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AIRBAG

Neo-Prog • Norway


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Airbag biography
Norwegian outfit AIRBAG refer to 2005 as being their formative year. These high school friends have been playing together under this moniker before that as well - they were actually formed in 1994, and the current line-up has ben in place since 1999 - but for the band 2005 heralds the start, or perhaps fresh start, as a band.

They released their first EP the same year, Sounds That I Hear. Blending influences from acts such as a-ha, Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd, they managed to create a sonic expression defying normal genre convencions - and allowing the release to be freely downloadable from their website was a smart move: In the first few months more than 10.000 people got the EP, and Airbag established a good-sized, international fanbase.

In 2007 a second EP was issued, Safetree. Like the previous production this one too was freely downloadable, and further extended their popularity among a internet-savvy fanbase. 2007 also saw Airbag's debut as a live outfit, opening for acts like Pineapple Thief, Gazpacho and Riverside.

In 2009 they were signed by Karisma Records, and their debut album Identity was issued. This time as a regular commercial production. The release of their debut effort saw the band withdraw their previous EPs, as many of the tracks on those efforts found their way onto their first full length venture - albeit in more or less refined versions.

The current line-up is Asle Tostrup (vocals) Bjørn Riis (guitars, vocals), Jørgen Hagen (keyboards), Anders Hovdan (bass) and Joachim Slikker (drums).

Airbag official website

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DisconnectedDisconnected
Karisma 2016
Audio CD$8.81
$8.11 (used)
The Greatest Show On EarthThe Greatest Show On Earth
Karisma 2016
Audio CD$9.65
$15.17 (used)
All Rights RemovedAll Rights Removed
Karisma 2016
Audio CD$7.99
$11.28 (used)
IdentityIdentity
Karisma Records 2016
Audio CD$10.17
$7.79 (used)
DisconnectedDisconnected
Karisma 2016
Vinyl$27.55
$85.00 (used)
VoragineVoragine
Import
Sony 2011
Audio CD$18.62
$117.43 (used)
LibertadLibertad
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$18.06
$21.77 (used)
Samsara VivoSamsara Vivo
Import
Sony Import 2012
Audio CD$19.83
$19.84 (used)
AirbagAirbag
Import
Wea UK Generic 2004
Audio CD$6.98
$6.06 (used)
Mentira La VerdadMentira La Verdad
Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$23.99
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AIRBAG discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

AIRBAG top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 198 ratings
Identity
2009
4.03 | 410 ratings
All Rights Removed
2011
3.90 | 339 ratings
The Greatest Show on Earth
2013
3.76 | 144 ratings
Disconnected
2016

AIRBAG Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AIRBAG Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

AIRBAG Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

AIRBAG Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.21 | 19 ratings
Come On In
2004
4.69 | 16 ratings
Sounds That I Hear
2005
4.33 | 21 ratings
Safetree
2007

AIRBAG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Disconnected by AIRBAG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.76 | 144 ratings

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Disconnected
Airbag Neo-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars The opening "Killer" prepares the listener for a rich, full-layered Neo/Crossover output, embroided with influences by the greats of 70s-90s (melodic) progressive rock. Unfortunately, expectations fall short beyond the opening attention-catching song: "Disconnected", despite being a sound-captivating album, retreats to tried-and-tested patterns of low tempos, nearly hypnotic, and safe structures.

The quintet seem like they have studied sound production and produce a very warm feeling through detailed orchestration, melodic guitar solos and delicate-but-intricate drumming. They blend mostly secondary influences from "traditional" progressive rock i.e. "Slave" shows a keenness to Pink Floyd via recent Anathema works while the rest of the album borrows from Riverside-alike soundscapes, very reminiscent of (the less interesting second era of) Marillion. The title track raises the game again after the opening with richer sounds and a lounge-jazz mood at times. The vocals suit perfectly the music and trodd on low-octaves.

If Hogarth-era Marillion is your thing, then you will most likely appreciate "Disconnected". Avoid if you prefer more exciting up-tempo prog rock.

3-3.5 stars

 Disconnected by AIRBAG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.76 | 144 ratings

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Disconnected
Airbag Neo-Prog

Review by Porcupineapple

3 stars Airbag is a Norwegian quintet that has been retracing the footsteps of Pink floyd with such confidence and creativity, that so far 2 out of their 3 albums landed on my favourites' list. Their sound is as pure as it gets, successfully mixing long and dreamy guitar solos with a slight retro rock sound made very accessible for the new-age listeners. Along the way they are reaching back to their above-mentioned masters for a lot of inspiration, and maybe even too much for the fourth time. At least that was the first thing on my mind when hearing their new album, which is, let us face it, a ripoff of their already showcased pinkfloydian ideas without a shred of innovation inbetween.

