Aspera - Ripples

(CD 2010, 54:47, Inside Out 0505152)

The tracks:
  1- Intro(01:31)
  2- Ripples(06:32)
  3- Do I Dare(05:31)
  4- Remorse(06:21)
  5- Between Black & White(08:12)
  6- Catatonic Coma(05:44)
  7- Torn Apart(04:58)
  8- Traces Inside(07:51)
  9- Reflections(02:03)
10- The Purpose(05:58)

Aspera Website        samples        Inside Out Records

Finally, a brand new interesting prog metal band! Aspera is a Norwegian band consisting of five metal youngsters that really could become the next big prog metal thing (read the interview). The music of Aspera features a fresh and very original blend of heavy and tight guitar riffs, beautiful sound scapes and lots of melody, guitar and keyboard solos. You can hear influences from bands like Pain Of Salvation, Dream Theater and Evergrey, but above all Symphony X, mainly due to the fact that Atle Pettersen ‘s voice sounds very much like Russell Allan ‘s voice, even a bit too much sometimes…

The ten songs on this debut album are all great; throughout the album I heard neither filler, nor a misser. Highlights are the two longest tracks Between Black & White and Traces Inside, which are both mind-boggling multi-layered songs, containing a great variety of moods, timbre and metre. In shorter songs like Torn Apart or Do I Dare?, there’s a lot of expression and melody. On the entire album these guys show a captivating sense for effective and catchy hook lines. The band members are talented, inspired and gifted and therefore Aspera deserves your attention, because they rock like hell. This debut album is a true sign of great things to come and a ‘must have’ for all lovers of prog metal. Highly recommended!

****+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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