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Review: Aspera - Ripples

Label: Inside Out Music
Year released: 2010
Duration: 54:50
Tracks: 10
Genre: Progressive Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: April 29, 2010
Reviewed by: PowerMetal59
Readers Rating

Rated 3.9/5 (78%) (10 Votes)

I harken back to that fateful day upon leaving my buddy'ss record store holding in my hand a CD from a relatively new and obscure band out of Norway named Pagan's Mind. The CD was titled Celestial Entrance. Then I vividly recall the ride home listening to my latest discovery, mouth gaped open most of the way, overcome by that feeling of complete mind-numbing joy over the unearthing of a priceless masterpiece. That pretty much sums up the feeling I had the first time I spun Aspera's debut Ripples, a virtual tour de force of hard hitting Progressive Metal goodness, an achievement made even more remarkable when you consider that the five young Norwegians responsible for producing this gem are only eighteen years of age. One can only imagine what the legions of Symphony X and Pagan's Mind enthusiasts will have in store for them when these tikes begin to maturate as musicians. In the meantime Ripples should certainly satisfy the most discriminate highfalutin tastes. Who do they sound like? Who are the obvious influences? Well as you should have guessed Norway's own Pagan's Mind and US stalwarts Symphony X are the two closest rivals, certainly not a bad blueprint to follow. The music is rich with crunchy guitar riffs, superlative solos and tastefully layered keyboards, all seamlessly brought together by an excellent rhythm section. The vocals of young Atle Petterson, while at times strained, are nonetheless very good. I believe as he matures his voice will grow stronger, further enhancing his delivery.

In the final analysis Ripples is a solid starting point for a band that I will certainly keep on my radar screen. If they keep marching forward with the same sense of purpose, permitting their natural artistic abilities to prosper, the future will be very bright for these lads as well as for fans who enjoy the heavier side of Progressive Metal.

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