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25.04.2019

BJØRN RIIS

A Storm is Coming

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Karisma Records, 2019)

Karakter: 5/6

Bjørn Riis album cover.jpgThe ridiculously skilled guitarist and songwriter Bjørn Riis (Airbag) is something akin to a prog rock genius as evidenced by this sprawling 51-minute gem of an album of his, which revolves around themes such as loss, emptiness, and human relations(hips).

In many ways, “A Storm is Coming” is a superb follow-up to “Coming Home” (2018) in that it sounds like an even more dynamic and emotionally charged record than the latter and yet they stylistically they are quite similar. Riis has basically taken the best parts of the aforementioned “Coming Home” and honed them to perfection, which has resulted in an incredibly intense and captivating output that moves and slides seamlessly between the gentle and soothing on the one hand and the sharp and aggressive on the other. The compositions are beautifully written and encapsulate a multitude of different thoughts and feelings. There are bleak and downright morose parts that will chill you to the bone while others are decidedly warm and uplifting. Those contrasts are partly what make such exquisite songs as “Icarus” and the intimate “You and Me” so special.

With a cast of stellar musicians in tow, Riis has managed to compose a richly layered piece of work that can be as dense as it can be instantly memorable, which is an impressive feat in and of itself. “A Storm is Coming” is a forward-thinking record that feels complete and utterly absorbing both musically and lyrically. This is touching and heartfelt Norwegian prog at its finest and not to be missed if you are into bands and artists such as Airbag, Marillion, David Gilmour, Porcupine Tree, and Steven Wilson.
 


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