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Airbag All Rights Removed album cover
4.00 | 543 ratings | 16 reviews | 37% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. All Rights Removed (8:59)
2. White Walls (5:19)
3. The Bridge (6:20)
4. Never Coming Home (9:00)
5. Light Them All Up (3:01)
6. Homesick I-III (17:21)

Total time 50:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Asle Tostrup / vocals, programming, producer
- Bjørn Riis / guitars, keyboards, vocals
- Jørgen Grüner-Hagen / keyboards, programming
- Anders Hovdan / bass
- Henrik Fossum / drums

- Vegard Sleipnes / backing vocals & percussion (3)
- Solvor Maike Vermeer / backing vocals (4,6)
- Karl Joakim Wisloff / violin (5)

Releases information

Artwork: Frédéric Peynet with Asle Tostrup (design)

CD Karisma Records KAR066 (2011, Norway)

2LP Karisma Records KAR066LP (2012, Norway)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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AIRBAG All Rights Removed ratings distribution

(543 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(37%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

AIRBAG All Rights Removed reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with this album. The band has moved far to close to PINK FLOYD--to the point of duplication, or at least sounding as if they were offering alternative versions or extended remixes of old PF classics. And Asle's amazing voice has been mixed far too back--amplifying its STEVEN WILSON timbres and singing style. I like the fact that the band has explored the longer, more extended song formats--and applaud their amazing replication of the PF/PT sound. But, "Identity" was such a wonderful album filled with amazingly rich textures, great vocals, awesome lead guitar solos, incredibly emotional chord and melodic progressions, and perhaps the best 'background' keyboard playing I've ever heard on ANY album. The band may be more mature, more polished, but their originality is, IMHO, a bit lost in the direction they've chosen. Still, FLOYD did some amazing music, and few have done it as well while truly being able to create 'original' songs that we all wish Pink Floyd had done (more of). 1. "All Rights Removed" (8/10) sounds like Steve Wilson's "Time Flies;" the Floyd-imitation layers, sounds and structures are so precise it's scary! 2. White Walls (7/10) sounds as if it comes straight from "The Wall." 3. The Bridge (6/10) is just too derivative/familiar for me. 4. Never Coming Home (7/10) has more of the Identity sound and feel . . . only, with the layers of Gilmour guitars (DSotM). 5. Light Them All Up (7/10) is an instrumental saved by an eerie keyboard background over which an Eastern European-sounding viola solos. 6. Homesick I-III (8/10) starts like another STEVEN WILSON-pays-tribute-to-PINK FLOYD song. Even the electric guitar kick in at the 1:20 mark are right out of "Animals." But the, zoiks, an original (Airbag) section sneaks in from 2:10 all the way til a Richard Wright- like Hammond organ checks in at the 4:05 mark--followed by a fairly nice, NON-Gilmouresque solo. Synth washes with Floyd-like effects from 5:50 til 7:25 when a jazzy bass-line takes over, joined by cymbol play and R Wright's keyboard sound from "Welcome to the Machine" soloing to 9:05. Slow, methodic bottleneck electric guitar solo takes over (on a "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"-kind of solo) as background rhythm section gains in strength, volume and urgency. Great section!! Ends in quiet key washes at 11:25 before Gilmour's other "Shine on..." axe sound enters with, I swear, the duplicate tempo, instrumental support, and chord structure as "Shine on..." Oddly builds into a strumming crescendo at 13:40 before quieting down again at 14:05. Delicate electric guitar picking while synth solos in the background/R channel. Very interesting diversion. But, no! The guitar arpeggios from "Shine on... Part Two" enter... and are inverted! To fade. Interesting song. Obviously a tribute to "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." Nicley done.

