2013 Prog Rock from Norway’s Neo-Prog Band – Airbag – The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on EarthSo on Thanksgiving my son Andrew and I were talking about Prog Rock and the fact that I seemed to enjoy all of the Neo Prog that I listened to, He said that I should listen to a band that he has been listening to for a while Airbag. So on the way home I found Airbag on MOG and downloaded their latest album – a few seconds into the album I knew that they were NOT the right Airbag. When I got home I looked at MOG again and found a 2009 release Identity which seemed better, put it on the phone sat back and said “Yes” these are the prog-rockers! And once again Dad likes Neo-Proggers!!


Here’s some information about the band from the ProgArchives:


Norwegian outfit AIRBAG refer to 2005 as being their formative year. These high school friends have been playing together under this moniker before that as well – they were actually formed in 1994, and the current line-up has ben in place since 1999 – but for the band 2005 heralds the start, or perhaps fresh start, as a band.


In 2009 they were signed by Karisma Records, and their debut album Identity was issued. This time as a regular commercial production. The release of their debut effort saw the band withdraw their previous EPs, as many of the tracks on those efforts found their way onto their first full length venture – albeit in more or less refined versions.

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At their Facebook page I read: Airbag’s music is perhaps best described as scenic, epic rock or, as legendary Classic Rock Magazine said: “Reminiscent of a late-nite, laid-back Pink Floyd”.

The band’s third album The Greatest Show on Earth was recently released. The album follows two very successful releases, the aforementioned Identity that was released in 2009 and All Rights Removed released in 2011. Based on the first two albums Airbag has built a solid reputation with the press and fan base that has led to the band playing at several major festivals and on double-bills with major acts like: Marillion, Anathema, Pineapple Thief, Riverside, RPWL and Gazpacho. (Note to Edward – check out – Anathema, Pineapple Thief and Gazpacho.)

So yesterday, I found The Greatest Show on Earth at Spotify and gave it a listen and I  like it and  it is reminiscent of Pink Floyd, but I do think that they make the music sound different enough that they stand on their on!!

Airbag_Pressphoto_1-300x225The current line-up for the band is:

Bjørn Riis / Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass
Asle Tostrup / Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
Henrik Fossum / Drums
Jørgen Hagen / Programming, Keyboards
Anders Hovdan / Bass

In his review at ProgArchives tszirmay: a SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborato writes that the album is

Atmospheric, dense, exciting, powerful and intoxicating, Airbag has arrived with a furious riposte, adding their grain of salt to the 2013 treasure trove, a deluge of stupendous releases. The artwork is spellbinding, very Storm Thorgerson/Hipgnosis and is a pure delight that complements the music inside. This band deserves to be considered up there with all the recent leading contenders (Haken, Deeexpus, Nine Stones Close, Galahad, Big Big Train etc’.) as a purveyor of quality progressive music.

and that:

Guitarist Bjorn Riis is a tremendously gifted player, as well as composing energetic space prog arrangements that have a modern sheen on a trusted and proven formula, there is also a lot of attention to detail which perhaps was a previous omission, the sophomore All Rights Removed being just a few inches away from perfection. Here little things abound such as some Roxy Music-like tightness on ‘Redemption’, a phenomenal track that also features a swirling guitar solo amid tempestuous walls of resonating riffs, frantic drumming and heartfelt vocals. ‘Silence Grows’ is sleek and more obviously from the Darker Side (sic), organ trembling nicely with wistful vocals and slashing Gilmourian guitar crescendos, the beat binary and solid. It’s a shorter ballad that has a familiar sound and yet still displays interesting aspects, with lots of bombast and grandiose wallop. Full Review

The album received an overall rating of 3.96 out of 5 with 40% of the ratings being 5 star which means that the album is an: Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music.

So check them out at:

Airbag Website
Karisma/Dark Essence Records
ProgArchives: Airbag
Amazon The Greatest Show on Earth

Here’s the title track from the latest release – “The Greatest Show on Earth”