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Asperity - 2004 The Final Demand


ASPERITY - THE FINAL DEMAND (2004, ARISE RECORDS)
Petri Kuusisto - guitars
Stefan Westerberg - drums
Peter Kronberg - vocals, bass
Johan Jahlonen - guitars


Background
Asperity is the by-product of members from the bands Steel Attack, Canal Forge and In Thy Dreams. All Swedish, and all plying the power/melodic metal path. Judging from reports on the Internet, the guys in Asperity wanted to produce music that was less metal, and with an emphasis on melody. Well from what I've heard on this their debut album 'The Final Demand', they've certainly come true on that promise. Not only is it 'big-sounding', the songs lack nothing in terms of perceived power, while the vocals and in particular the choruses are excellent. If this is a direction that bands up in the far north are taking, then you have my blessing!! If bands such as Dream Evil and Dionysus are your bread and butter, then add Asperity to that list of ingredients!

The Songs
The intro track 'Will They Come' is powerful, and hypnotically melodic in among all the brute force instrumentation. The synth layers underpinning the song adds class and depth. The sheer strength of 'Pleasure And Pain' is embellished by some deft double bass drumming, the chorus a highlight. In contrast, 'The Prey' is not as powerful, like Fifth Angel perhaps on their heavier moments, though the solo section on this song with the frantic drumming has just made a liar of me! There is a certain amount of angst on 'Soul Collector', the twists and turns throughout keep it entertaining. The title track 'Final Demand' features growling guitars all the way through, it's melodic nonetheless. 'The Man With 1000 Faces' is kinda fast, the wah-wah solo and all round sonic-ness being an Asperity trademark. The pedal definitely hits the metal on 'Past Life', an example of bass-drum synchronization for sure, while 'Rebellion' has a traditional neo classical flavour to it, the smooth mid-tempo passages complimented by melodic power that some of our Finnish friends like Sonata Arctica and co would be proud of.

In Summary
An excellent debut, from a band who it appears are gonna go the distance. The reviews that I've read have all been complimentary. However I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. As a debut, the initial ideas and concept for Asperity have all come together from diverse backgrounds and been delivered more than competently. However, I truly believe these guys could be absolutely HUGE if they can get it all together for album number two, with an emphasis on material (how about an album theme guys?) plus the personal conviction that they can play out of their skins! They are just about there.. Anyway, keep it coming chaps and hats off to Arise Records for another superb release. Check out their website to listen to a couple of soundbytes.

URL: www.arisemetal.com
Track Time: 45.58

Track Listing:
01 Will They Come
02 Pleasure And Pain
03 The Prey
04 Soul Collector
05 Never Understand
06 Final Demand
07 The Man With 1000 Faces
08 Past Life
09 Rebellion
10 Sad Eyes

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