in the invented language Hopelandic a great deal but TAKK? has many tracks in Icelandic as well, however they come across as angelic gibberish all the same sounding like a more classically infused version of the Cocteau Twins at times.

While stylistically TAKK? doesn't deviate significantly from the established overall sound that SIGUR RÓS had latched onto on "Ágćtis byrjun" and carried on with "( )," the music has actually become significantly more complex with more extensive uses of time signature changes and complex polyrhythms. And also while previous albums were limited to the four main musicians with four guest musicians appearing on "( )," the band clearly had a larger budget to play with on TAKK? which finds an astonishing sixteen guests providing cellos, violins, violas, trumpets, trombones and additional vocals (even a choir) and percussion. The results of which allow a substantially more lush and full effect sound that allows the many musicians to sound like a complex symphony rather than a more mortal post-rock band from Reykjavík.

TAKK? is yet another tranquil journey into an ethereal sonic journey that incorporates lush ambient passages, placid childlike vocals portraying a possible worldview of innocence and peacefulness along with a sophisticated string and brass section that master the art of note slides and subtle leapfrogging effects. While the music slinks by on simmer for the majority of the album's hour plus run, there are outbursts of climactic rock crescendos that unleash the normally tamped down electric guitars however they don't last long so do not expect the emphasis on TAKK? to be in the rock department. In fact this is much more of an art pop creation that just happens to have rock elements casually strewn about.

In all regards, TAKK? perfectly evolves the band to the next level without sacrificing any of the elements that cast them in a global gaze of admiration however to their credit they took the sound and expanded it in the most logical manner? that being an expansion of the musicians to broaden the sound, a more sophisticated approach in constructing the compositions and utilizing even more catchy pop sensibilities on tinkly piano melodies and polyrhythms. To the untrained ear TAKK? may sound simply like more of the same but for those who have engaged in even a casual classical music appreciation course will be able to pinpoint the differences. TAKK? may not win over any converts who don't have the ear for this most bizarre of sounds but it is certainly a worthy follow-up to a string of exciting albums.

 Von by SIGUR RÓS album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.45 | 93 ratings

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Von
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

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 "Ágćtis 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 "Dögun" 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 ""Hún Jörđ ?" 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

 Ágćtis Byrjun by SIGUR RÓS album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.14 | 515 ratings

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Ágćtis Byrjun
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Agaetis Byrjun' - Sigur Ros (81/100)

I think I've come a long way in my appreciation for Sigur Rós. Sometime during high school, I came across a copy of Takk... available for loan in a public library. For all of the great things I'd heard about the Icelandic darlings, I was pretty quickly repulsed by the all-too precious tone and childlike vibe that seemed to have worked its way into every lilting moment of music on that album. I barely made it through a single listen before setting them down for good, passing Sigur Rós off as some sort of moody Alvin and the Chipmunks-type deal. Years (and some eye-opening experience with ( )) later, I've dived into Ágćtis byrjun with a more enlightened set of ears. It's probably still too precious, too cutesy, and too childlike for my usual tastes, but the reasons why the album has earned such an honoured place with so many fans have not gone over my head. Ágćtis byrjun skirt the uncommon boundary between rock and ambient music; the sweeping textures are vast and effective, and the songwriting underneath is most often inspired. I might still prefer the brooding atmosphere of ( ) over this, but the fact remains: Ágćtis byrjun serves everything a listener could possibly want out of a Sigur Rós record.

Even relative to other post-rock, Ágćtis byrjun feels incredibly ambient in the way Sigur Rós have arranged and realized it. Most post-rock bands (I'm thinking go-to staples like Godspeed and Explosions in the Sky) revel in this sort of soaring atmosphere, but there's almost always a sense of rock repertoire in the music. With Ágćtis byrjun, I would hesitate to say there's even much in the way of guitar riffs. Most of the distinctive sound is brought in waves of texture, delivered by a guitar played with a bow- the sort of unconventional approach Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page would take out during extended live solos as an intriguing novelty. With Ágćtis byrjun especially, Sigur Rós have taken the potential of a bowed guitar to its natural conclusion. Beyond a doubt, it's the most innovative aspect Sigur Rós have in their arsenal. The bowed guitar flourishes are larger-than-life, but lack any sort of threatening edge or the grit of traditional riffs. In many cases, I'd cite non-threatening instrumentation as a bad thing. For Sigur Rós, they wear it as an asset. And it works.

As is often the case for the brighter side of ambient music, the atmosphere here is one of soaring. Cheery, hopeful, redemptive feelings are awash in the midst of the indistinct guitar textures, the light string sections and pleasantly dreamy atmospherics. It's interesting (though, for many, redundant) to note that singer Jonsi vocalizes in an invented language called Vonlenska (Hopelandic, for us anglophones). Relative to the surge of positive emotions on Ágćtis byrjun, it's quite a thing that the so-called lyrics are about nothing at all. I may be digressing a bit, but it says something about the nature of music when such vivid mental images are conjured when listening to songs with no set or determined meanings. Moreover, at least from my own experience as a listener, it's quite rare to hear a band take such ambitious lengths to portraying the positive side of emotion. Very often, it's the darker feelings that evoke strong artistry. Is it because happiness is seen as unworthy or shallow in the eye of the artist? I'm not sure, but to date, there haven't been many albums I've heard that, at their best moments, convey the sort of positive warmth that Sigur Rós have evoked on Ágćtis byrjun.

