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ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY

Progressive Metal • Norway


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Aspera / Above Symmetry biography
ASPERA are a Norwegian progressive metal act formed in 2009 in Skien. The band was formerly known as ILLUSION ( formed in 2005) and released a couple of EPs using that name. After a name change to ASPERA the band released their debut full-length studio album "Ripples" through InsideOut Music in January 2010. ASPERA consists of Atle Pettersen on vocals, Robin Ognedal on guitar, Rein T. Blomquist on bass, Jochim Strom Eklund on drums and Nickolas Main Henriksen on keyboards.

The inclusion of ASPERA to the Prog Archives database was approved by the Progressive Metal Team.

(Biography written by UMUR)

Recently, due to technical reasons, ASPERA was forced to chage its name to ABOVE SYMMETRY.

Aspera / Above Symmetry official website

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ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY discography


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ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.69 | 91 ratings
Ripples
2010

ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Square Edged Circle
2007

ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ripples by ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Ripples
Aspera / Above Symmetry Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Ripples by ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Ripples
Aspera / Above Symmetry Progressive Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

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 and probably down to some legal matters. Their new name is Above Symmetry and I hope they will release some more albums.

Ripples is a good power metal album. Unfortunate, it scores around nill points in the originality stakes. The soundscape on this album sounds very "heard it all before by other bands". Make that mostly German bands where this type of metal is still very popular, 25 years after Helloween's break through.

The quality of the songs is good though and I have heard far worse power metal albums than this album. I normally avoids power metal like the pest & plague it is. But this album gets my approval.

A good album, but still bereft of any originality. Above Symmetry has run a steady, safe ship on their album. Something I respect. I am looking forward to more albums from these guys.

3 stars

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 Ripples by ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Ripples
Aspera / Above Symmetry Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Ripples by ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Ripples
Aspera / Above Symmetry Progressive Metal

Review by zorn1

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 innovative capacity? Few. But it seemed just a disc of great rock, nothing more than just a beautiful rock disc. Sung well by Atle Pettersen, simple yet powerful guitar riffs, Nickolas Main Henriksen on keyboards reminds too Dream Theater but overall a very enjoyable disc. My musical interests are taken to generate closer to avant-garde music, but this is an album of great rock and simple to me though like always worth 4 stars but encourage these young Norwegian boys with 5 beautiful stars. Also because I see so many records in our charts which unjustly better evaluation of the album of these guys.

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 Ripples by ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Ripples
Aspera / Above Symmetry Progressive Metal

Review by eyimen

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 song 'Great Purpose' is the best solo of this album). The drummer is very close to Mike Portnoy and carries his dynamic style succesfully. Sometimes guitar and keybord are soloing together as we see in Dream Theater and some other progressive metal bands. The only problem is, they need more unique style. Their music sounds very familiar to anyone listens progressive metal genre. But if you think this is a debut, you can ignore this problem until their next record. I'm definitely eager to hear new songs from these guys!

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 Ripples by ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Ripples
Aspera / Above Symmetry Progressive Metal

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.

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 Ripples by ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Ripples
Aspera / Above Symmetry Progressive Metal

Review by pfdfcc

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 Norway, Aspera has managed to drop a killer major label debut. Disregard the obligatory atmospheric 1st song, called Intro (how many times has a prog record begun like this?) because from that point forth, this develops very nicely. There is a level of maturity here that defies the young musicians and credit has to go to InsideOut records for producing such a professional sounding release. The songwriting is exemplary, taking the listener on a very enjoyable ride. I never felt like a song went on too long, or that the band settled on repeating a melodic theme till it was beat to death. Individually, each musician is given the chance to shine, It does tread that fine line between melodic and progressive metal but that's a good thing. Every now and then I come across an album that is capable if raising goose-bumps and this is one of them.........the guitar work here is very precise and edgy......punctuated with not overdone pinch harmonics (I love pinch harmonics!!!). Vocally, the lyrics are of the non-threatening old school variety.....no gutteral growls or references to the dark prince.........just thought provoking and interesting. Overall, a VERY solid effort. I know it's early, but this may be amongst the finest releases of 2010.

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 Ripples by ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Ripples
Aspera / Above Symmetry Progressive Metal

Review by scarista

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 which form spectacular arial bridges between verses and choruses as well as given the guitar a springboard to launch from. Of course the other musicians all perform with equal ability and produce a wonderfully tasty final blend.

I gather that Aspera are a very young band as well as being a new band. You would, as I do, find that hard to believe at times given the maturity and assuredness with which they have composed the 10 tracks on this album. There will be comparisons with established masters of the prog metal genre, which would be justified, but this is a band that have roads to travel and promises to keep. If they can keep up this level of output on future releases then this debut will be the dawn of something very special indeed. I look forward to more from these guys.

An excellent release which deserves a home on the shelves of any prog music collection.

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 Ripples by ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Ripples
Aspera / Above Symmetry Progressive Metal

Review by sirfragalot86

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 problem with this CD is they don't push the genre further. They sound good but the cd is not that inventive or genius. I have to give this album a 4 star review. It's a good album overall but doesn't do anything not done before. Overall a good listen though and this will be a CD I will be sure to re listen to.

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 Ripples by ASPERA / ABOVE SYMMETRY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.69 | 91 ratings

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Ripples
Aspera / Above Symmetry Progressive Metal

Review by Coon00

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 Dream Theater and a bit of Symphony X.

They got some serius good points in his vocalist and a strong rythm section with great drumming. Although the influence of DT is so obvious, they also make it to show some interesting points in their songwritting, that tell us this band is most likely going to be a big shot in the near future. Top playing, solid songwritting and a little bit lack of originality (that I'm sure is going to dissapear in future efforts). For those of you who like prog metal in the Dream Theater vein, "Ripples" is a great choice and Aspera a band to look after. To my ears this is a great release and a trully worthy band.

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