Sigur Ros
Brennisteinn


3.5
great

Review

by Grayson Hale USER (30 Reviews)
March 25th, 2013 | 20 replies


Release Date: 03/22/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As just a small taste of what's to come, Brennisteinn certainly achieves its goal of whetting the appetite.

Ever since Sigur Rós took their breathtakingly beautiful, otherworldly-sounding compositions to an international stage in 1999, they have been heading towards a sound governed less by their Icelandic roots and more by their actual songwriting abilities. Whereas Ágætis Byrjun and ( ) made strong use of the band’s foreign sensibilities, subsequent albums began to rely less on this aspect, with the songwriting taking precedence over atmosphere. Sigur Rós have not often dared to venture too far out of their comfort zone, with last year’s ambient-leaning Valtari honing in on the more minimalist elements of their signature sound.

If Brennisteinn is any indication, all that is about to change. With the upcoming release of their seventh studio album Kveikur later this year, Brennisteinn points towards an overall darker and sludgier sound that the band has not channelled since the second half of 2002’s untitled masterpiece. The title track, which is also due to appear as the opener on the new album, sees Sigur Rós experimenting with harsher, more abrasive electronic elements grating over the top of Jónsi’s trademark vocals. Conflicting aspects such as these have only been used sparingly in the past but here Jónsi’s falsetto shines through the haze like a ray of light and it works brilliantly. The same can be said of “Hryggjarsúla” which sounds more like the kind of droning nightmare Michael Gira would conjure up rather than anything from the band’s back catalogue. Finally, instrumental track “Ofbirta” hearkens back to the dark ambient style of Von, perhaps the most ominous Sigur Rós had sounded prior to this.

Although no two albums of theirs sound exactly alike, this is the first time we are really hearing something of a reinvention from the group. As just a small taste of what’s to come, Brennisteinn certainly achieves its goal of whetting the appetite and fans will have to wait another few months before getting to hear the final product.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
minty901
March 25th 2013


1999 Comments


although im not quite sure what is meant by "foreign" sensibilities (foreign to you maybe), this was an excellent review. and i pretty much agree. the song doesn't have a lot going on structurally or even sonically compared with much of valtari (many will disagree), it does do an incredible job of creating a mood and atmosphere.

BigPleb
March 25th 2013


36606 Comments


Review is great, made me pretty stoked for this.

From the title track they've def taken a darker approach to their sound, will check in full soon.

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

SAPoodle
March 25th 2013


479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys!

@minty I just meant that a lot of their sound played off the fact that they were Icelandic in that it sounded so foreign to anyone not from that country. It sounded alien really, whereas their later albums are less so. Hope that makes more sense, thanks for the feedback.

demigod!
March 25th 2013


44350 Comments


new song is interesting but im not sure if im digging it that much.

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

BigPleb
March 25th 2013


36606 Comments


It's a grower

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2013


16088 Comments


new song was immediately awesome to me idk

demigod!
March 25th 2013


44350 Comments


gonna give it a whirl with my new headphones

SAPoodle
March 25th 2013


479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Watch the music video, it made me dig the song a whole lot more

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2013


6096 Comments


Whereas Ágætis Byrjun and ( ) made strong use of the band’s foreign sensibilities, subsequent albums began to rely less on this aspect, with the songwriting taking precedence.

I'm not sure of what you are trying to say with this sentence.


they have been heading towards a sound governed less by their Icelandic roots and more by their innate ability to create songs that resonate on an emotional level

I'm not sure of what you are trying to say with this sentence. [2]

Are you saying that by adhering to their Icelandic roots, they were less emotional?


Yet Sigur Rós have not often dared to venture too far out of their comfort zone

Remove "Yet" and write something like "In this light" or "The above being said", I don't see the contradiction between the previous sentence and the sentence that starts with "Yet", which could justify the use of the latter word.



On another note, the second and the third paragraph are well written.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2013


7338 Comments


Brennisteinn's incredible, but I think I like Kveikur even more. They're playing one other new song live too, and that was also amazing.

So yeah, I've got pretty high expectations for this.

SAPoodle
March 25th 2013


479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Looking back, that whole 'foreign sound' thing really wasn't my finest moment but the point I was trying to make was that while their songs have always been emotional, Agaetis and ( ) were these very alien-sounding compositions whereas from Takk onwards they started writing pop songs (relatively speaking). I might have some editing to do. Thanks Voivod

SAPoodle
March 25th 2013


479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also, will change the 'yet.'

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2013


7338 Comments


Honestly, I don't see much wrong with the first paragraph. Voivod has a point with the 'yet' thing, but I knew exactly where you were coming from with the rest.

zxlkho
March 25th 2013


3463 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Brennisteinn is such a fucking great song

JS19
April 2nd 2013


4256 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great EP, also Poodle that Hostsonaten album is quality.

Digging: This Will Destroy You - Another Language

Artuma
April 2nd 2013


12957 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is one of the most positive surprises of the year so far, awesome EP

Digging: Suffocate For Fuck Sake - Blazing Fires and Helicopters on the Fro

SAPoodle
April 7th 2013


479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@JS19 I know man, it's great! Glad there are some other fans out there. Also, this EP has grown on me - Brennisteinn might just be the best song Sigur Ros has released in years

Keyblade
April 7th 2013


14825 Comments


this is really fucking good. can't wait for the album

Digging: Strawberry Switchblade - Strawberry Switchblade

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2013


7106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Goin to see these dudes on friday gonna blow my wad so hard

Motiv3
April 10th 2013


8932 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Brennisteinn is fucking amazing. The two songs are meh.

Digging: Punch - They Don?t Have To Believe



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