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Bjørn Riis

Crossover Prog

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Bjørn Riis Forever Comes to an End album cover
3.72 | 116 ratings | 5 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Forever Comes to an End (8:18)
2. Absence (2:42)
3. The Waves (7:24)
4. Getaway (7:53)
5. Calm (3:51)
6. Winter (10:17)
7. Where Are You Now (7:32)

Total Time 47:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Bjørn Riis / vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, piano, composer & producer

- Sichelle McMeo Aksum / vocals (6)
- Simen Valldal Johannessen / piano (2,3)
- Vegard Kleftås Sleipnes / Solina String Ensemble (3,7)
- Henrik Fossum (Airbag) / drums
- Anders Møller / percussion (3,4,6,7)
- Asle Tostrup / loops & Fx (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Asle Tostrup with Kjetil Karlsen (photo)

LP Karisma Records ‎- KAR126LP (2017, Norway)

CD Karisma Records ‎- KAR126CD (2017, Norway)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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BJØRN RIIS Forever Comes to an End ratings distribution

(116 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

BJØRN RIIS Forever Comes to an End reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars As it is with any of Bjørn Riis' solo or Airbag drafts, in either case there's always some sort of highly melodic ambience and nordic melancholy to state. The given front cover image is exemplary for that, isn't it? This paired with a splendid Steven Rothery and David Gilmour inspired guitar playing, how could he fail? Well, it's somewhat astonishing anyhow, seemingly this main recipe won't wear off. While never ever sounding like pure repetition. Hence after being positive about 'Disconnected' recently, one year ago, Karisma Records are now providing another delicious offer with 'Forever Comes To An End', when it comes to my taste.

Airbag fellows Henrik Fossum (drums) and Asle Tostrup (programming) are collaborating for the seven songs too. Regardless, 'I guess it is much more personal and me than anything I've done before', Bjørn Riis affirms. So designed for his first solo album actually, the title track is showing some real contrast program. I mean the hard riffing uptempo parts either way, taking turns with this well-known atmospheric prog charm we're already perfectly acquainted with. And then Absence and the following The Waves are smoothly gliding into a No-Man feel somehow, nice piano lines alongside with acoustic guitar and ambient patterns. Simply brilliant!

Have to confess that I really was anxious for the announced vocal support entering the stage, namely by Sichelle Mcmeo Aksum ... it takes some time ... except some female laughter(?) I'm effectively able to recognize her for the first time on Winter, another pleasant facet for sure. Perfect voice added, she definitely could have been more present anyhow. This track finally represents the album's beauty at best. I'd say 'Forever Comes To An End' marks his most varied and successfull effort (Airbag included). I'm steadily following Bjørn's steps for a while now without getting tired, and this one, including all participants as well as the production, seems to be his masterpiece so far.

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A gloomy, rather ''depressive'' mood veils Bjorn Riis' second album, aptly titled 'Forever Comes to an End'. Lyrics are equally moody and dark. Here, the Airbag mastermind blends the main influences of his core band with some post-rock structures and occasional heavier riffs. The end result is not very dissimilar in nature though. The ghost of Pink Floyd is ever-apparent.

The album kicks off with an unexpected catchy heavy post-rock riff. Unfortunately the verse vocal melody is rather indifferent but luckily saved by the refrain, reminding Anathema's 'Judgement' days. 'Absence' and 'Calm' are instrumental short fillers, preceding the rather lengthy 'The Waves', 'Winter' respectively, which, along with and the closing 'Where are you Now', all display the same pattern: low-tempo, ballad-like compositions, based on ambience and a piano/acoustic guitar background. Unfortunately all are longer than required without a striking feature that would lift them of their slumber mode, despite the pleaseant melodies. 'Getaway' is the exception to the rule; although being instrumental and running for 8 minutes on a standard mid-tempo, keeps the interest high with its simple-yet-catchy keyboard melody and ''trippy'' vibe.

Sadly there is not much more on which to elaborate. Fans of post-2000 Anathema, David Guilmour and of course Airbag might find a lot to appreciate here. 2 stars

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Edgy, jagged, disturbed, swirling in emotional confusion and clearly overwrought and despondent, the dark music of Bjorn Riis never fails to conjure up images of anguish. The lyrics paint vivid pictures that heed no mercy and provide little resolution. Airbag may be on hold for the time being but Bjorn continues following his muse to great effect, a highly stimulating opus that incorporates classic blues licks with distinctive misery and a definite rock delirium. Ably assisted by some Airbag pals, namely Henrik Fossum on drums and Asle Torstrup on programming but also infusing massive amounts of mournful piano from Oak's Simen Johannessen fingers, the man reeks inspiration and the end result is certainly powerful and moody.

