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Aspera - Ripples

by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 01 April 2010, 9:04 AM

What can one expect from a literally young band? Seriously, ASPERA comprises members who were born in 1989 while the band counts no more than five years of life. 'Metalcore' would be the appropriate answer, since this genre runs in these ages and has the lion's share in the CD sales. Fortunately -at least for my ears- these lads can brag about playing Hard Rock with strong progressive injections that in the end makes an impressive debut for ASPERA.

Things look/sound promising after the short intro that brings the listener to "Ripples". The ala EVERGREY keyboard melodies introduce the expected DREAM THEATER references preparing the ground for the warm vocals of Atle Pettersen. This guy possesses a very good voice with a characteristic harsh timbre that works in favor of music originality. The EVERGREY references show up from time to time in terms of groovy breaks and keyboard fills. Actually, the keys play an important role here and occasionally take the leading position in ASPERA's music. The heavier songs reveal the SYMPHONY X influences especially in the guitars and the faster tempos that totally justify the term 'Metal' beside ASPERA's music description tag. Sometimes I swear I heard some Victor Smolski influences that become more vivid in the guitar vibrato.

Nevertheless, what is really impressive is the maturity of this young band; I mean they try to maintain the interest in high levels without adding way too much work in the compositions. Despite the striking progressive Metal character, the album flows really smoothly and never crosses the boredom boundary many similar bands do, taking me to the dreamland…Diversity is in ASPERA's blood and this is underlined during "Catatonic Coma" that starts with some almost NEVERMORE-esque guitars and enters the melody realm through the yet again impressive vocals 'till the Satriani looking solo.

Without a single doubt this is an impressive debut and this fact kind of lights up the warning sign asking is this album a shooting star? Will ASPERA continue to meet the high standards set in "Ripples"? While these questions are waiting to be answered I invite you to enjoy ASPERA's music and -why not?- celebrate the birth of a promising band.

3 Star Rating

  1. Intro
  2. Ripples
  3. Do I Dare?
  4. Remorse
  5. Between Black & White
  6. Catatonic Coma
  7. Torn Apart
  8. Traces Inside
  9. Reflections
  10. The Purpose
Atle Pettersen – Vocals
Robin Ognedal – Guitars
Rein T. Blomquist – Bass
Joachim Strom Ekelund – Drums
Nickolas Main Henriksen – Keyboards
Record Label: InsideOut Music


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Edited 08 February 2023

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