BJORN RIIS

(NORWAY)

A STORM IS COMING

(2019)
LABEL:

KARISMA RECORDS

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Intimist, Melancholic, Neo
"Of a pale beauty behind which shine light rays of hope, "A Storm Is Coming" is dedicated to all Pink Floyd and Airbag fans..."
LOLOCELTIC (10.04.2020)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
If Airbag hasn't offered anything since the superb "Disconnected" in 2016, its guitarist and singer is far from being inactive since then. "A Storm Is Coming" is already Bjorn Riis' third album (or EP) in three years. For this new opus, he is once again accompanied by his faithful sidekick Henrik Bergan Fossum on drums and he records the return of Simen Valldal Johannessenn (Oak) on keyboards. Ole Michael Bjørndal (Oak) also comes to add some additional guitars while singer Mimmi Tamba comes to support him on some tracks.

Dealing again with the theme of the end of a love relationship, "A Storm Is Coming" probably won't revolutionize the fans' vision of the Norwegian's work, but it is nevertheless proof of his talent and maturity. In five tracks, two of them lasting more than ten minutes, and an epilogue, this new record will once again demonstrate his mastery of an art combining melancholy, delicacy and variety. Opening this new chapter, and after an atmospheric introduction, 'When Rain Falls' explodes a tumultuous storm based on a big riff that Black Sabbath wouldn't have disavowed. Then follows a short jazzy passage sprinkled with light piano notes before a floydian atmosphere sets in. The hushed, airy vocals, enriched by some beautiful vocal harmonies, and a Gilmour-like solo finish to install the listener in this soft and melancholic atmosphere typical of the artist. 'Icarus' takes up these elements by alternating delicate verses and a sad chorus. On a few passages, the guitars are both angry and desperate, and the finale pours out its distress.

Balanced over the abyss, 'You And Me' gently rises in intensity, beginning with a duet between acoustic guitar and wobbly vocals before each instrument is added delicately. This progressive march takes us to a new precipice of sadness and melancholy as we wait endlessly for a solo that doesn't come, replaced by a fade-out finale. 'Stormwatch', with its 14 minutes, is without a doubt the pinnacle of this work. Change of moods, vocal harmonies with the female vocals of Mimmi Tamba, rises in intensity, passages with sharp guitars and with epileptic drums, luminous and heart-rending solo and a finale sinking into darkness: nothing is spared us without time seeming to pass. Finally, 'This House' translates the emptiness of the common house with a new duet between acoustic guitar and fragile vocals. The arrival of a spectral guitar and the dubbing of the vocals by the female voice serve as the foundation for a new intense and heart-rending solo, preferring emotional intensity to technical demonstration. Only a few light piano notes maintain a frail hope.

Sorrowful minds will argue that this opus does not bring great upheaval to Bjorn Riis' work, whether solo or with Airbag. But why disrupt such a delicate and profound recipe upside down? The emotions transmitted by the Norwegian are so intense and their instrumental translation so finely chiseled that it would be a shame to question everything, especially as long as no feeling of repetition comes to tarnish the whole. Of a pale beauty behind which shine light rays of hope, "A Storm Is Coming" must be in the discotheque of all Pink Floyd and Airbag fans...
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. When Rain Falls - 10:41
02. Icarus - 7:00
03. You And Me - 7:05
04. Stormwatch - 14:22
05. This House - 8:18
06. Epilogue - 3:36

LINEUP:
Bjorn Riis: Chant / Guitares / Basse
Henrik Bergan Fossum: Batterie
Mimmi Tamba: Chant
Ole Michael Bjørndal: Guitares
Simen Valldal Johannessenn: Claviers
   
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