Well made, extraordinarily performed. Unlike WOBBLER's "Rites at Dawn," there just isn't enough truly original ARIBAG music here to prompt me to jump and shout. 4 stars.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Airbag! Hmmmm, somewhat of a silly name for a band, especially a proggy one but those Norsemen are a strange breed. After all, they had a rather prolific group called Fruitcake, for heaven's sake! As for fellow Norwegian Gazpacho, need I say more! Monikers aside, I got itchy when reading the reviews and took the plunge, which I am very grateful for (my spidey senses still humming nicely), now that I have listened to this album. Yeah, the Floyd feel is quite apparent (so what else is new?) but I detected hints from Marillion, early Porcupine Tree, Anathema, Nine Stones Close and even The Cure (singer Asle Torstrup is like Lands End's Jeff McFarland, a close Robert Smith clone). The opening title track does little for me, as I feel it a bit difficult to get into, perhaps a little instrumental intro would have been preferable. The rushing Bjorn Riis guitar jangles freely whilst Torstrup wails mercifully, very neighborly of Steven Wilson-like territory (as previously mentioned by my pal Brufordfreak ) to the point of distraction. I mean its good stuff but somehow lacks a "je ne sais quoi" that muddles the pleasure a bit. The throbbing guitar has all the hallmarks and the pursuant solo is delightful, sweeping keys all held down agreeably by lissome bass and authoritarian drumming. It's just too monolithic for these romantic ears I guess! "White Walls" is a PF track by all accounts or at least a Sky Moves Sideways bonus track but again, there are little needles that prick my ears in discomfort, holding back my evident desire to gush over this material. The obligatory axe solo is nothing more than adequate, though highly 'cut and paste'. Oddly enough, I really started grooving with the poppier third track, "The Bridge" despite the obvious Radiohead influences , simply due to the fact that the atmospherics now play a larger role, the bass and guitars more defined. Asle's fragile singing really impresses, providing that blase The Cure feel I mentioned earlier. Finally Riis lets one rip and it's a winner, heaving, howling, hurdling and heckling along the resonating strings of his fretboard. "Never Coming Home" is another tasty track, where the group dynamics come to the fore, featuring another superb vocal performance, clanging guitar phrasings emanating from that Dark Side we all know and love and a series of solos that soar like a Division Bell gone berserk. The gentle organ mid-section is pure bliss, regardless of its influences. This is a phenomenal track, only to be surpassed by the obligatory 17 minute+ epic colossus "Homesick", a retort to the obvious. "Light Them All Up" is a moody, cinematographic instrumental that is both short and "interludish", unaccredited violas notwithstanding.

The star of the show is the 3 part "Homesick" suite, which justifies the entire recording, a whopping homage to that Crazy Diamond in the night sky, with all the usual suspects lined up in a row. Plaintive singing crushing lyrics, dazzling guitar acrobatics, solemn organ fills, almost inaudible bass (a major fault with this production BTW! Perhaps that's what was bothering me early on!) and laid back but solid drumming. There are also torrents of atmosphere, showing a proggy capacity for restraint and introspection, giving the music much needed "Breathe" and scope. Yes, its very overt but, for crying out loud, Pink Floyd was such a positive influence, no? I mean, if you have to be under one's spell, why not the "Animals", eh? The first mid section guitar romp is not quite Gilmourian, adding wah- wah twists and turns that are most welcome. But the second would make David blush with envy or at least wonder if this is Rog' Waters sabotaging things again. LOL Just a precious piece of enduring music, this and well worth getting just for this track alone. Imitation may be the finest form of flattery and that adage is well equipped here to stand the test of "Time". The reliance of symphonic Floyd side is what makes this so pleasurable , very far removed from the overt "Money" themes, wailing saxes and female oooh-ooh vocalists . Give them credit for at least chasing the "Echoes" that were not too commercial. Bravo, guys......

4 Sick Sacks

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'All Rights Removed' - Airbag (8/10)

Although there is a vast range of sounds, styles, and sub-styles, I think I can reasonably divide prog into two major schools; one that appeals to the mind, and one that appeals to the heart. Cue Rush's 'Hemispheres' reference. Of course, it's virtually impossible to have only one of the two, but most bands lean towards one of those more than the other. In the case of Airbag, they are firmly rooted in emotion. Although performed and produced excellently, there is very little display of technical wizardry, nor are there the sort of complex structures that one may come to expect from progressive rock proper. Although the music on 'All Rights Removed' is conveyed through longer songs, it's a journey dominated by atmosphere and melody over anything else. Without setting toes into the cheesy anthem territory of AOR, Airbag's second album is among the most emotionally stirring albums of last year.

The style of 'shoegaze' (which proggers may be familiar with through Alcest or Slowdive) and the post-punk melancholy of The Cure are both players in the style of Airbag. I would not say that 'All Rights Removed' feels, well, 'removed' from a lot of melodic prog archetypes, but they do a much better job of sounding sincere and atmospheric than most 'neo-prog' acts I've heard. Best demonstrated through the abundant bluesy guitar work on the album is the influence of Pink Floyd. I have said that Airbag values melody and emotion over complex compositions, but there is the much-longed for sense of 'epic' in 'All Rights Removed.' Although one might not get the impression from the track listing (which explicitly cites the last song as a standalone epic), the album seems to run as a fifty minute piece of music. In fact, the music itself gives little indication that any of these songs stand on their own. For instance, the central melody of the opener title track segues into 'White Walls.' It's aspects like this that puts Airbag on the radar.

