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Aspera / Above Symmetry

Progressive Metal

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Aspera / Above Symmetry Ripples album cover
3.70 | 99 ratings | 10 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intro (1:32)
2. Ripples (6:36)
3. Do I Dare ? (5:35)
4. Remorse (6:22)
5. Between Black & White (8:11)
6. Catatonic Coma (5:46)
7. Torn Apart (5:02)
8. Traces Inside (7:50)
9. Reflections (2:04)
10. The Purpose (5:52)

Total Time 54:50

Bonus tracks from the Above Symmetry re-release:

11. Trails Of Clarity (5:42)
12. Traces Inside [Edit] (4:13)
13. Ripples [Edit] (4:48)
14. Traces Inside [Video-Clip Enhancement] (4:20)

Line-up / Musicians

- Atle Pettersen / Vocals
- Robin Ognedal / Guitar
- Rein T. Blomquist / Bass
- Jochim Strom Eklund / Drums
- Nickolas Main Henriksen / Keyboards

Releases information

Full-length released by InsideOut Music on the 25th of January 2010
Produced by Aspera
Mixed and mastered in Fascination Street Studios by Jens Bogren
Recorded in Aspera Living Room Studio
Cover by : Gustavo Sazes
Booklet Layout by: Nils K. Rue
All songs and lyrics written by Aspera

Due to changing their name in 2011 to ABOVE SYMMETRY, the band nas re-released this album with a red-toned artwork and bonus features.

Thanks to UMUR for the addition
and to CCVP for the last updates
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ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY Ripples ratings distribution

(99 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars cProg Metal in its best. Even young band (new and also young members, maybe younger than me), they've managed to release very interesting debut. It's better average Prog Metal. You know how PM sounds like, don't you ? Mostly harmonic music, one of two types of vocals (high and low - we in Czech call them "drunked up vocals" - like that the one drank way too much years, some kind of raspy vocals), this one is more throat type of vocals. As I said, nothing unique, but very good.

Don't take me bad, it's music of certain quality, but nothing new at all costs. More like polishing of old, tried ways to the perfection. One thing that is remarkable here is their performance, sound quality, how they handles their instruments. Supposing that you're not Prog Metal hater, you will like it. This is high quality music, even there still lies the biggest problem. When done like that, there's not much space to explore, these things.

4(-), easy listening for those who like to easy listen complex music.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Aspera is a young prog metal band coming from Norway and releasing their debute in early this year through InsideOut label. The album named Ripples is a good towards great journey in prog metal field with excellent musicianship all over the album. If I was very impressed by musicians and how easy they handle the instruments , specially the guitar player Robin Ognedal, the ideas on this release suffering of originality. I mean the copositions are good but I guess I've heared this kind of arrangements and aproach of prog metal hundred times before. Anyway the album is saved by the great musicianship and spectacular playing if not for intristing and great ideas. They remind me a lot , even in vocal department with Seventh Wonder from Sweden, almost same attitude and aproach to prog metal. All pieces stands as good, some passages are truly great, in virtuosic spectrum , but as I said nothing realy special in original elements. I will give for this debute, who is a good one but far from being essential, as other reviewers mentioned here, 3 stars maybe rounded to 3.5 for some moments here and there who are excellent.
Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Ripples' - Above Symmetry (6/10)

Originally releasing this album under the band title Aspera, the recently renamed Above Symmetry have re-released their debut album 'Ripples' taking the new developments into effect. While I cannot reckon that the band has fans devoted enough to pick up a re-release of a new band's album that only first came out in 2010 anyways, it has revived some interest in this band, a progressive melodic metal band from Norway. Above Symmetry is a band that falls into an all-too familiar trap for metal of the so-called proggy variety. While being incredibly talented and polished as an act, Above Symmetry's total lack of originality to their sound lead them to falling amidst a legion of countless other bands that try to emulate the glory brought up by veterans like Dream Theater or Symphony X. Sadly, this formula has been done to death by the aforementioned innovators, and the clones that have followed over the years. While Above Symmetry have a firm grasp on songwriting and performance here and 'Ripples' is a good album by all accounts, they do need to bring something a little more unique to the table before they make anything excellent.

