Patience is a rare commodity on the information superhighway that is the internet, where instant gratification is the order of the day. So it makes a pleasant change to come across a band that not only takes its time, but demands a little dedication on the part of the listener.
Airbag have been kicking around for a while and the Norwegian five-piece have honed their art close to perfection on these six epic tracks of measured progressive rock. So their influences are plain to see and they aren’t offering anything startlingly new, but these songs are beautifully crafted and executed in style.
Nine-minute epic ‘Killer’ opens proceedings with atmospheric electronica and spacious guitars that soon settle into a comfortable bass groove. They deliver a cool hook in the chorus and there’s a lovely little complimentary solo, though the track is extended by gradually layering the guitar texture and building to a dramatic denouement.
Personally I prefer their more melancholy side, especially the beautifully executed ‘Broken’ and the bleak ‘Slave’. The former is peppered with stylish guitar licks and a precious hook in the bridge, throw in some soaring guitars to offer a little hope and its seven divine minutes. Despairing break-up song ‘Slave’ follows in similar vein, benefitting from a little musical drama to punctuate the bitterness, before an extended guitar workout offers release.
The second half of the album takes a brighter turn on the excellent ‘Sleepwalker’, underpinned with nice piano touches, but the thirteen-minute title track that follows is definitely on the indulgent side. The quality remains high though, with plenty of dramatic twists and turns and heady solos. Final track ‘Returned’ is blessedly short, its delicate lullaby melody growing into a soaring wall of sound that shows a different side.
All told, ‘Disconnected’ makes for an emotive listen that’s well worth giving up a bit of your precious time for.
‘Disconnected’ by Airbag is out now on Karisma Records.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)