Karisma Records will release the final album from the back catalogue of Prog Rockers AIRBAG on the 11th June, and this completes the quartet of re-releases from the band that has been hailed as one of the most important to emerge from the Norwegian prog scene over the past decades, and one that has succeeded in garnering a world-wide fan base.
As with the previous AIRBAG re-releases, 2009’s “The Greatest Show on Earth”, 2011’s “All Rights Removed” and 2016’s “Disconnected”, “Identity” has been totally remastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo (WHITE WILLOW, THE OPIUM CARTEL).
“Identity” was AIRBAG’s first full-length album, which gave fans a taste of what the future would look like for a band with a unique sound that draws elements from classic and progressive rock, chill and jazz, and drawing their influences from artist from a wide range of genres – from Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree to Talk Talk, Radiohead and Marillion (Steve Hogarth era).
Comprising eight songs, and showcasing AIRBAG’s classic progressive rock sound, blended with scenic soundscapes, epic guitars and soulful vocals, the re-release will be available in a special Limited Edition Deluxe version, complete with a 12 page booklet and a die-cut sleeve, as well as in Limited Digisleeve and regular jewel case CD formats
This is what the band had to say about it:
“Identity” has a very special place in our hearts and many of the songs are still staples in our live performances. It’s the album that started it all and it seems to mean so much to so many of our fans around the world. We’re proud to release this deluxe version and present the music and artwork the way we always envisioned it.
AIRBAG’s lineup on “Identity” is comprised of Asle Tostrup on vocals, Bjørn Riis on guitars & vocals, Jørgen Hagen on keyboards, Anders Hovdan on bass and Joachim Slikker on drums.
Tracklisting is as follows:
2) No Escape
3) Safe Like You
4) Steal My Soul
5) Feeling Less
7) How I Wanna Be
8) Sounds That I Hear
In addition to “Identity”, Karisma Records will also be releasing a different version of “The Greatest Show on Earth”, which was originally re-released in 2020 as a Limited Edition, and which sold out virtually immediately. This was AIRBAG’s third full-length, and the first to be released directly onto vinyl, and the new 2021 version will be available as a double LP in Blue Vinyl.
On “The Greatest Show on Earth”, AIRBAG’s lineup of Bjørn Riis on guitars, Asle Tostrup on vocals Henrik Fossum on drums Jørgen Grüner-Hagen on keyboards and Anders Fossum Hovdan on bass, along with engineer and co-producer Vegard Sleipnes, raised AIRBAG’s music to the next level.
It is an album that sees AIRBAG continue their journey through atmospheric soundscapes and dealing in serious topics by creating cinematic pictures and drawing the listener’s emotions into the band’s world. The distinctive AIRBAG sound is still there, but this time the album is a bit rougher, with some heavier parts.
Tracklisting is as follows:
1. Surveillance (part 1)
3. Silence Grows
4. Call Me Back
5. The Greatest Show on Earth
6. Surveillance (part 2-3)
Both “Identity” and “The Greatest Show on Earth” are now available to pre-order from:
Webshop Vinyl: https://www.karismarecords.no/product/vinyl/
Webshop CD: https://www.karismarecords.no/product/cd/
US Webshop: https://karismarecords.aisamerch.com/
Formed in the mid 2000’s AIRBAG today is made up of Asle Tostrup on vocals, Bjørn Riis on guitars, and Henrik Bergan Fossum on drums, a trio that is adept at blending diverse musical styles and sounds with a strong narrative listening experience, as witnessed by their latest critically acclaimed album “A Day at the Beach” which, since its release in June 2020, has already been pressed 13,000 times.
A video of AIRBAG performing in Quebec in 2019 can be seen at https://youtu.be/3fFoN-JJr-U