Nevertheless, Disconnected is still a decent listen, if you are just being introduced to their music. A mature band is doing what they are good at: setting the scene with some ok (albeit basic and light) neo-prog ideas stretched over 8-minute-long songs, where dreamy, held-out guitar solos are thrown at atmospheric refrains brought to us through the singer's perfectly matching voice. This was the formula for all the previous albums, and it was left unchanged for Disconnected, too. The problem is that this self-copying methodology wore out their pinkfloydian machine by now, which the band must feel too, as half of the songs do nothing but copy the already used melodies (especially from The greatest show on Earth), whilst the others try to introduce some new ones on the backbone of the above, but in a rather mellow, slowed down and overall tiring way. There are some exceptions though - 'Slave' for example manages to find its way to the listener even through its recycled ideas, and 'Returned' is also an elegant (albeit again brutally simple) closing of the album, reminding me of the finale of their first album. But as for the rest of the songs, they are way too similar not just to the previous ones but to each other also. Everything is interchangeable here, failing to make the impression of a new album, and instead sounding like a batch of deselected leftovers from a forgotten B-side album.

Funny how I was complaining in another review recently of how some bands mischoose their way of what new genre to venture into when the time for change comes, whilst here it is the lack of even trying is what bothers me. And if it is for a band that already sounds like a Pink floyd cover quintet, then I am blaming them even more for not even trying to do anything beyond "business as usual". In any case, this is not a bad listen, but can be recommended to those fans only, who have not yet worn out their copies of The greatest show on Earth. For them a next album might do the trick more, should it ever come with some more innovation, whilst for the others it is more recommended to visit the previous albums instead, to have a true taste of this brilliant band's forte.

 Disconnected by AIRBAG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.76 | 144 ratings

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Disconnected
Airbag Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Norwegian band AIRBAG can trace its history back to sometime in the '90s, but didn't actually release an official debut album until 2009. Since then they have released new material at a fairly steady pace, and have become one of the better known of the contemporary progressive rock bands in the process. "Disconnected" is their most recent studio recording, and was released by the Norwegian label Karisma Records in the early summer of 2016.

Those who have a strong affection for the David Gilmour era of Pink Floyd should find Airbag's latest studio album to be warmly appealing, and then especially those most fond of Gilmour's guitar solo passages and the gentler parts of the Gilmour-era compositions. In addition I rather suspect that many fans of bands like Porcupine Tree, Sylvan and RPWL might find this recording to have a strong appeal.

 All Rights Removed by AIRBAG album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.03 | 410 ratings

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All Rights Removed
Airbag Neo-Prog

Review by AVD

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. Pink Floyd is slow and sometimes ponderous in comparison to Airbag. Anyone who thinks this sounds anything like Wish you were here needs to have their ears tested. They are seriously confused. I think it is about time that albums were given two ratings, one for the genre and one for the technical performance. This will stop me from giving the likes of Genesis a zero for their music which I consider to be soulless and boring and hopefully stop the technocrats from undervaluing neo prog artists such as Airbag whose compositions may not be highly technical but are way more soulful and emotional (as good neo-prog should be) than most of the other prog crap out there.

The truth is that Pink Floyd is misclassified as psychedelic when in fact they are closer to neo prog, but because it has a few extra superfluous noises its classification is changed. The prog reviewers then take great pleasure in accusing Airbag of plagiarism when Airbag is clearly neo prog and PF are so clearly psychedelic (or are they?). There is way too much intellectual masturbation on this site. Unfortunately the chief intellectual maturbationists are the technocrats who impose their views on the rest of us who actually enjoy music that is emotional, has a tune and touches our souls, not something that is technically good.

It is time that the prog world ceased its infatuation with PF, Rush and Genesis and moved on and Airbag is a good place to start. I remember reading the sleeve notes to Brave where it said turn down the lights lie on the floor and turn up the music. The same advice applies to this album. Assume the position and listen to The Bridge, the emotional vocals and guitar is stupendous and in my humble opinion, makes all the beeps, farts and whistles on PF sound positively amateurish.

This is how rock is meant to sound. Yes there could be more memorable hooks and melodies but music that is too accessible is boring you might as well listen to Katy Perry, God forbid.

Airbag play their music from the soul and the more you listen to it the more it grows on you. My only complaint would be, and this is a common theme through all of their music, that the vocals endure for the intro to the songs and then never reappear, the only other group that I am aware of that followed this pattern were the Railway Children. There are very few low points on the album and the fact that the group is so young bodes well for the future. I have no doubt that they will continue to grow, mature and get even better and I for one cannot wait.

