Asperity - The Final Demand
Arise Records
Melodic Heavy Metal
10 songs ()
Release year: 2004
Asperity, Arise Records
Reviewed by Jason
Surprise of the month

What began as a simple “just for fun” idea by Carnal Forge members Petri Kuusisto and Stefan Westerberg has now materialized into a reality called Asperity. But unlike their name implies, there is virtually nothing asperous about this release.

I had sampled a couple of tracks off this album roughly two months ago and it had failed to catch my attention as I thought it was another classic carbon-copy heavy metal release. After a recent and careful listen, it became clear that this was one debut album that definitely isn’t worth slipping through the cracks.

Asperity’s brand of metal ranges from the classic Heavy, to the speedier Power and even touches some softer ballad-like Hard Rock. All the tracks are heavily melodious thanks to Peter Kronberg’s amazingly smooth but raspy vocals with an 80’s tinge, and each song highly focuses on hooks and catchy choruses that make each of them great to sing along to at shows. In terms of sound, the quality is great but the production is rather simplistic. Because of this, the accentuations of the occasional synths and background sounds become rather unimpressive and chop off a few points off the overall quality of this album. Instrumentally, the band does a fantastic job making their talents shine through precise beat change-ups, and short but destructive solos. What’s great about Johan Jalonen’s guitar work is that he manages to touch many areas of the metal spectrum, and unlike many guitarists that incorporate that Malmsteen sound in their solos, Jalonen doesn’t commit Neo-Classical overkill.

The album kicks off with Will They Come, who’s sound reminiscent of Evergrey’s music but a bit more chorus orientated and with a bit less of that deep/dark sound. It’s one of the more mediocre tracks and really doesn’t compare to other tracks such as Soul Collector and The Man with 1000 Faces, which both feature stellar choruses that really challenge Kronberg’s vocal abilities. Kronberg defeats these challenges effortlessly, and surpasses them by reaching some beautifully soaring notes and holds them just as well without overreaching. The 80’s sound of The Man with 1000 Faces definitely can’t go unnoticed with its galloping, Iron Maiden-like beat, and solo that bends and pulls the strings right off the neck of Jalonen’s guitar.

As a project that started as something that was just “just for fun”, I have to say it sure as hell exceeded my expectations. There are definitely some spots that need polishing here and there, but nothing that can’t be refined on future releases. Definitely worth checkin’ this one out.

Killing Songs :
Man of 1000 Faces, Will They Come, Soul Collector
Jason quoted 75 / 100
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