CD Review: Sigur Ros' 'Kveikur' -- 2.5 stars
Few bands tread the same atoms-wide divide between comfortable timelessness and the star-streaked future as do Iceland’s ambient-rock sorcerers Sigur Rós. For its eighth album, the trio adds substantial brawn to its shivery post-rock soundscapes, from the crackling deluge of opener “Brennisteinn” to the juddering uneasiness of the title track. All this heavy industry acts as a counterweight to the band’s consistent crescendos, those titanic swells such as “Rafstraumur” that culminate in a keening wail from lead singer Jonsi, lancing through your heart like a white-blue laser. As combative as “Kveikur” is, these are familiar integers, and ultimately this effort feels like simply the next line of code in the band’s as-yet-unfinished cosmic program.