[sic] Magazine

Sigur Rós – Kveikur

Now separated from instrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson , the trio that is Sigur Ros take an entirely different route with album 7 : – the same, but different. No one else could make a record like this. With Kveikur the band have taken everything they used to have, keyboard/piano/strings, the things that made the band matter, and made something leftfield with it. No longer airy, silent earscapes, but tense, dramatic noise, built on crescendos of drums, bass, guitar/violin, and Jonsi’s well known, abstract ‘voice-as-melody’ which somehow makes this the same, yet different. The same Sigur Ros in an artistic watershed. Think of this as the same moment as the departure of Alan Wilder from Depeche Mode , where a key architect’s influence falls away, and the band is the same, yet not the same. Songs such as ‘Brennisteinn’, ‘Var’ and ‘Kveikur’ are familiar, having been in the live sets for several months, but at the time, feel incongruous, as if they didn’t quite fit, with the band now a rhythmic, coiled snake, reminiscent of the same kind of drama that filled stadiums for The Cure and Depeche Mode two decades ago. Also, here is a kind of music that is the soundtrack for thinking, for gazing out on a platform waiting to go home, for the absent minded meditation of washing up and reading. You might be forgiven for thinking it was all downhill after the fragmentation of the core quarter after 15 years together, but no. Kveikur is a promise of a continued future in the same, unique world, that Sigur Ros have always lived in. You are welcome to visit.

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