Airbag guitarist Bjørn Riis is back with his third full length album, “A Storm Is Coming.” Riis has been really busy with his solo career the last few years, releasing the EP “Coming Home” last year. His solo work has been absolutely flawless so far. And that’s why the first few minutes of the opening track “When Rain Falls” are so odd. The album would be better off without them!
The song starts with a plodding repetitive heavy riff that is just flat out dull. It goes on and on for 4 minutes and never does anything. Then the song goes into this overly sparse jazzy part that sounds like the musicians are looking for notes. The song properly kicks in at the 5 minute mark and is quite good and moving after that. It has that Floydian vibe that Riis is good at.
I was almost ready to give up but thankfully I know how good Riis is so I stuck with that song. And after it comes “Icarus” which sounds a bit like “Drown With Me” by Porcupine Tree. It’s a great tune though! “You and Me” is bit too dreary for its own good, but song itself is good despite the dour arrangement. “Stormwatch” is my favorite track on the album, a standard Riis epic. It’s big, melodic and powerful. There’s one little heavy moment in it that almost seems out of place, yet it still works. The track would work as an Airbag song.
Next is the 8 minute plus “This House” which reminds me a little of Tim Bowness before it glides into a more Porcupine Tree vibe. “Epilogue” is exactly that, a nice closing number that isn’t meant to blow you away but rather get you safely back home. Overall, “A Storm Is Coming” doesn’t surpass Bjørn Riis’ last full length “Forever Comes to an End,” but it has moments that rival it. It adds to an impressive solo discography that is quickly outshining his own band’s catalog. And that is saying a lot!
- When Rain Falls
- You And Me
- This House
Label: Karisma Records
Release Date: 3 May 2018