 Disconnected by AIRBAG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.76 | 144 ratings

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Disconnected
Airbag Neo-Prog

Review by Progrussia

3 stars Norway's Airbag play Pink Floyd-inspired melancholic rock thematically centered around modern technological dystopia, with a guitar that is often more upfront in the mix than usual for such styled bands, Well, Disconnected is not a bad album, but I think if you're new to AIrbag, you'll be better off with All Rights Removed or Greatest Show on Earth, since Disconnected is a carbon copy. It's almost as if the writing process went along the lines of, let's see, we've got to start with a slightly less lethargic track with a groove. Then slow things down with a ballad with a mournful acoustic opening. And then we must have a 10-plus song that features a Pink Floydian crescendo.
 Disconnected by AIRBAG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.76 | 144 ratings

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Disconnected
Airbag Neo-Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

3 stars Since 2009 AIRBAG from Norway are periodically arriving with a new album nearly every second year. Hereby their approach has not essentially changed over the course. They are providing highly melodic neo prog songs in a rather mellow outfit. This is garnered with psychedelic leanings, first and foremost Pink Floyd comes into mind here of course. Besides the keys I would say guitarist Bjørn Riis, also known for his acclaimed solo album 'Lullabies In A Car Crash', is predominantly responsible for that, while radiating some gilmouresqe references over and over.

That said they don't define something blatantly new every time, no, but AIRBAG again are offering a skilled song-writing and production level with 'Disconnected', that's for sure. Also including the keyboard respectively synthesizer additions this is multi-layered, well-balanced, not overproduced. The excellent album title track proves this as no other. Who is keen on nice atmospheric songs in the vein of Believe, Satellite, the mid-70s Floyd, is in good hands here - 3.5 stars.

 Disconnected by AIRBAG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.76 | 144 ratings

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Disconnected
Airbag Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars I appreciate the incredible sound engineering of Airbag albums. I appreciate the dextrous facility Asle, Bjørn and the other band members have with all of the Pink Floyd 'tricks,' and I am one who (usually) loves long, spacious, slow building musical passages and songs, but the way songs 2-4, "Broken" (7:08) (8/10), "Slave" (8:39) (8/10) and "Sleepwalker" (7:05) (8/10) seem to find the band on cruise control as if they were driving 45 mph through the Nebraska cornfields is only disappointing. The opener, "Killer" (9:18) (9/10) is above this melancholic malaise because it has some power and emotion to its music and its message, and the title song, 5. (13:10) (9/10), also rises above because of its non-Pink Floyd, somewhat Steven WILSON feel and its variety of sounds, pacing, and structure. And the sparse and simplistic 6."Returned" (5:11) (7/10), feels like a slightly Post Rock epilogue, after-thought, or space filler. Too bad, guys. After you had reached the top with 2013's Greatest Show on Earth I thought you had figured out the keys to perpetual perfection.

A solid four star album recommended to prog lovers--especially Neo Progheads and lovers of the Pink Floyd sound.

 Disconnected by AIRBAG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.76 | 144 ratings

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Disconnected
Airbag Neo-Prog

Review by maialaia

5 stars Norwegian progressive rock band Airbag has released their fourth album 'Disconnected'. The first thing that stands out is the richness of the compositions. The six tracks have great songwriting and fantastic playing which results in a rich, vibrant and modern music. The band blends influences from acts such as Pink Floyd, Radiohead, latter-day Marillion, and glimpses of Anathema. There are no filler tracks, all 6 tracks are at the same superior level. In the end, Disconnected is a great album by Airbag, which 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.
 Disconnected by AIRBAG album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.76 | 144 ratings

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Disconnected
Airbag Neo-Prog

Review by guillermo68

5 stars Airbag has released their fourth studio album Disconnected. To quote the band directly, 'Disconnected' "features six songs reflecting on the theme of alienation between the individual and society, what society expects from us as individuals, and our resultant failure to live up to those expectations. Each of the six compositions depicts the state of feeling on 'the outside' and out of touch with oneself and those around us." The music in this album is modern, rich and vibrant. It's definitely one of the best albums of 2016 so far and maybe a front runner for best album of the year. This really is a wonderful album and I love it.
 All Rights Removed by AIRBAG album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.03 | 410 ratings

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All Rights Removed
Airbag Neo-Prog

Review by Quinino
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

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 this day and age!

Global Appraisal

Sure, there is plenty of keys and programming going around, but the way the guitars take the center stage delivers for once a refreshing and stimulating breeze to a genre that sometimes stales in a suffocating profusion of electronics and effects.

No filler, all 6 tracks at the same superior level, ending with an epic in 3 movements that leaves you full but inevitably sends you back again to the beginning in search for more.

Goodies

The mentioned guitars rhythm and lead, mainly by Bjorn, also with arranger and lyricist duties. The voice, great voice, of this fellow Asle. Discreet and tender yet so warm and up close.

The way the musical themes evolve and unwind beginning with presentation, developing to climax with solo and ending with final pacification give them, even the shorter ones, a cinematic dimension of fruitful effect, even more accentuated by the clever odd use of spoken voice and taped sounds.

The violin solo on "Light them all up" albeit short is unforgettable.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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