Ari Alexander Ergis Magnusson's 2005 film Screaming Masterpiece documents Iceland's thriving music scene, from its elemental origins in the country's rich natural and literary history to the internationally recognized names like Björk and Sigur Rós. Both artists are featured prominently on the film's soundtrack, Björk with "Oceania" from Medúlla and a pretty live version of "All Is Full of Love" and Sigur Rós with "No. 8, aka Popplagiò." (There's also a younger, more hyper Björk featured on the Sugarcubes classic "Motorcrash.") There are tracks from Icelandic indie notables like Múm (the always captivating "Green Grass of Tunnel") and Slowblow ("Within Tolerance"), but Screaming Masterpiece also features work from Jóhann Jóhannson (the tense violins and treated vocals of "Odi et Amo"), Mugison ("I'd Ask," a dusty, folky number sung in English), and Amina ("Fjarskanistan"), the string quartet that has worked with Sigur Rós in the past. At the center of Screaming Masterpiece is Apparat Organ Quartet with the Kraftwerk-ian workout "Romantica," as well as "Brostnar Borgir" from striking Faroese vocalist Eivor Pálsdóttir, which alternates stretches of haunting balladry with clanging, stinging metal. Take that, Evanescence.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus