Songs as armour the 'GeistErfahrer' EP consists of six new ASP pieces dealing with the impending end of the world.
ASP are a phenomenon in the German music scene. For years now they have been tirelessly, with blazing passion, winning themselves an audience far beyond any scene boundaries. At the same time they are true to themselves and their music and regularly manage to achieve high positions in the official German music charts completely without currying favour with the mainstream. Fans of challenging lyrics and profound rock music have long since been aware that songs of great strength and soothing melancholy are hidden away behind the gruesome make-up and the often-alarming content. Up to now, hardly any band has managed to deliver entertaining content which doesn't shy away from socio-critical topics and yet be able to incorporate it so skillfully into the atmospheric cosmos of a project such as this.
But this time around ASP Spreng doesn't deliver an overall concept, in contrast to the successful album 'fremd', which was exceptionally interconnected, both musically and in terms of its content. He delivers an EP with six previously unreleased songs, each of which stands up in its own right and tells its own sombre story. Granted, on first hearing you definitely wouldn't regard these pieces as thin gruel. However, when you come to get to grips with the compositions, their complete dramatic beauty slowly and inevitably unfolds. Six songs about the impending end of the world, whether in a global context or in the totally intimate spheres of private fear and loss. In six new songs, ASP swim against the rampant societal illness of superficiality both musically and lyrically and don't baulk from presenting themselves in a vulnerable light which wasn't hitherto present. A CD with a playing time of nearly 40 minutes which carries you off into a world full of musical extremes. And yet once again, ASP manage to create something whose strong melodies lend the whole a definite hit sensibility.
The furious title track would be just as suitable for a single as the driving wave rocker 'Carpe noctem', which could be classified as one of the most beautiful ASP songs of all time. In the eccentric and tragic piece 'In Sack und Asche', delicate, fragile piano melodies alternate with metal sounds. With 'Weichen(t)stellung', the band finally once more deliver a genuine electro-rock-club firecracker which drives its way mercilessly into the legs and the heart. In 'ÜberHärte', the band successfully balance doom metal guitar riffs and tongue in cheek elements borrowed from Neue Deutsche Härte, a genre generally frowned upon by the band. And for the conclusion, the band leaves the listener perplexed and smitten with the epic 'Danach', which offers almost ambient-like expanses and delicate acoustic guitar arrangements. Afterwards there is a vacuum which can only be filled by immediately listening to the CD once again before fear of the void, the horror vacui, devours everything anew.
These songs creep slowly but inexorably into your ears and heart. And if that wasn't cruel enough, ASP Spreng's lyrics are of a quality which is seldom found in popular music of any stripe.
Six brand new and pitch-black pieces from ASP, which should be understood with a wink in the eye: more than ever, ASP are ein wahrer Satan who once again playfully and viciously allow their listeners to geisterfahren (English: to drive down a road in the wrong direction). With this release he doesn't just embark on the kind of gothic pop songs that are currently in vogue, but quite clearly demonstrates how thrilling and multifaceted sombre music can be.