Kveikur - Sigur Rós
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Jun 18, 2013
    90
    Though Kveikur is more anxious and busy than a lot of their past output, it still possesses the heavenly quality all their other records so admirably held on to as well.
  2. Jun 14, 2013
    90
    Tthe Icelandic trio has now adopted darker musical stylings to create a record that’s every bit as transcendental as their best work.
  3. Jun 11, 2013
    90
    Kveikur is a masterstroke effort. [Jul 2013, p.104]
  4. Jun 11, 2013
    90
    Kveikur is as melodic and, in places, as fragile as anything the band have released before.
  5. 90
    Kveikur is a record you play for the sheer catharsis of it--a work of art to plug into when grey buildings and greyer skies tower too densely around you, and you wish for nothing more than to close your eyes and feel the terrible greatness of nature swallow you up.
  6. The anxiety-ridden sound of Kveikur is the best the band has produced since their breakthrough album, and seems promising to yield only more rewarding results in the future.
  7. Kveikur is the band’s noisiest and most muscular record yet. The variety of experience it offers not just from Valtari, but from the band’s entire catalogue, means that it stands among their best.
  8. Jun 19, 2013
    84
    Make no mistake, Kveikur is another brilliant addition to the Sigur Rós canon; it’s just not, you know...different brilliant.
  9. 83
    For Sigur Rós, Kveikur is their most gloves-off release to date and they land the punch.
  10. Jun 18, 2013
    83
    It’s breathtaking as well as bloodcurdling.
  11. Jun 17, 2013
    81
    Even if it doesn’t have the same cultivated mystery or incapacitating demands of Agaetis Byrjun or ( ), Kveikur is every bit a return to form, tapping into its predecessors’ bottomless emotional wellspring for a Sigur Rós album that can be listened to casually or intensely.
  12. Jul 17, 2013
    80
    It sounds like a band getting down to business, adjusting its identity to account for downsizing while consolidating its many strengths. [No. 100, p.51]
  13. Jun 21, 2013
    80
    I think Keveikur will, for awhile, make a lovely soundtrack as I walk along the shore.
  14. Jun 20, 2013
    80
    It's initially unnerving to witness indie's most celebrated airy faeries butch it up, but the result ultimately satisfies their what-the-hell-do-we-do-next dilemma better than any record since Ágætis byrjun.
  15. Jun 18, 2013
    80
    This is the exact type of work that needed to happen following Valtari: it’s bold when it needs to be without sacrificing the group’s hallmark signposts.
  16. Jun 17, 2013
    80
    The payoffs on Kveikur aren't immediate, but they're no less orchestrated than previous work, coming across like a more focused and fleshed out Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra with sweeter vocals.
  17. Jun 17, 2013
    80
    Here they sound as out of place as ever, and all the better for it. [Jul 2013, p.101]
  18. 80
    Kveikur comes as a violent but welcome surprise.
  19. Jun 14, 2013
    80
    If the intuitive, star-gazing Valtari served as the rediscovery of Sigur Rós's signature sound, then the instinctual, sober Kveikur is its compulsive reinvention.
  20. 80
    It's an album packed with Wordsworthian sturm und drang.
  21. Jun 13, 2013
    80
    There's an edge of menace that wasn't there before, and the dirt beneath their fingernails seems to suit them.
  22. Jun 13, 2013
    80
    Kveikur is a vibrant and much-needed reminder that the band's creative well is far from running dry. [Jun-Jul 2013, p.90]
  23. Jun 13, 2013
    80
    The result feels less like accidentally walking into David Attenborough's funeral and more like some incredible, unrealised score for an immersive, imagined Icelandic crime drama.
  24. Jun 10, 2013
    80
    Kveikur isn't the kind of post-rock album that you throw on to listen to as you contemplate the changing of the leaves, but rather an album that explores the differences between the comforts of the day and the anxieties of the night, blending the bright and the brooding to create something bold and beautiful.
  25. Jun 10, 2013
    80
    No two songs sound similar and, while Jonsi’s vocals confirm that this is, really, the artist on the album sleeve, it is far from more of the same.
  26. Jul 3, 2013
    70
    Kveikur is a strong album, one with no low-lights and an intriguing progression of sound.
  27. Jun 18, 2013
    70
    Kveikur has structure and, hello, grit like never before.
  28. 70
    While energized, Kveikur doesn’t break away from Sigur Rós’ safe spots.
  29. Jun 10, 2013
    70
    All in all, a neat side-stepping of expectations and a timely one. [Jul 2013, p.81]
  30. Jun 18, 2013
    63
    In moving away from the band's stultifying idea of beauty, Kveikur gets at something livelier--and far more lifelike.
  31. Jun 28, 2013
    60
    It's more that Kveikur feels more like an unfinished trip (through said glaciers, perhaps), where the destination is in sight, but seen only from the halfway point.
  32. Jun 19, 2013
    60
    If anything, they illuminate an increasingly formulaic approach that, in its attempt to express extremes of human emotion, ends up saying not very much at all.
  33. Jun 17, 2013
    60
    Kveikur largely conforms to existing Sigur Ros templates, and though the quirky rhythms and ethereal vocals of Isjaki spawn a certain magic, something is audibly lacking here. [Jul 2013, p.82]
  34. Those moments [where it's stirring, sentimental, and altogether too safe] aside, there's plenty more that is beautiful, forgettable and primed to aid a little light Sunday-afternoon catharsis.
  35. Jun 13, 2013
    60
    All their hallmarks (choral crescendos, swooping melodies and stately horns) and a few curveballs (The xx-esque 4/4 beat on Yfirbor∂) are present, but the songs reach their emotional climax quickly.
  36. Jun 17, 2013
    40
    The trouble is, much of it still sounds about as vital as Coldplay Babelfished into Icelandic.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 79 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    Far and away the most intense of any Sigur Rós album. Huge climaxes swoop in, and just wash over the ears. Very thick and rich and infinitely rewarding. This ranks among the group's best work. Full Review »
  2. Jun 28, 2013
    10
    The most intense Sigur Rós album so far, not only is the most intense, but changes the Dream-pop to a more definite Dark-ambient. The first 30 seconds are led to believe that the album will be like the first, ie, repetitive and lacking in soul, to hear the drums, make you throw those thoughts to drain. Definitely a pretty awesome album. Something that also defines it, is that it also sounds like post-metal, something that had never been seen in a Experimental rock band. Full Review »
  3. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. "Kveikur" is definitely Sigur Rós' most ambitious album yet! It draws on features from many of their previous works, especially "Takk...", and yet shows more of a rocky influence in certain songs, such as "Rafstraumur". I see this as a bold new adventure for Sigur Rós, whose ambient, soulful music has become increasingly aggressive over the years. "Kveikur" was worth the wait and the more aggressive edge has certainly paid off. Full Review »