Aspherium is a band we knew by name and reputation but never quite found the moment to give the richness of attention that all bands deserve. That has forcibly been amended with the release of their third album The Embers of Eternity, which with thanks to our friend Andrew at Stencil PR who directed us its way, suggests we have definitely been missing out.
Hailing from Moss/Oslo in Norway, Aspherium began in 2007 and took little time in brewing up a progressive death metal sound which was unafraid to embrace plenty of additional flavours; a fusion now in full bloom and imagination within The Embers of Eternity. 2011 saw the release of debut album The Veil of Serenity to a host of positive reviews which its successor, The Fall of Therenia, eclipsed as it took the band’s sound to new heights. Slots at major festivals followed as too a couple of tours alongside Decapitated. A swift hindsight exploration in the wake of the release of The Embers of Eternity revealed why the band received strong acclaim and attention at the time but all before has been just the teaser for the might of Aspherium’s third full-length.
The Embers of Eternity is a concept album imagining the future of our own Earth; “The world has become a desolate wasteland, the album about what happened and why humanity did nothing to save our planet.” Lyrically and in story it quickly proved a compelling adventure which is majorly accentuated again by the exploration of sound and imagination around it as immediately proven by the album’s opening title track. Immediately drama and tension soaks the notes and presence of the emerging track; the guitars of Marius Skarsem Pedersen and Morten Nielsen weaving the intimation. Equally they are the instigators of the erupting surge of aggression and melodic enterprise which descends on the senses soon after, the rhythmic voracity of drummer Bjørn Tore Erlandsen and bassist Torgeir Lyby Pettersen fuelling the upsurge. Similarly too, the vocals of Pedersen make for an uncompromising and magnetic proposition amidst thrash bred riffs and the blackened textures which shape the death bred incitement. As each subsequent track reveals, it is part deceptive too, the viciousness of the assault veined and aligned with melodic intricacies and dexterity as their inherent creative emprise though bred on discontent of a world descending into chaos relishes its beauty too.
It is a striking and compelling start to the release but one still eclipsed by the following As We Walk Through the Ashes. It too launches on thrash nurtured hostility with grooves that wind around the senses with lustful toxicity and similarly revels in the more delicate but no less hungry imagination which subsequently makes every twist and passage until the next aggressive captivation as riveting. Unpredictability also shapes the track and in turn the whole album but with a craft and invention which soon becomes expected and keenly devoured. As its predecessor and the songs to come, it weaves a multi-flavoured incitement which took no time to fully immerse in.
The evocative and melancholy opening of The Fallen Monument bewitches before the track explodes in another cauldron of pugnacious trespass and imagination woven fertility; a tapestry of flavours and creative agility breeding a glorious and rousing proposal lustfully devoured by ears and passions alike. It is the album’s finest moment for us but constantly challenged as A Voice For the Silenced and its successor The Shadows of Creation quickly show. The opening atmospheric suggestion of the first had the imagination immediately submerged in its insinuation, its haunting caresses continuing to manipulate as the track erupts with the second casting matching persuasion in its physical venting and melodic storytelling. It is a volatile and gripping mix which savages as it seduces, preys on fears as it nurtures raw hopes.
Through the individual but unitedly insightful and adroit exploits of Echoes of A Lost World and The Beckoning Spire, Aspherium and their album only increased the magnetism. Neither track quite matched up to the heights of the triumph before them had but each gripped with bold ferocity and unpredictable landscapes before Beneath the Shattered Sky bore its own soulful voice and rich adventurous enterprise on ears to equally inflame those self-same eager reactions.
Until the Embers Fade completes the album, it’s near on eleven minutes alone a journey and exploration worth investing in the sensational The Embers of Eternity for. It is an engrossing and fascinating end to an increasingly compelling release and a fine example as to why like us once you engage in the Aspherium ravening craft and sound there is no turning back.
The Embers of Eternity is available now @ https://aspherium.bandcamp.com/album/the-embers-of-eternity
Pete RingMaster 25/01/2020
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