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asp44Huxleys Neue Welt, Berlin, Germany
4th October 2018
ASP - “Zaubererbruder - Der Krabat-Liederzyklus Live & Extended”

On this cold autumn day the location was nearly full, even fuller then at the last time ASP played in Berlin. ASP are a real institution in the Gothic subculture. Founded in 1999 in Frankfurt am Main by Alexander “Asp” Spreng (vocals) und Matthias “Matze“ Ambré (guitars), ASP have published ten albums; their first in 2000. Ambré left the band in 2011 and was replaced by Lutz Demmler. The drummer Oliver Himminghofen was also substituted by Stefan Günther. ASP have released their eleventh album, ‘Zutiefst’, in autumn of the last year, but at this tour, they announced to play their whole double album ‘Zaubererbruder - der Krabat-Liederzyklus’. This album treats of the ancient Sorbian legend about a boy who has to serve an old and evil magician until he acquires himself enough power to destroy his master and free his fellow servants.


Music & Performance
ASP were very punctual - an as unusual as lovely gesture, because most bands enjoy to let their audience wait. “Hello beautiful people of Berlin” greeted Asp his fans after the first song, talking about the history of the album and announcing some “surprises”: unreleased songs about Krabat mixed with the well-known songs from the published album. The stage was adorned with pictures of a half-destroyed mill (the location where Krabat serves and finally fights and wins) with changing colours. At some violent songs it glowed red, at others blue or green. One particularly beautiful new song was played between song Nr. 5 and 6 from the album and explained how Krabat fell in love with Kantorka, sitting together at the fire. Kantorka, Krabat’s great love, plays an important role in the story, but dies in the middle of the tale.


This tender song was performed with the singer Patty Gurdy, all dressed in white, who also played the hurdy-gurdy and sung the background vocals at other songs, although she had to “die” in the middle of the concert due to Kantorka’s death in the tale and reappeared after a huge applause dressed in black. Asp, well-known for his commitment against right-wing extremism, not only joked about “destroying the black scene” because at his song ‘Der geheimnisvolle Fremde’ (in which Krabat liberates his fellow servants) “even Gothic folks begin to ‘schunkeln’ (a special form of dancing associated with popular love songs)”, but also spoke very clearly against war. “War is never romantic”, he said about Krabat’s struggles. Also very earnest, he said that “future lies in darkness”, probably refereeing to the rise of right-wing parties in Europe. After finishing the regular set of songs, he talked about alternative endings of the album, in which the master might wins, and played several encore songs (also from the album).


The audience was enchanted due to the powerful performance, the beautiful meshing voices of Asp and Patty Gurdy and I think most of them enjoyed to hear their favourite album and be able to sing all songs along. The atmosphere was great, the music too, and I was really happy to have been part of this outstanding event - and, sincerely, I thought that maybe more bands should simply play some of their best albums at once.

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 10
Total: 9.8 / 10

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All pictures by Marko Jakob

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