The music is not much varied or surprising, but it matters little when the album benefits from such a charged flow. Airbag lean towards a mid-pace melancholia, led forth by the Hogarth-era Marillion-like vocals of Asle Torstrup. Some proggers may find that 'All Rights Removed' does not fulfil the quota of notes that need to be played per minute in order to be considered real prog. This is meant to be taken as facetious of course, but this degree of lax atmosphere and melancholic, melodic focus should not be dismissed. Airbag have really impressed me here, in short. Steering clear of the often cheesy 80's kitsch that many bands of this sort fall into, there is a great deal to admire with this band's second album.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A wonderful album!

When I listen to bands such as Airbag, I feel relief because we do have new bands that will keep progressive rock alive for so many years. I don't really care if their music is considered a kind of alternative prog, or light prog, not at all, I simply listen to them and let the sounds do the rest. In the end, the experience is really positive. Last year (2011) this Norwegian band released their second studio album, entitled 'All Rights Removed', which contains six excellent compositions that make a total time of 50 minutes.

The album opens with 'All Rights Removed'. In my opinion they couldn't have chosen a better opener, since with this song one can actually feel attracted and let the music do the rest. Though I like the whole album, I would say this track is still my favorite now. This song has a mid-tempo rhythm with a truly addictive sound. I like a lot the constant guitar and the mellow and even beautiful voice of the singer; the song perfectly flows and it is notable how it is progressing little by little because it softly starts and then in the third minute we have an explosive tune, which later vanishes for a little bit. There is a short instrumental interlude here, but then the structure returns and the music takes once again that intense and attractive tune. Worth mentioning that the keyboard plays a primordial role here, the atmospheres and background wouldn't be the same without them. A wonderful song!

'White Walls' has a softer beginning with some laid-back moments. The voice is delicate, mellow and disarming, and it is accompanied by guitars. A minute later bass and drums enter and create an emotional sound, perfectly represented by the guitar riff that comes next. After three minutes we will have a quieter passage where we can perceive the bass notes along with the soft keyboard background, then guitar joins and all of a sudden the song explodes, returning to that emotional sound it brought earlier.

When you think you are listening to the next passage of White Walls, you will realize a new song has actually started. It is 'The Bridge', whose sound may be alike to the previous one, letting us know that the whole album could be a long piece divided in six parts. I like how this track flows (actually how the whole album flows), how you have a mixture of emotions here, and also a blend of sounds and genres because the progressive rock element is here of course, but it also has some kind of alternative rock on it (which is not bad at all). Another positive point is that here I enjoy both, the instrumental passages, and the ones with vocals, it is a really good complement between them.

A longer track comes next with 'Never Coming Home'. Nine minutes of a fresh and tranquilizing music that can be easily loved due to its gentleness and charm. Here we will continue with the soft rhythm and tempo, with a wonderful keyboard atmosphere, the always good voice and a guitar that can change your mood in a split second depending on what it is playing, because it could be making a soft solo that seconds later will turn into a more emotional and disarming one. The music flows so exquisitely, that when you less imagine the nine minutes have already passed. And now a somber, darker piece is offered in 'Light them all up', which is a three-minute instrumental track that will let your imagination fly. After a minute it turns calmer but later a violin appears and produces a spine-chilling sound, which if you are so sensitive, will even make you spread a couple of tears.

Last but not least, an epic 17-minute track entitled 'Homesick' and divided in three parts; a challenging, complex and great song to finish this wonderful album. It starts with acoustic guitars and mellow voice, as you imagine, it progresses little by little, adding different textures and atmospheres, creating that light (but great) side of progressive rock. Later there is an instrumental passage made by keyboards that put a soft and relaxing sound, this is like an ambient music blended with rock. After eight minutes when drums join and keyboards play some notes, I immediately though about 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond', I don't know if the band are aware of it, but I noticed a similar sound in that particular moment. Then the instrumental moment continues, but flowing little by little and making a higher intensity until it slows down at minute eleven. The next minutes are delicious: first some moments when the guitar takes the leadership, marking the rhythm and feeling; and later the music returns to that soft keyboard bases sound a la Crazy Diamond. Then, the music slowly fades out, and the album finishes.

What a great album by Airbag, I've been listening to it over and over recently and I can't get enough of it, this is one of those albums whose music grow on you until you are addicted, and though I do not consider it as a true masterpiece, I can say it is a solid example of a well-created release with excellent compositions. My final grade will be four stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Norwegian band AIRBAG has been around in various incarnations for close to two decades by now, but the current version of the band sees 2005 as the formative year for their current endeavors. They issued their first album back in 2009 and, following two years of work, they reappeared in the fall of 2011 with their second full length effort "All Rights Removed". Like their debut, this production was released by the Norwegian label Karisma Records.

