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Kveikur by Sigur Ros
Released: Jun 2013
Label: Xl
Sigur Ros' seventh album starts with a crackling blast. Since Iceland's finest began with near-lullabies on the early acclaimed Agaetis Byrjun and the even snowier (), they've had nowhere to go but dark (Takk...) or loud (that catchy foot-stomping single "Gobbledigook"). This album's both, with synth groans, cavernous vocals and heavy lifting on the rhythmic end for a change. "Yfirbord" has some kind of house beat under the whispery storm, while the subdued "Var" tinkles like old times. And opener "Brennisteinn" has to be the only Sigur Ros song to conjure up a battering ram.
Dan Weiss

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