The title track takes no prisoners, effectively evoking the more psychedelic tendencies of other luminaries such as Porcupine Tree, as Bjorn's patented soft guitars show a much harder side, thrashing, convulsing and screeching agonizingly. Propulsive, tectonic and strident, the fire rages mercilessly, fueled by words that plead forgiveness and respond to the deepest sorrow. The booming bass rolls majestically below a storm of angry riffs and occasional sweeter expanses. Then, a rippling guitar solo is peeled off with apparent exuberance, deeply poignant and very a propos. A total shock device.

'Absence' is a soporific whirlpool of sound mostly emanating from Johannessen's echoing piano chords, serving as a perfect intro for the downcast pleading of 'The Waves' , searching for some salvation in the grand scheme of things, a soundscape of desolation that oozes like the incessant yet gentle pounding of aquatic sprays, relentless and yet imbued with infinite supremacy. Riis' demolition guitar riffs add throbbing angst and concussing paranoia to the floating crest, his voice aching acutely and convincingly. Spectacular!

A subtle and repetitive electric piano motif introduces 'Getaway', a jazzier style that fits nicely, especially when grooving along, like some race car music blaring down the highway. The intensity evolves progressively into near unbearable heights, urgent, breathless and exhausting. The final stretch becomes quite the aggression fest, gloomy and clamorous, tainted with some psychedelic/psychotic sections that veer close to some kind of internal whirlwind. The bewitching 'Calm' is another shimmering respite, with soft piano ripples that transcend time and space, forever insistent and adventurous and funneled by purpose. Dense symphonics crown the affair with divine gleam. A slow hand guitar phrasing only adds to the pleasure.

A whopping 10 minute behemoth, 'Winter' does the prog duet deal just perfectly, with guest Sichelle Aksum paralleling Bjorn's voice to perfection, as the sublime lead guitar explodes brightly. There are some lovely wailing female notes that elevate the melody into the realms of the sublime, cresting, arching and detonating into a myriad of sparkling emotions. At times, it does get quite raunchy and angry, which only preps the soft afterglow to follow. The jazzy electric guitar-fueled lilt is simply mind-numbing, ultra-cool and sizzling in its trajectory, aiming into the deepest recesses of one's inner being. A masterpiece.

The tragic 'Where Are they Now' pulls the velvet curtain down on another masterful performance by one of prog's surest luminaries , taking the psychedelic vibe further into the inner cosmos of modern day art. Hushed moments of reflection are quickly escorted by soaring exhilaration that knows no boundaries, strong yet fragile, courageous yet tired. Emotional minds will not only understand but even find solace and comfort in this style of evocative music.

As with his debut 'Lullabies in a Car Crash', this is most definitely late night music, deeply evocative, profoundly disturbing and yet massively passionate and honest. The piano provides a myriad of options for the melodies to shine brightly on their own, devoid of useless bombast that might take away from the sonic simplicity. More personal and ethereal than any of the Airbag releases, this is quite a revelation.

4.5 grand finales

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Bjorn Riis is the lead guitarist for the Neo Prog band AIRBAG and this is his second studio album released in 2017. Bjorn is a multi-instrumentalist and he pretty much does it all here including writing the lyrics, composing the music and producing the record. He has five guests adding their talents including AIRBAG's singer and drummer. Funny that the vocalist doesn't sing on here, he adds FX and looping to one track. We also get OAK's singer here but again he doesn't add vocals he adds piano to a couple of songs. Bjorn by the way had guested on an OAK record in 2016. Bjorn himself besides adding guitar sings, plays keyboards, bass and piano.

My first impression of this album wasn't a good one as I found this to be a rather sad album. Too sad. Lyrics about a relationship where the female is leaving and the results of that. The title I thought was cool until I realized it's connected with marriage in the sense that it's supposed to be forever right? Well forever came to an end once again. The three tracks that I can't get past in regard to being depressing are "The Waves", "Winter" and "Where Are You Now" which is over half of the record.

Highlights are the opener which is the title track. Man if the rest was like this where we actually get some heaviness and power contrasted with the mellow parts. Love the bass too before 5 minutes and of course the soaring Gilmour- like guitar that Bjorn is known for. "Gateway" is the one with FX and loops creating atmosphere. Some energy on this one thankfully. "Calm" is my final top three and the only track where we get some moving stuff happening, some emotion.

Mostly a piano and guitar led recording with lots of contrasts and plenty of atmosphere. I was reminded of 00's ANATHEMA at times but I just can't get into this one and it's a personal thing to be honest. I remember the struggle coming up with a rating for AIRBAG's debut "Identity" the only one I've reviewed from them so far and it wasn't long after it was released in 2009. I find this a step down from that one although I haven't heard that one in a decade at least.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Having followed AIRBAG and their flowing style (remeniscent of PINK FLOYD in their heyday) to the eagerly anticipated arrival of BJ BJORN RIIS's first album it was with real excitement that three years later the sublime offering of 'Forever Comes To An End' has ma made its appearance. It's as if ... (read more)

Report this review (#1729478) | Posted by huge | Friday, June 2, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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