Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sigur Ros - Kveikur

Icelandic post-rock veterans Sigur Ros have released their2 7th LP this week, which sees the band returning to their earlier sound, much to the delight of their fans. Their last album, Valtari, was a bit of a disappointment for many fans. Although Sigur Ros is known for their floating, atmospheric sound, Valtari brought that to an extreme many found hard to appreciate.

The band recovered quickly though, and are back only a year later with a return-to-form album. Singer Jonsi's vocals are back in the spotlight, after fading to inaudible cries in Valtari. Songs sound more like songs and not just ambient strings scores and whispers. The album is darker altogether than the groups previous few works, showcasing a haunting sound fans are more familiar with from Sigur Ros' earlier albums Von and Agaetis Byrjun.

A catalyst for the changes in the group's sound is the the departure of founding member and keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson. As a result, Kveikur is much more percussion focused than previous LPs. Songs are shorter, most only lasting 5 minutes instead of the regular 9 or 10 that Sigur Ros fans are used to. Despite these changes, the album still sounds like Sigur Ros, more so arguably than their last few records have.

Valtari felt as though Sigur Ros had become lost in the dense mists of the barren Icelandic wilderness. Kveikur sees them finding their way home. Thanks Sigur Ros for a great album and resurrecting my love for weird, ambient and unintelligible Icelandic music!

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