From the rather promising yet painfully familiar 'Intro' onwards, Above Symmetry make no effort to hide the fact that they are a tribute to other acts, rather than something new unto themselves. This is something of a shame, because in the scope of everything the band offers, the lack of original sound holds back their otherwise strong songwriting and powerful presentation. Above Symmetry, or Aspera are a metal band that is based in a heavy focus on melodies, with vocal lines bringing quickly to mind some of the better AOR bands that are out there. The instrumentation here is either used to back up the course of the song, or to craft typical prog metal segments. As one could expect from what this review has not-so- subtly stating, these two aspects of Above Symmetry's music are both incredibly well done, but- once again- very unoriginal. Especially in the instrumental sections, the band really sounds like Symphony X, which may be a good thing for some listeners, but for me, it feels like for all of Above Symmetry's obvious talents as musicians, it would have gone such a long way to hear them do something a little more distinct, as opposed to making use of the tricks that other bands worked out a decade or two earlier.

The songs keep the prog metal sound going strong, but these songs are all structured fairly conventionally, which helps the strong and sometimes even catchy melodies of the band to shine through. The singer here fits in perfectly with the 'skilled, yet lacking unique identity' vibe that Above Symmetry give, and with some of the high notes he is able to hit, I could easily see him leading the band through even stronger melodies in the future. Really, Above Symmetry could go one or two ways, from the way I see them. They could either go down the route that 'Ripples' suggests they will, continue to develop their straightforward melodic prog metal sound, and improve what they're doing already. On the other hand, they could go ahead and find something to add to their sound to make them stand out from the others. Either way, I am sure that Above Symmetry will do even better things, even if 'Ripples' has not been the most exciting listen. Very good, even great melodic metal tribute music here, but somewhat forgettable as a result.

Latest members reviews

3 stars A difficult review to write, this one. This young Norwegian band has created waves with this album and it is a great shame that they have had to change name due to "technical reasons". I don't think the letter P suddenly stopped to work on all their computers, but that's another matter again an ... (read more)

Report this review (#469920) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, June 26, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Just by chance I found this record of the Norwegian band Aspera. I must say that I really liked the disc immediately at first hearing. I say clearly that is an album musically simple, where there is no trace of any musical innovation. But we speak clearly, how many rock bands that have really inn ... (read more)

Report this review (#287412) | Posted by zorn1 | Sunday, June 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A great debut from Aspera. Their music falls somewhere between Dream Theater and Symphony X. The musicianship is really top notch. Strong melodic vocals, great guitar solos, drums and keys. And more important, there is no filler song. I like the last three song most(and the guitar solo on the last s ... (read more)

Report this review (#286836) | Posted by eyimen | Thursday, June 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Being in my late 40's, I still fantasize about what it would have been like to become proficient enough at an instrument to even try out for a band, let alone join one that that ends up with a recording contract and sounds half as good as these dudes. Averaging just 20 yrs old and hailing from N ... (read more)

Report this review (#280044) | Posted by pfdfcc | Friday, April 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I really like this debut release from Aspera. The level of musical ability on display is very impressive and is put to very good effect. The album features some wonderfully fluid and very melodic guitar passages where the music positively soars. There are also some great keyboard led sections ... (read more)

Report this review (#278171) | Posted by scarista | Friday, April 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A great debut CD, Aspera, does a good job capturing the essence of progressive metal. Each song is just as good as the last, and overall makes for a good album. They have an almost Circus Maximus feeling to them, but with influences from other places as well. While the sound is there, a proble ... (read more)

Report this review (#270764) | Posted by sirfragalot86 | Tuesday, March 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the most exciting debuts in a time, "Ripples" is a true and solid estatement for this band, claiming their place between the masters. As other young prog bands as Circus Maximus, Aspera got an strong influence from some of the most popular bands of the scene, in this case we should call ... (read more)

Report this review (#269599) | Posted by Coon00 | Thursday, March 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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