It feels important, however, to stress that these grand feelings are drawn from moments, rather than Ágćtis byrjun as a whole. There isn't filler here per se, but the album's distinctly ambient leaning can make the 70-odd minute length strain a listener's attention. For whatever reason, the album's latter act never really grips me, at least in the same way the first few tracks did. Is it because there is a true dip in quality? I don't think so. Most likely, it's because the magic of Sigur Rós' atmosphere begins to wear off when the somnolent ambiance is pushed past the hour mark. I don't think that's a failure as a listener either; added surprises (like the quaint woodwinds melody on "Olsen Olsen") would have served to alleviate he increasingly lackadaisical impression. Even so, there are songs here that would have sparked my attention no matter where they were on the album. "Starálfur" is an instantly lovely track, alight with piano and strings. "Olsen Olsen" is another nice one, with a similarly light and cheery feel to it. "Flugufrelsarinn" is not a world away from the rest of the album's general cheer and warmth, but compared to "Starálfur" before it, it has a more mysterious, even foreboding atmosphere to it. Sigur Rós are best with arrangement and texture, but they've proven themselves to be capable songwriters as well.

I'm not sure why I've left the most negative thing about Ágćtis byrjun and Sigur Rós as a whole until the last, but I also figure my general distaste for Jonsi's vocals are the most controversial(?) thing I have to say about the album. Looking back to the initial disgust I had towards Takk..., veyr little of it had to do with the instrumentation. Every doubt I had was pointed at Jonsi's voice, which was (and still) almost insufferably elfish and precious. Compounded with the Hopelandic lyrical angle, Jonsi's vocals aren't for everyone, and they're certainly not for me. With that said, it's rare to come across a vocalist in any genre who seems to embody their own originality so well. Jonsi's voice doesn't fill me with the joy in which others have felt, but his voice is instantly and irrefutably 'him'. No other singer is quite like Jonsi, which is certainly saying something to the band's credit.

With Ágćtis byrjun, Sigur Rós more or less established themselves as the musical equivalent to filmmaker Wes Anderson. It's a regression to a childlike innocence and wonder most of us felt at some point, and ultimately grew past. I've heard this childlike atmosphere in music before (I much prefer the way maudlin of the Well does it) but in that and so many other things, Sigur Rós have, in their own little way, found a slight slice of perfection. It does not have the dramatic intensity of ( ), nor do I find my heart infiltrated by it the way I'd expect from a considered masterpiece or favourite album, but Ágćtis byrjun has altogether earned its place in the post-rock canon. Beautiful, it is.

 Valtari by SIGUR RÓS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.14 | 115 ratings

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Valtari
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Drifting past the target.

A full four years after the incredible and criminally overlooked Me' Su' ' Eyrum Vi' Spilum Endalaust Intitle in 2008 Sigur Ros finally returned with Valtari in 2012. After their fifth studio album the band had announced an indefinite hiatus at the end of their tour. The guys in the band had been forming families and although several sessions had formed to record new material at least two attempts at making a new album had been scrapped. The band had been recycling old material and didn't like the way things were going.

So they split - until the release of this album.

Valtari is in many ways what most people would expect of the atmospheric post-rock band, but with a certain sense of absence permeating through the course of the album. It has moments where the band comes through in all their gorgeous glory, but for the most part it is slow, minimalistic and even, in some cases - boring. The band self-described the album as "an avalanche in slow motion," which does suit the overall feel well. These are the kinds of tracks that would make for a good break-up in an otherwise bombastic album but in a collection on their own they feel tedious.

While it is a great achievement to come back from such a hiatus and definitely a good thing to see the band back in form again it is tough to recommend this album to anyone outside of the band's core group of fans. Fans will find something new to love in the perhaps experimental approach to the album and may even consider it a gem in their discography but for the general prog enthusiast it would be an album to come around to much later in your explorations of an otherwise interesting and highly emotionally charged band.

 ( ) by SIGUR RÓS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.95 | 338 ratings

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( )
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars The first time I put on Svigaplatan or the Parenthesis Album ( ) i was doing some much needed housekeeping and not fully focusing on the music. It was having none of it. It punished me by keeping me from getting into it. I realized my error in playing such intricate and slowly unfolding post-rock music while not fully focusing on it and revisited this album. The difference was that this time my mind was clear. My attention was focused and my expectations were nonexistent. Wow! Blown away I was. Transported to another musical universe, I accepted the calm, placid call of the Icelandic siren who whisked me away into the sonicscape for a peaceful dreamy experience with occasional volcanic outbursts unlike no other.

