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Sigur Rós - Brennisteinn CD (album) cover


Sigur Rós


Post Rock/Math rock

2.52 | 14 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This EP or single was released 3 days after the release of their 7th album Kveikur. At this point, the band was down to a threesome. They had promised their fans that they would be exploring new territory on this new album.

The first track on the EP is "Brennisteinn" (Brimstone) and it shows that this promise is kept. The track is taken off of the new album and appears exactly as it does on the album. It starts off with processed noise, possibly a rainstorm, and soon the music comes plodding in quite loudly considering this is Sigur Ros. Things do mellow a bit when Jonsi starts singing, but there is a throbbing guitar with a limping marching rhythm feeling dark on the low end, but with some positive sounding synths. There is a definite new edge to the sound of this track as it starts off quite intense and discordant, and takes a while before it gets into more soothing territory about half way through. For a while Jonsi stays in his higher register, but the music gets intense again with a very tricky rhythm. I know a lot of Sigur Ros fans that were perturbed about this new sound, but to me it only testifies of their brilliance when it comes to great music, even when it is a little strange and disturbing, even approaching avant-prog at times. It does end on a more orchestral and soothing feeling though.

"Hryggjarsula" (Backbone) is even more experimental with plodding and dark processed guitar and screeching bowed guitar swirling around. At 2 minutes, things suddenly turn more symphonic for a short time and that fades and is replaced by a low- register drone. There is an unsettling low screech in there to, probably from the bow. Though this is dark, it still has a degree of beauty underlying everything. A chunky, processed sound of thunder booms in the distance.

"Ofbirta" (Glow) is the last track. Like the previous track, this is not on the album. This one has more of a brighter sound to it utilizing a multi-tone drone and slow sustained notes deep in the mix. The sound lends itself a bit more to the older sound of the band, but relies more on the sustained drone as the notes emerge from out of the middle of it.

For most people, this EP probably won't be worth the trouble because if you are interested in the new experimental sound of the band, you would be better off getting Kveikur. Those that love the more peaceful and emotional sounds of the band should stick with the older albums, as this EP is quite harsh, though it is still beautiful and desolate. Fans that love the band, like me, and want to hear the other avenues that the band was exploring at the time will definitely be interested in this, especially the unreleased tracks. It is regrettably short though, so we'll stick with 3 stars.

TCat | 3/5 |


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