Sound — 7
Icelandic rockers Sigur Ros have been breaking their way through the waves of typical generic-sounding rock groups since the late '90s, when they released their signature debut album titled "Von." If you were casually browsing your local music store in 1997, their creative album cover and outlandish title would've immediately caught your attention. But even if they didn't, their unique take on the post-rock musical genre would have. Their music is heavily comprised of electronic synthesizer beats and swooning lyrical execution, which almost immediately took over the ears of fans on an international scale. If you're already an established fan of this group, then I can easily say that you will be able to passionately enjoy Sigur Ros' new outing, "Kveikur." Following in the footsteps of such earlier pressings as "Takk..." and "( )," this album bears a similarly creative title and strange album cover, but musically has the band taking on a significantly heavier overall sound. Throughout such songs as "Brennisteinn" and "Isjaki," that familiar synthesizer playing has been lowered to a depressive lower octave, with wailing vocals and group melodies layered on top of the mix. This more aggressive evolution in sound allows "Kveikur" to easily stand out from the rest of Sigur Ros' catalogue, while also not completely abandoning the style that originally made them so unique.
Lyrics — 8
Lead vocalist Jn r Birgisson does a noteworthy job at maintaining the "Sigur Ros" factor throughout this new album. Whenever a band decides to experiment with alternative takes on their own original style, the sound that made them so unique in the first place and allow them to standout from all other newcomers to the genre, it's always a risky move that does occasionally result in failure. So you need a factor in your music that roots back to your past, to keep your music sounding familiar; and in this case, Jn is this anchor to this sound.
Overall Impression — 7
With their new album "Kveikur," Icelandic post-rock group Sigur Ros manage to pull of a daring stunt that involved a dramatic change in their original style of sound, and not only making it work, but also continuing to sound like themselves. And in the end you have a collection of songs that are familiar yet fresh sounding, that should please any current follower of the band as well as any post-rock listener.