Thursday, March 28, 2013

Track Review: Sigur Rós - "Brennisteinn"

Sigur Rós - "Brennisteinn"
XL
Release Date: March 25, 2013
It seems a bit shocking that we're getting a new Sigur Rós album so soon, doesn't it? After the band released Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust in 2008, they took a hiatus to pursue other projects. It wasn't until last year that they returned, and when they did it didn't feel as big as it should have. Valtari, the bands full length from 2012, is, by all accounts, a good record. It just felt that, given the sparse instrumentation and song writing on the album, their comeback didn't have much of an impact on the musical landscape. It is a beautiful, elegant record, but it didn't shake things up.

This time around, it appears as though Sigur Rós are ready to really kick things into gear. Not even a year removed from their last album and they've already announced their forthcoming LP, Kveikur, due out in June. Recently, the band revealed in an interview they were going for a more aggressive sound on this one, and if the new single is any indication, aggressive is an understatement. "Brennisteinn" is a menacing, lurching beast of a song that will rattle you to your core. The drums and percussion are drenched in an industrial coating that gives them a mechanical feel while a deep, dirty bass powers through the mix. Jonsi's vocals typically stay in his lower register but they still sit high above the rest of the music throughout the track, though their atmospheric texture lends itself perfectly to the song, and when he does get into that upper register they don't sound out of place in the least bit.

Over the course of the 7 minutes, Sigur Rós prove that they have not only stayed true to their word of exploring a more aggressive sound but proved that they could pull it off in ways that exceed all expectations. Considering they were recently reduced to a trio, the fact that they sound this huge is impressive. If the rest of Kveikur is along the same lines as "Brennisteinn," we may be getting the best Sigur Rós album since (). Take a listen to the song below.


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