Bjørn Riis - A Storm is Coming

Bjørn Riis A Storm is Coming cover
Bjørn Riis
A Storm is Coming
Karisma Records
Bjorn Riis’ name might not mean a lot on its own, but some context is given if you mention that he’s the mastermind and guitarist of Norweigian progsters Airbag, a band that has manage to mirror Pink Floyd, to perfection without really aping them. Seemingly not content with only being a member of Airbag, he’s also got a solo career on the side and “A Storm is Coming” marks his fourth personal outing.
There are only half a dozen tracks on offer and they’re all pretty drawn out. Opener “Rain Falls” sounds a lot like Water’s era Pink Floyd and that’s obviously something half expected… the heavier meanderings are maybe more Porcupine in nature, but you get the picture…
“Icarus” is poppier, but not in the traditional sense, as it uses the classic tale of a person flying too close to the sun / to his ruin, taken from Greek mythology as a metaphor for personal issues.
“You and Me” is totally soft and minimal, seemingly contemplating on the first phrase of “Don’t Speak” for far too long, but not going beyond that, not really.
“Stormwatch”, in its majestic fourteen and a half minutes, manages to go from completely limp and soft soundscapes to some pretty extreme outbursts of dynamism and back again, in a very organic way; it feels like a storm that’s about to happen, then it takes place and then you’re left smelling the rain…
“This House” is more melancholic and withdrawn, but at the same time, it doesn’t sound cold and mechanical; in fact it’s the complete opposite, a warm track that’s more than a little jaded, but holds on to a precious glimmer of hope, or redemption and deliverance, despite mourning the loss of someone close.
Last but not least, “Epilogue” feels like a three minute study of a sample and how one can tinker with it in a smooth way to create some enveloping ambiance. Very apt way to end this collection.
The soft and timid nature of the sounds on this recording make it an ideal listen for relaxation and times when you want to unwind. Smooth, nocturnal and pure, it could keep many of its listeners good company, at any time, but especially during the grimmer months of the year.