- Double-CD with a running time of 155 minutes
- 64-pages booklet in special format
- 30 new illustrations by artwork star Timo Würz
- Sturdy box
- Eight rare songs and special versions
"15 years ASP! He invited to a masquerade, he opened his Dark Tower, he locked us into a mill with Krabat, he crawled from his cocoon: Asp Spreng is an artist with many faces. A man holding the mirror up to us while hiding behind a mask at the same time, a genius incredibly talented in kindling musical candles for this world of darkness. The true identity of the man behind the mask, the identity of him responsible for all these songs, the identity of the phantom lurking deep down in our own imagination, however, is secondary. It is his art that counts. It is the works he brought us. It is the music that will remain.
Everything he creates is pervaded by a morbid and romantic spell imminent to the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, H.P. Lovecraft or Lord Byron. Equally effective, this architect of Gothic Novel Rock designs horribly beautiful cathedrals of dark music since the last breaths of the former millennium, painting sublime castles in the sky with dark clouds and continually burns himself to ashes in the reverberation of his own possession. For possessed he is, possessed by his visions, his art, possessed by his words and notes. Sometimes, genius and maniac and irrevocably chained together. To grasp the meaning of this, however, it needs a compendium like "Per Aspera Ad Aspera ? This Is Gothic Novel Rock". 15 years of musical borderlining proving one thing despite all the Memento Mori imagery: There is beauty in abhorrence, there is light in the shadows.
Nothing is left to coincidence. This holds for every second, for every word in the songs of this sombre poet as well as for his uniquely touching concerts. And it certainly holds for the title of this special anthology: Near to the Latin proverb "Per aspera ad astra" ("Through toil to the stars"), Asp speaks about the struggle each and every one of us has to fight every day. Sometimes, only toil comes after toil. Asp, however, will never surrender. A world view like this for a black-clad Gothic by heart? That's because is no life-negating misanthropist as followers of the Gothic genres are often and wrongly stigmatized. He is an artist melting melancholy and black romanticism into a poetic, aesthetic view of the world that shows plenty of optimism especially in the close connection between him and his audience."
- Björn Springorum (Orkus / Metal Hammer)
This anthology is bacchanaly beautiful like a Gothic Novel of the 19th century and clad in a magnificent folio. Two records share a total duration of almost 160 minutes ? well, a look at the first 15 years certainly takes some time. Despite its potential for haunting melodies, this collection of musical short stories is not to be seen as your ordinary best of, but more as a blend of some of ASP's most prominent pieces of musical poetry.
And what's coming after that? The stars? Or even more toil? Join us and we will find out.