Iceland’s Sigur Ros provides the soundtrack for an IMAX movie yet to be made. Their instrumentals unfold at the slowest pace imaginable, spending minutes on wind sounds and distant tones that peak out of a winter’s night just as daybreak cuts across the icy terrain. Their ambience is otherworldly and this 1997 debut album, for years only available through their Icelandic label, was basically rediscovered after the success of their follow-up, the equally bewitching, if more conventional, but better distributed album Agaetis Byrjun. The band play up their audience’s expectations as mysterious musical creatures, leaving their song titles in Icelandic and allowing the perceived exoticism of their geographical and cultural distance to create a greater allure. It works. The self-titled opening cut never attempts to go anywhere, but rests quietly in its place, a true piece of musical meditation. Even when they employ more traditional rock instrumentation on “Hun Joro,” it is with a stuttering apprehension that emphasizes the disembodied drum beats and atmospheric wheezings over the textured guitars and chanting vocals. Heavenly choirs emerge from the tundra in the 12-minute “Hafssol.” Truly music that is one of a kind.

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