If Sigur Ros would be a Metal band, they would be a household name up there with Metallica by now. Because they act out their Metal fantasies on piano and horns, they are still a bit of a tip.
Sigur Ros have the pathos, they have the power and they build an alternative world in their songs that you can disappear into. So far, the similarities with Metal are evident. Growing up in Iceland, Metal has been a formative influence on members of the band. The first song frontman Jónsi learned on the guitar was ‘Wrathchild’ by Iron Maiden. Drummer Orri’s favourite band is Black Sabbath.
A song like ‘Fljotavik’ is pure Metal - played on a piano. Intense is also the word for ‘Vid Spelum Endalust’ and the eerie, operatic ‘Festival’. Take the darker moments of Metallica at a 10th of the volume and add Wagner’s gore and grime fantasies without the pomp.
‘Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust’ shows more diversity in the choice of material than most of the band’s previous albums. Most strikingly, Sigur Ros decided to stray from their trademark widescreen epics to include a number of more intimate songs. ‘Med Sud I Eyrum’ , ‘Igresi’ and ‘Gobbledigook’ have a stripped down sound and are delivered like you are sharing a ski hut with the band.
‘Gobbledigook’ is the closest track to Alternative Rock and Indie on the album. On ‘Inni Mer Syngur’, the band pushes even a bit more into a mainstream direction.
I always felt a bit uneasy with the amount of pathos and the over-the-top vocals on Sigur Ros’ albums. ‘Med Sud’ opens some new doors and ushers in a more laid back style (check out ‘All Alright’) which I find more agreeable. There is also a good deal of variety in the songwriting here, with a ‘light’ and a ’shade’ camp of songs adding contrast.
Listen to ‘Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust’ and download the album from iTunes.