Although it's hard to detect many differences between ( ) and "Ágćtis byrjun" when trying to compare them, it is this one that blows me away more. It continues the fluid flow of the musical feel as the spacey post-rock blooms at an unhurried leisurely pace that makes me think of a progressive variety of dream pop much like the Cocteau Twins may have done had they continued the sound of the album "Victorialand" and ran away with the possibilities. As stated by others, the songs are of the perfect running time. They realize their potential and accept their limits but aren't afraid to let them live out their full lives. I now am a bona fide SIGUR ROS fan and will certainly hear (more)

 Međ Suđ Í Eyrum Viđ Spilum Endalaust by SIGUR RÓS album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.28 | 146 ratings

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Međ Suđ Í Eyrum Viđ Spilum Endalaust
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Bigger than the frozen wastes of Iceland

Sigur Ros are not an easy band to get into. Their soundscapes and bombast often leave more melody and rock oriented music fans out of the loop. They are uncompromising in their style, singing in their native Icelandic (making their song and album titles impossible to remember or pronounce for most of us), and use massive dramatic builds that often takes minutes to finally climax. They have had a string of highly praised albums in the progressive scene and abroad and their live shows are critically acclaimed worldwide.

Međ suđ í eyrum viđ spilum endalaust is a departure from early albums and a huge change in the direction of their style, somehow still managing to maintain their signature sound and atmosphere. Unlike previous, highly melancholy albums, this one has a definite sense of joy to it. The opening track in particular, Gobbledigook features a soaring melody and vocals that could bring a smile to the most miserable of misers. Inní mér syngur vitleysingur features similar happiness with an almost victorious ring to its wonderful symphonic washes.

There's no song on the album that seems to lag, and the longer tracks on the album take their time once again to go more emotional. Festival in particular is an awe inspiring standout. It is a slow burner that takes its time soothing the audience into a melancholic beauty before building with and every quickening drum and bursting into a full, lush and spine chilling climax at the seven-and-a-half minute mark. It is strikingly beautiful.

Certainly not for the impatient or the cold of heart, Sigur Ros's sixth album is a progressive masterpiece that deserves a listen from anyone who dares. 5 stars for an album that is always able to give me goosebumps and bring a happy tear to my eye.

 Kveikur by SIGUR RÓS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.64 | 96 ratings

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Kveikur
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

Review by 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.
 ( ) by SIGUR RÓS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.95 | 338 ratings

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( )
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

Review by BatBacon

4 stars I can understand how this album has such a low rate, but I don't agree. But then I have a special relation to this album (and all the other Sigur Ros creations) as its been with me a long time now and been there through a lot of tough times in my life. Jonsi´s voice is one of the most comforting voices I know and Kjartan Sveinsson on keyboards is inventing whole worlds with his minimalistic but epic playin. ( ) is a lot slower than all the other records, which says a lot, but also much darker. For a long time this has been my absolute favorite album to put on when going to sleep. For many it may sound as a negative thing, an album that makes you fall asleep, but there comes episodes in life when there is nothing in the whole world you need more!

The interesting thing about ( ) is how it seems to be divided into two parts, where the first part is slow, dreamy and just beautiful with a lot of thought and comfort. The second part is amazingly sad but also very dramatic with songs, slowly building up too dramatic climaxes.

First part opens with the beautiful "Vaka", very calm and simple, a perfect opening track with beautiful vocals and keyboards, setting a nice mood for the whole album. Second song "Fyrsta" is more ambient and strange, but still very comforting. Then comes "Samskeyti", an instrumental song with a beautiful piano track and growing sound of keyboards giving this song a very serene climax. Its hard to explain in words, but it sounds like breathing. Last song of ( )´s first part is "Njósnavélin", a bit more optimistic sounding than the other songs and not as slow ether.

Second part is where people start having problems with ( ), because before you get to know the album all the songs sound pretty much the same. They are all very slow, very dark and very, very sad. Also, if you haven't fallen asleep during the first part of the album, its going to be a bit hard now as this songs is much more dramatic and has drummer Orri Páll Dýrason taking an important and leading role with an explosive way of drumming. To be honest I actually felt this part was boring until I heard some live versions of the songs and also took a walk with the album playing on my iPod. Putting this songs into a new context made me understand them and give them a meaning. All you really have to do is listen a bit more careful than you are used to do with Sigur Rós.

Last song "Popplagiđ" is probably the highlight of ( ) and a perfect way of ending this album! It starts of with beautiful guitar playing and ambient sounds in the background making this song sound large and, in contrast to the other songs of second part, a bit more pop-ish. The vocals here are probably some of the best Sigur Rós have ever written, its so very easing and melodic. With a bang the song changes mood to something a lot more haunting and a lot more dramatic guitar playing. The vocals transform into stretched out words, almost shouting. Jonsi is master of using his voice as an instrument, and this is one of the best examples. But the thing that´s really driving the song into the climax is Dýrasons fantastic, mindblowing drumming, its almost like he makes his drums cry with the song. A simple key change in the vocals in combination with crashing cymbals and thundering toms, you have a perfect epic. Just listen to the track and tell me that this isn't one of the greatest things ever! My living room is never as silent as after hearing this song.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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