If you tend to enjoy the likes of Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, Airbag will most likely be a band custom made to suite your musical tastes. "All Rights Removed" is an album with a stylistic foundation inspired by the former, liberally seasoned with details inspired by the latter. If that mix sounds appealing you might as well go ahead and buy this CD, as I'd be highly surprised if it doesn't turn out to be a case of love at first listen for those who recognize themselves in the above description.

Review by stefro
3 stars After enjoying a modicum of international success with 2009's debut release 'Identity', Norwegian outfit Airbag returned in 2011 with this highly-successful follow-up, an album that garnered a crescendo of kudos across the progressive rock world, featured in many an end-of-year 'best of' poll and marked out the Scandanavian five- piece as one of the new shining lights of the genre. A bold, modernistic and highly-emotive effort, 'All Rights Removed' is a very interesting album indeed, one that forgoes the usual prog intricacies in favour of a strong alternative-rock streak, a moody, Radiohead-inspired atmospheric feel and Asle Torstrup's yearning vocals which finds the group experimenting with a kind of alternative pop-prog sound characterised much more by emotion than instrumentation. However, there is still much on 'All Rights Removed' that should appeal to fans of modern progressive rock, especially on the album's lengthy 'Homesick', a lengthy seventeen-minute piece which closes the album in a suitably epic style. 'Homesick' features all the major hallmarks of the anthemic Airbag sound, with crisply-strummed acoustic guitars, misty synthesizers and angular guitar solo's all poured into a slow-burning formula that starts slowly before eventually bursting into a grand instrumental finale topped of by Torstrup's powerful vocals. It's a stirring finale, though one that doesn't really come as any surprise considering that all six of this album's carefully-composed tunes sound remarkably similar, making 'All Rights Removed' the less impressive the more it moves along. Both the opening title-track and the album highlight 'White Walls' seem peeled from the same musical fruit, with slow acoustic beginnings making way for grand, rocked-up denouements, all the while accompanied by the same brooding ambience that permeates the entire album. Taken on their own, the individual tracks from 'All Rights Removed' are never less than impressive; however, in their refusal to budge stylistically from the anthemic formula, Airbag have seriously constricted themselves, producing a slick, maudlin yet ultimately rather repetitive twist on the modern prog sound. The addition of modern pop, metal and grunge elements makes for an intriguing listen, and there's no doubting that Airbag are an exciting proposition with a promising future. It will be extremely interesting to see what shape their next album take, with the commercial appeal of 'All Rights Removed' hinting towards a future less influenced by progressive rock than say grunge or alternative rock. Whatever path they choose, Airbag have at least shown a deft hand for emotive song-writing, a style which dominates an ambitious, darkly-hued but ultimately rather repetitive second album. We await their next move with genuine interest.


Review by Warthur
3 stars Apparently, before they changed their name to Airbag and started playing original material these Norwegians were a Pink Floyd tribute band. I'm not surprised to learn this, because this charming prog rock excursion reminds me sonically of a combination of neo-prog of the Marillion and IQ mould but with a greatly dampened Genesis influence and a much expanded Pink Floyd influence, particularly when it comes to the guitar performance of Bjørn Riis and in the group's use of synthesisers. It took a while for the album to grow on me, but whilst I at first wasn't too keen on the opening title track by the time I got to the glorious Homesick I-III at the end I was reasonably entertained, though the vocals don't do much for me. Those who cannot stand the texture of Wish You Were Here-era Pink Floyd will probably want to avoid this one.
Review by progrules
4 stars Love at first sight...

Right here I've been paying the price for being not as involved anymore as some years ago. Of course I should have been reviewing this album much sooner than this very moment but alas, it's not the case. My apology to Airbag for this delay because one of the site's biggest neo devotees should have done his job earlier of course. Here it is, better late than never..

The reason for the love at first sight is simple: this is what neoprog should sound like and it's done in a 100% impeccable way. The sound is right, the style is right (for my taste) and the compositions are top notch. Guitar solos all over the place, that's what these ears are longing for. Neoprog with a touch of Floyd and Tree, can you find much better ? I don't think so. In a review on another site I read the cliché criticism that this music is too predictable. Maybe so, but all things considered it's the only criticism one can find I believe.

