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Airbag - 'All Rights Removed' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/1e/0f/d0/2002_airbagallrightsremoved_1331229183.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 08, 2012    
 
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Pleasant and mostly chilled out listening experience.

‘All Rights Removed’ is album number two from Airbag, the Norwegian progressive rockers who have much in common with fellow country mates Gazpacho in taking most of their inspiration from the trio of heavyweights that is Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree and Marillion, even down to the suitably abstract cover art.

Their first album, ‘Identity’, was acclaimed in prog circles for its moments of quiet reflection and sombre melodies and ARR continues in a similar vein albeit evidencing that Airbag have further developed and matured. Layers of ambient keyboards and sprawling, languid guitar solos that evoke the Wright – Gilmour axis are very much the blueprint here as Airbag ply their trade across six songs that extend to around fifty minutes of well crafted and very relaxed prog. In common with fellow Karisma label mates D’Accord (reviewed elsewhere this issue) it is the vocals of Asle Torstrup that may prove a stumbling block for some to fully embrace and they work best when at their softest and most fragile such as on the melancholic ‘The Bridge’. Then again, Jon Anderson and Peter Gabriel aside, the prog luminaries of the past were themselves often stretched in the vocal department.

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Dark and brooding instrumental ‘Light Them All Up’ twists and turns and throws in some violins for additional dramatic effect and the only track that does not quite work is the somewhat dreary ‘Never Coming Home’ that outstays its welcome at almost ten minutes. But rather than allowing the album to tail off Airbag save the jewel in the crown until last with the seventeen minute, three part, suite that is ‘Homesick’ where all that has gone previously comes together for the obligatory huge atmospheric crescendo and makes for the albums true stand-out moment.

They may not earn many marks for originality and innovation but Airbag are a relaxing and soothing musical soundscape that makes for a pleasant and mostly chilled out listening experience.

Dean Pedley

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