Inni is a live film combined with a double album that was recorded from when the Icelandic quartet played at Alexandra Palace, London, about three years ago. The double album totals 105 minutes of their performance in its entirety, whereas the film cuts and pastes certain tracks into an artistic order for 75 minutes, plus bonus features. Inni has been heralded as ‘The definitive Sigur Rós live experience’ and was directed by Vincent Morisset (Arcade Fire’s ‘Mirror Noir’). To save confusion I will be reviewing the film, as opposed to the audio double album.

The film begins with feedbacking screeches and atmospheric drone noises. Swelling psychedelic images appear from the pitch darkness for a while, then fade out to a single beam of spotlight shining on the outfit’s linchpin, Jón Pór Birginson (affectionately known as Jónsi to you and I), sporting a flamboyant feathered jacket whilst passionately attacking his guitar with a violin bow. The film is shot in hauntingly vintage black and white that resembles a flickery horror movie from the early days of cinema in the 1930’s.

We gain a sense of perspective towards the stage and the rest of the band as the lights brighten and the introduction of ‘Ny Batteri’ commences. The attention is mainly focussed on the frontman’s angelic falsetto voice on top of the played-down bass and organ parts at this point. The expression of the vocal builds an incredible tension and gives you self-acknowledgment of what is going to happen, it is just a matter of when.

The drummer, Kjarten Sveinsson (who is wearing a very home-made looking crown/headdress that anyone would be jealous of not possessing), then explodes into action, yet rapidly ducks out again after a few destructive pounds of devastatingly crashing cymbals. He hints and teases a few times more, until the full noise remains constant and the piece crescendos drastically. As the layers of sound are then slowly extinguished, the bass lingers on, getting quieter and quieter until it reaches a complete stop. For a split-second there is absolute silence from the audience, which represents as a sign of appreciation for the music often more regularly found in operas and theatrical productions than rock gigs. Once they are sure the piece has ended, a pandemonium of applause ensues. This is an intensely dramatic opening to their performance, which perfectly sets the tone for the rest if the film.

Tranquillity is then restored by ‘Svefn-g-englar’. The song sways along and sets a calming ambience over room. In the broken down middle section of the piece Jonsi raises his guitar and sings into the pickups, which subtly cuts through the rest of the music, sounding a little like we are listening to his voice through a slightly de-tuned radio. However, in true Sigur Rós fashion, this is (obviously) the calm before the storm. Chaos transpires. Thick, swirling, post-rocking noise erupts in the Palace and leaves you to wonder: “How does this discordant, offensive noise sound so beautiful!?”

The release’s title track, ’Inni mér syngur vitleysingur’, chirps into life by Jonsi taking seat next to his bandmate, Orri Páll Dyrason, on his stool as they share the piano with heart-warming camaraderie. ‘Sæglópur’ shortly follows this, where the dark, apocalyptic cloud of sound wreaks havoc once again. As the climax diminishes, the band fuses the ashes of the song into the beginning of ‘Festival’.

Midway through the verse, Jónsi delicately holds a steady note and the music silences, allowing its resonance to fill the venue. He hangs on to this note for what seems like a lifetime, to a rapturous reception from the crowd, until he is on the brink of suffocation. He catches a surviving breath, like an underwater diver does upon reaching the surface. This gesture is exemplary of how much emotion Sigur Rós are putting into this performance.

The attention is taken away from the band and onto the backdrop for the next section as some fantastic visuals accompany ‘E-Bow’. Here is a good opportunity to also mention the editing throughout the film. In between songs, we cut to flashbacks of old footage of the band obviously taken from hand-held video cameras in the 1990’s. This nostalgically shows them preparing to play in a tiny pub in Iceland and goofing around on a bike trying to bunny-hop a speed bump. It is very sweet to see them come from humble, ‘small-town’ backgrounds to the world’s stage - all because of the beautiful music that they create.

The film reaches its end with the infamous finale of ‘Popplagid’ leading into ‘Lúppulagid’. Sigur Rós certainly know how to end a show with mind-blowing circumstances. Some would say it is indescribable. Actually, it is indescribable. Therefore, I am not going to describe it. (I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you!)

Overall, the calibre of Inni is ridiculous high. This is, hands down, the best live music performance film that I have ever seen. Whereas in normal circumstances most bands and singers would churn out ‘[Artist] LIVE AT [Stadium]’ DVDs to make some extra pocket money, Sigur Rós do it with a completely different mindset. I honestly believe that all of them are ‘artistes’ – in every sense of the word. There is so much good taste and artistry to Inni in both audio and visual aesthetics. It actually takes you through a compelling whirlwind of emotions by simply watching them perform.

Sigur Ros are extremely good at making you fall in love with them. If you already loved them, it will now become an obsession. Seek help.

Inni was released on 7th November and there are also screenings of the film in hand-selected cinemas worldwide. Exhale. Now back to real life. Sadface.