Archive for Nordagust

Airbag – All Rights Removed [2011]

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , on 31st October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Airbag
Album: All Rights Removed
Release year: 2011
Genre: Atmospheric Progressive Rock

“All Rights Removed” is the second album by Norwegian atmospheric progressive rockers Airbag. The band all ready have a strong following in their native country Norway as well as a large following in Poland, which is proven by the fact their song “Colours” was featured – for four months – in the top ten list of Polish national radios. The new album is described to be much darker and more atmospheric than their debut album.

”All Rights Removed”, the title track, is the first part of the album. Beginning with a typical rock sound which progresses as the vocals are introduced, which are a reminder of U2. The guitars have a hint of an older Pink Floyd and the percussion fits in perfectly with the guitars. The guitar solo has a cool sounding spaced out tone to it, giving it that extra edge compared to the rest of the guitar work. “White Walls” brings about a new atmosphere with it, feeling like a Pink Floyd meets A-Ha composition. The vocals are strong, full of emotion and conviction. The percussion elements helps keep that laid back feel to the music as well. The one thing that makes this song truly complete is the soulfully performed solo.

The third song of the album comes about in the form of the light yet haunting sounds of “The Bridge”. Some sections of the song make the listener feel as if they’re listening to Anathema though the song does retain its own unique sound as well and the vocals keep the emotion flowing throughout the song. “Never Coming Home” has a dark and solemn sound and atmosphere, sort of like My Dying Bride and Anathema. The vocals don’t fit in well with the dark sound, causing unintentional disharmony. The introduction of the guitars brings back some form of harmony to the track, fortunately enough. the use of acoustic guitars adds a subtle and almost hidden dynamic to the song, keeping it versatile and fresh. The solo leads the track is a powerful yet saddening finish.

”Light Them All Up” is definitely the most interesting song on the album. There’s a beautiful use of a violin that creates a haunting and mystifying atmosphere that entrances the listener’s ears and captivates the soul. The album finishes with “Homesick”, beginning with an acoustic section mixed with vocals that feel as if they’re overpowering the guitar. As the song progresses, new elements are introduced like more melodic guitar sections played on electric guitars mixing with the acoustic sections. The percussion instrumentation adds some excitement to the music, as do the vocals.

Though the album contains only six tracks, it’s one of the most impressive pieces of musical craftsmanship to come out of Norway since the days of Edvard Grieg. Each track is so masterfully composed and played, that Airbag have shown that it’s the quality of the tracks – not the quantity – that matters.

4.8/5

Advertisements

Nordagust – In The Mist Of Morning [2010]

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , on 18th June 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Nordagust
Album: In The Mist Of Morning
Release year: 2010
Genre: Progressive Rock

Musically, Norway is known for its infamous black metal scene, however there are some rising stars in the other music scenes of Norway and one of those rising stars are the progressive rock band known as “Nordagust”, whom take their name from the mythological spirit of the North wind. Their most recent release is “In The Mist Of Morning”.

The title track, “In The Mist Of Morning” is the first track of the album beginning with a gentle keyboard intro which is gradually accompanied by a slow paced guitar riff. The drums gently join in at the same time as the guitar. The vocals are soft yet powerful, blending well with the music. The keyboard sections add a very calming yet eerie atmospheric feel whilst the guitar riffs are very melodic. This track conjures up images of a mist hanging around the mountain ranges of Norway and along the coast. One couldn’t ask for a better track to begin the album.
“Expectations” is the second track, carrying on the eerie atmosphere created by the keyboard sections. Again, the vocals are soft yet powerful whilst the guitars are, again, melodic and are heavier and more rocky than the previous track in some sections. The drums seem to have more of a part on this track as well. The track is beautifully and well composed. Next is “Mysterious Ways”, beginning with a dark and terrifying keyboard section mixed with some strange sounds. The guitar riffs are slow but strong and melodic in some sections. However, the drums are the thing that stand out most about this track as they match up to the guitar riffs for strength and power. “Mysterious Ways” certainly sets a mystifying atmosphere and feeling.

”In The Woods” begins with the intelligently combined sound of running water and a slow guitar riff, setting a calm mood. The riff is masterfully composed and played. The keyboard section brings a more dramatic sound to the track, making ever more enjoyable to listen to. The only downside to this track is the lack of bass, vocals and drums. “Elegy” seems to carry on from where “In The Woods” finishes. The guitars are soft yet sorrowful, whilst the drums are too light, almost been fully overpowered by the guitar riffs in some sections though they do increase in power and strength is other sections of the track. The vocals, however, make up for the lightly played drum sections, bringing a new level of power to the track. The keyboard sections are brilliant.

“Forcing” is one of the more aggressive sounding tracks of the album. The riffs seem to have more bite than the previous tracks whilst maintaining their melodic flair. The drums and keyboards virtually match the guitar riffs for power, strength and heaviness. The lack of vocals on this track is disappointing but nevertheless it is still an immense track. The next track is “Frozen” which seems to continue on from “Forcing”. The keyboard sections seem to dominate this track for the first minute. The vocals contrast well with the guitar and keyboard sections, while the drums beautifully switch from light to heavy throughout the track, making it more interesting.

“The Tide” begins with a very synth/keyboard orientated intro which is soon accompanied by a wonderful guitar section. The vocals work well with the keyboard sections. The drums are masterfully played throughout the track. The second to last track, “Make Me Believe”, begins with a very dramatic and tense keyboard section. The guitar riff that follows adds a certain brilliance to the track. The vocals are still going strong. The track has some very powerful sections, which contrast greatly with the more lighter sections. The final track of the album is “Elegy Epilogue”. The intro is very atmospheric, whilst the piano section is very calm and soothing. It is a beautiful end to a great album.

”In The Mist Of Morning” is a testament to the talent and musical genius of “Nordagust”. The album is very atmospheric and melodic and captures the very soul of Norway while at the same time retains the progressive rock sound. This is a great addition to any progressive rock fan’s collection.

4/5

Nico Davidson