The iron-clad wooden door closes behind you with a fateful bang. Utter darkness surrounds you; no ray of light pierces the stygian blackness. The smell of old wood, leather-bound books and candle wax saturates the air, bids us welcome like an old friend. Long we were absent, long the gates to this realm were barred. But no more. ASP have returned. And it feels like they have never been absent.
Since their founding in 1999, ASP dedicated their career to the burning passion for the Gothic culture, never-ceasing sacrifice for their art and matchless fan-dedication... all of them qualities vainly sought in other projects of that reputation. In 2011, they continue their course just as they ended it with their congenial 'Zaubererbruder' - with the single 'Wechselbalg' ('Changeling'), the first messenger of the 'fremd' album cycle.
Fascinating, dark, deep-reaching, elegiac... true to the basic maxims of their opus and the passionately loved scene, the history of one of Germany's most distinguished Indie projects is finally continued - with a total of four new tracks impressively underlining how intense music can sound if being lived thoroughly. The title track 'Wechselbalg' ignites the fire in the hearts of the scene to a blazing conflagration and presents itself as a pushing Goth Rock anthem that is nothing less than the worthy successor of the evergreen 'Ich will brennen'. Unmistakably ASP and a mercilessly catching tune. With the subsequent, monumental 'Angstkathedrale' ('Cathedral of Fear'), ASP Spreng delivered an utterly stunning masterpiece, a darkly visionary word-sound-creation of utter severity and emotional depth. This piece is melancholy turned flesh and the musical as well as lyrical proof that ASP created their very own niche: Gothic Novel Rock in perfection. A piece of art like a somber dome, almost unbearable in its vast complexity and still surprising with its gripping hit moments. With 'BaldAnders', ASP pay tribute to one of the most influential Medieval Rock bands from the seventies: Ougenweide.
The unusual track is dedicated to the band and their founder Frank Wulff who regrettably died on March 19th 2010. The fourth and final song is a true treasure and has been dug up from ASP out of his heavily guarded secret archives: 'Dancing'. Recorded four years prior to the founding of the band, this tender acoustic piece shows just how long the songwriter is haunted by his demons.
Where countless other bands strayed from their original path long ago to taste from the pots of the 'superstars', ASP delivers a musical diet that may be more difficult to digest but is much more nourishing. Like a phoenix, ASP is willing to give everything he can, to burn himself for his art - only to rise from the ashes stronger than ever before. An independent icon possessed by the unquenchable urge to create from which certain major projects could cut a slice or two. And would, if allowed to...