-Opulent hardback book (approx 19.5 x 14.3 cm) containing four CDs that are bursting to the seams!-CDs 1 and 2: 'Rar und Pur' (Rare and Pure) - Semi-acoustic and intimate-CDs 3 and 4: 'Best of Rock' - Powerful and earthy-Over 40 (!) different songs. 49 tracks, including stirring announcements from the 'Master'-Many songs in previously unreleased arrangements!-Nearly five hours' playing time, with absolutely all songs from the anniversary double shows!-Hand-numbered certificate, designed by Pit Hammann-Limited to 7000 copies-Lovingly designed artwork, 32 pages-Exclusive lyrics from the anniversary versions-Includes live photos, some of which are previously unpublished-Exquisite art print on high quality art paper-Front and rear endpapers, thick paper, printed in colour-All printed parts boast luxurious semi-matt lamination
In ten selected German cities, in each case across two consecutive nights, audiences were induced into a frenzy of enthusiasm by an extraordinary concert experience. On one evening, the band performed a 'best of rock' show featuring the greatest hits of their career to date. And on the other respective evening, singer Asp and his musicians presented a unique type of concert in the form of an intimate semi-unplugged show featuring new arrangements, rarely-heard pieces and long-lost treasures, especially for this anniversary tour.
This unique live experience is now released in the form of the 4CD set 'ASP LIVE ... auf rauen Pfaden'. The first two discs immortalise the 'RAR & PUR' ('Rare & Pure') semi-acoustic evening, whereas the remaining two CDs contain the complete sweat-inducing 'BEST OF ROCK' concert. There are very few overlaps in the setlists, which present over 40 (!) songs across a playing time of nearly five hours, resulting in a first-class concert experience.
Upon first impressions, the two evenings' concerts appear to provide a contrasting interplay, which finally dissolves into astounding beauty and elicits lots of new facets in the songs. So the semi-acoustic portion contains several ASP classics that you would have expected to find in the BEST OF ROCK programme, and vice versa. Once it has drawn to a close, you have the fulfilling feeling of having listened to an overall composition in which every single glance from master of ceremonies Asp Spreng was cast with much love and skill, for the pleasure of the listener. Some of the songs featured on this recording appear in what are probably their most beautiful arrangements yet: stirring and thrilling. So even supposedly well-trodden material comes across as being extremely fresh, and when you're listening to it, you often ask yourself what 'the lads' are going to come up with next. Many a fan, old and new, will be trying to suppress a tear when the audience give the song 'Und wir tanzten' all they've got, for the 'Master'. Or when the singer dedicates a song to the audience. ASP have always been one of the bands in the gothic scene who don't take themselves too seriously. They demonstrate this on this album not only with the occasional self-deprecating comment, proffered with a knowing wink, but also with congenial musical surprises such as, for example, the rockabilly version of their TV advert critique 'Finger weg! Finger!".
And at the same time, much was achieved with the technical production side of things. As delicate and ornate as the semi-acoustic pieces come across, their production is at the same time so honest and earthy. The rock show comes across as being energetic and edgy, and once again ASP fly in the face of current trends. Instead of attempting to render the songs as retrospective attempts to faithfully copy the studio album versions, here you can clearly hear how the band want to present themselves in 2016: powerfully, authentically and as befitting the title, raw, and of course... live!
'LIVE ... auf rauen Pfaden' (LIVE ... On Rough Paths) is the title of this comprehensive retrospective, taken from the 'Per aspera ad aspera' anniversary tour in autumn 2014. Loosely translated, that means "Through hardship to live" (through hardship to life), and describes the rocky path of one and a half decades of the band's history. Much has changed since they formed in 1999 and released their debut, 'Hast Du mich vermisst? (Der schwarze Schmetterling I)" the following year. But the most important characteristics have stayed the same: the passion with which the artists create their music and present it during concerts; that honesty, openness and authenticity that always kept ASP away from the mainstream, plus the strong loyalty of their fans, are as extraordinary today as they were way back then.
Experience these historic events once again. Dive into the incredible world of the gifted dark rockers from Frankfurt, where light becomes shadows and shadows become light; where magic and myth combine and you get the opportunity to forever become part of that fascinating, darkly romantic gothic novel.