Album review: Sigur Rós, Kveikur (XL)


Kveikur finds Sigur Rós in more forceful and declamatory mood than usual, a shift heralded by the explosion that ushers in the heavy guitar riff and juddering bass of “Brennisteinn”.

It's an album packed with Wordsworthian sturm und drang. The arrangement of “Yfirboro” is a bubbling cauldron of musical magma, within which Jonsi's voice appears as a keening and emotive soul, while on the title track, his most compelling pop vocal melody is hostage to a swirling maelstrom of rugged bass and rumbling drums. Elsewhere, “Hrafntinna” stands out from a striking sequence, the sibilant clang of metal prefacing its majestic progress to a sombre horn conclusion, before “Var” brings the album to a close on a slow but typically moving piano progression.

Download: Yfirboro; Kveikur; Hrafntinna; Var