Airbag and then mainly this album (I still have to check out the debut) is another jewel for neoprogressive progrock. I'm glad these Norwegians emerged at the prog horizons and I hope they stay around for a long time to produce more material like this. Good luck, guys !

Review by Matti
3 stars I got interested of this Norwegian band after reading a positive review in which Airbag was said to sound a lot like PINK FLOYD (mainly Animals-era). Well, the comparison is very true, Pink Floyd is clearly the main influence. Unfortunately it is also true that PF is the central influence to dozens of modern bands and often those bands turn out to sound quite unoriginal, and on the long run also rather boring, if the songwriting isn't notably strong and varied. Airbag falls somewhere in-between.

So I'm finding it hard to decide whether I enjoy this album worth of four stars or would three stars be more appropriate. The sounds are very enjoyable to any PF fan, lots of lush melodies for electric guitar and keyboards, the addition of acoustic guitar, all played in mostly slow tempo and melancholic, slightly depressed atmosphere. I certainly like that kind of prog, and have liked since the age of fifteen. (BTW, DSotM is one of my albums that have suffered hugely of having heard it too much over the decades.) On the 9-minute title track I sensed some interesting Animals ('Dogs, 'Sheep') resemblance. But perhaps the 17-minute final track 'Homesick' is the clear winner as a composition.

Now the negative sides. The vocals are a bit weak, like a poor Chris Martin copy (COLDPLAY). Musically Airbag resembles not only a lot like Pink Floyd, also a lot like PORCUPINE TREE at their most middle-of-the-road Pink Floydish, ie. not at their heaviest or the most psychedelic. Nor is Pinepple Thief very far. Or even that Coldplay (which I can also listen to without pain, no problem!). The album as a whole is rather predictable, the songs differ from each other much less than on any Pink Floyd album for example. In fact emotionally they are terribly the same. I partly listened also to their third album The Greatest Show On Earth (2013) from YouTube, and judged on this rather thin evidence I believe that it unfortunately doesn't improve things, its songs were duller and less proggy than on this album.

3½ stars. I think I'll settle with three stars this time, but anyway Airbag are easily recommended to those who enjoy the slightly overheard Pink Floyd influence on modern (Neo)Prog. Prog puritans, don't bother.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Brilliant album. All the reviewers on her comparing them to Pink Floyd have lost the plot completely. God bless them there is life after Pink Floyd. Maybe I am stupid I just don't see it the comparison. For a start, no sax whatsoever, or the gentle jazz blues like sounds of Wish you were here. P ... (read more)

Report this review (#1595086) | Posted by AVD | Friday, August 5, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My ALL-TIME Greatest #10 I really love the music, what can I add? It's as simple as that, and this plainness applies just the same to the manner this band does its trade: uncomplicated, straightforward, melodic rock. Ah, yes, rock full of guitar riffs, remember? What a pleasant surprise in th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1490256) | Posted by Quinino | Friday, November 20, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Airbag was a nice little discovery- a Norwegian band that plays an amazing style of Neo-Prog, something that combines The Cure, Anathema and the Pink Floyd. Since I've discovered this album, it has been spinning in my stereo and in my ears, and I can't say that I had enough of this album. It is ... (read more)

Report this review (#1337827) | Posted by Thai Divone | Saturday, January 3, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Airbag on All Rights Removed sounds as if a melancholic Brit-pop band like Coldplay quit screwing around with girl fans, amped up the guitars and indulged in their Pink Floyd obsession. Enjoyable perhaps, but not as varied in source material that made Pink Floyds so great. They basically retained o ... (read more)

Report this review (#1108510) | Posted by Progrussia | Sunday, January 5, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What a surprise this album was/is. Sure it sounds like if David Gilmour joined Porcupine Tree, but where is the problem there? If you love Porcupine Tree or Pink Floyd, there's a good chance you will love this album and band as much as I do. Epic atmospheres, incredible guitar solos and memorable ... (read more)

Report this review (#624459) | Posted by pociluk | Tuesday, January 31, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After listening to a lot of music every day, read reviews of many albums, I do not know why, rarely reflect what I'm really listening to the album, it surprised me very pleasantly. Just listen a minute or two to realize that song is an album worth of truth. The sound is very clean, spatial guitar ... (read more)

Report this review (#579051) | Posted by Eponor | Wednesday, November 30, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Airbag is back again with their second album. I gave their debut album a pretty hard scolding, the evidence (review) tells me. It is therefore a pleasure to return to the band again and a new album. Airbag's music can best be described as a mix of Marillion, Pink Floyd, post rock and their fe ... (read more)

Report this review (#523356) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, September 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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