It’s hard for a live album to exist on its own plane. Most often, you rush to breadcrumb, to correlate said live performance with how the album that birthed it sounds. Was the document noisier, or faster, or more involved than its predecessor? What impression does the crowd leave on the sound? How do the musicians handle a certain moment? These become the standard operating procedure for the live release digest. I’ll admit I’m not much for them and mostly found myself more attracted to the original, drifting back as it reminded me of something I had liked better in the first place.

Certain live releases have become important for the canon-At Folsom Prison for instance- but for me they sometimes just feel like a souvenir, a placeholder for something else. For Inni, the first-ever live album from Icelandic giants Sigur Rós, this mentality is as fully-realized as ever, more than the stereotypical Japanese tourist fervently snapping away at every square inch of their vacation, the band have created a 105-minute, double-disc set that is a downright conclusive way to experience the force that this band can bring inside the walls of a venue without, of course, being present.

In a way meant as a companion piece to 2007’s visually-stunning tour documentary Heima which explained the band and their relationship with their native Iceland through a series of homecoming shows (“Heima” means “At home”), Inni seeks to document the on-stage setting of the band performing as a core group of just four musicians just a year later at a 2008 London show. Consistent, bounding and beautiful, Sigur Rós are known for the rich attention to detail and under these two discs, there are few times that you’re even reminded that this wasn’t buffed up in some soundproof room. Instrument creaks or key pressure on “Vid spilum endalaust” and a light inflections from singer Jonsi’s ethereal vocal tone are about the only evidence of such and when the band start drifting through pop swell (“Festival,” “Hoppípolla”), barbaric gravity (“Ny batterí,” “E-Bow”) and delicate swaying bouts (“Fljótavík,” “All Alright”) there isn’t much at all to let you down.

A mention on the formats: Inni is both an audio and visual trip and comes packaged in five ways ranging from digital, 3xLP, CD+DVD and (true to the band’s form) a limited, $80 box edition with photo prints, a special 7”, a Blu Ray disc, CD and more. The physical formats all come paired with a 75-minute Vincent Morisset-directed live concert film that was filmed at the same London show that the album was; I’ve yet to see the film, so these words focus solely on the audio portion of the release. With Sigur Rós’ in-house studio engineer Birgir Jón Birgisson there to press record, Inni (which translates to “inside”) is a stunning maneuver in creating that sonic souvenir, encapsulating the sensation they seek to deliver on stage. What makes me wonder, though, is what took so long to get it out.

For the most part, there has been no new Sigur Rós material in three years- since 2008’s Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust LP. While Inni is a wonderfully accurate portrayal of the post rock dreamscapes this seasoned act has advanced upon since forming in 1994, the band has gotten so good at what they do that not much of this feels (gulp) unexpected at all, producing much of the same emotion that the album material does only with roaring applause every 10 or so minutes. Included is one previously-unreleased (though not new as this was in 2008) track, called “Lúppulagid” but besides that, the band tempt us with a sort of best-of release that compiles the likes of “Ný batterí,” “Svefn-g-englarm” or “Sæglópur,” all choice cuts from their last few albums, into another larger-than-life offering for fans to swoon (myself included) over. Inni is very, very good at what it does sonically, there is no denying that. When it comes down to it, the only criticism is that it’s a bit late, feeling like something you should have been able to purchase after the 2008 tour this was recorded from wrapped and the ticket stubs might have still been crumbled somewhere on your desk.

This review originally appeared on the Mishka Bloglin.