We are the vanguard of the great journey.
May 11. 2015
Torgeir recently did a play through video of our song Warden of Eons with his Sandberg bass and Darkglass B7K pedal, check it out below here:
April 27. 2015
We have a music video out for The Revenant now! Check it out here, and be sure to like, share and subscribe over on our YouTube channel!
March 2. 2015
Rise Metal E-Zine recently did an interview with Marius. It's available on their website in Spanish (http://risemetal.com/2015/02/28/entrevista-aspherium/), but for the people who prefer english, we have the original english version of the interview here. Enjoy!
Hello Marius & ASPHERIUM! First off at RISE! we want to wish you a Happy New Year's Eve before it's too late!!
It is hard to believe great quality bands are still unsigned and have to release their albums by themselves. I can't imagine a group like yours would represent financial failure if handled correctly... What would you say is the reason so many awesome bands don't fell in labels' nets nowadays? Is this relevant for you?
I think it's mainly because of how the music industry has changed now with the age of the internet and music being available for free just a mouse click away. We have gotten great feedback from several labels, but there are two things that labels have mentioned as reasons not to sign us, and I believe this will be the same for a lot of bands. The reasons are that we are not the type of band/sound/genre they are looking for at the moment, and that we are too small/haven't sold enough on our own for them to take the financial risk. Labels want a sure thing that will sell rather than take a chance on something that may or may not pan out financially.
We spent quite some time looking for a label, but in the end decided to release the album ourselves through cdbaby.com which brings it to all the digital platforms like iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and everything else, and selling the physical album ourselves on our website. The good thing about this is that we have full control over everything ourselves. But we don't get the exposure, tour offers etc that we might get with a bigger label. But so far we are happy with the way things are going doing it on our own.
I cannot isolate the idea of relating Aspherium to Bloodshot Dawn (UK). Both of you guys have that way of doing Brutal / Epic / Melodic Death Metal with a vocal assault which is unique! Besides, you share an apocalyptic vision on the world and its final destination. Have you listened to / contact this brother band?
I'm not that familiar with Bloodshot Dawn actually. I have heard the latest album, and I like it quite a lot, but we have never been in contact with each other or have any connections, so I guess it's just a cool coincidence. I'll check them out further!
You did all the recording sessions at your own Aspherium Audio Assembly in Norway, apart from drums that is always the thoughest instrument to record... Why choosing Jens Bogren's Fascination Street Studios in Sweden? The end result is highly tight, and that statement stands for mixing and mastering too!
It has been a dream of ours to record with Jens Bogren for several years. We love the work that he has done, especially with Opeth, but also Soilwork, Ihsahn, Amon Amarth, Devin Townsend etc. His albums always sound amazing, and have a depth and clearity that we felt would be perfect for Aspherium. We are extremely happy with how it turned out, and working with Jens and the other guys at Fascination Street was a great experience. We have a great deal of experience recording at our home studios, so that part was enjoyable and quite relaxing compared to having a tight deadline in an expensive studio. That said, I would love to be able to do everything at Fascination Street some time, but the cost of something like that is way too much right now.
Let's now get into the music field, which is very broad indeed... 'The Veil of Serenity' (2011) follow-up is out! 'The Fall of Therenia' title track and "The Revenant" are a blast in every listener's face, truly brutal and tech reminding to Nile; "City of Stone" has a Meshuggah-like approach and there are more progressive / experimental songs like "As We Light Up The Sky" (flamenco included with an interesting drum section on the heavy parts); "Warden of Eons" and "Reality Unfolds" have beautiful clean vocal / aacoustic guitar passages and powerful backing vocals; "Landfall" has piano/keyboards, samples and guest vocals by Björn Strid (Soilwork)... Have you taken formal instruction on the instruments you play? Where does all these influences come from? What's Björn most outstanding quality?
All of us have taken some form of lessons, but I'd say for my own part, the metal stuff I pretty much had to figure out for my self. I have not taken flamenco lessons, and I would not say I can actually play flamenco guitar for real, those guys are insanely good. But I got some basic stuff down and I've had that flamenco part lying around for years, and finally I found a song where it fit perfectly, so I'm really happy with how that turned out.
We made a concious decision to have more backing vocals and varied vocals overall. On the first album I did all the vocals in two days I think, and we didn't have the time to get into detail and do everything we wanted, so with the new album we really wanted to do everything we had planned. So Bjørn Tore (Drums) and Torgeir (Bass) provided backing vocals several places, and I feel that I did more varied vocals and better vocals overall compared to the first album.
Soilwork were in Fascination Street when we recorded drums, so Bjørn Tore asked Björn from Soilwork if he would like to do some guest vocals on Landfall. We thought he would do maybe a verse or two, but he did the whole song! So that was awesome. He has a great voice and he fits in perfectly on that song. I think he also does some of the deepest growls I've ever heard him do on that song!
Aspherium acknowledges they like their music to tell a story. 'The Fall of Therenia' is a concept album itself, as well as your debut full-length. Why have you opted for this unfamous (but not old-fashioned) format that most bands avoid? What are the main similarities/differences between both albums? If you had to do a deathbed list, what would be your Top 5 All Time Concept Albums?
Myself and Bjørn Tore, who do most of the songwriting and planning for everything in regards to the creative outlet we have in Aspherium are really huge sci fi geeks. We love sci fi movies and video games, and when we watch those movies, play those games or read a great book, we really want to do the same thing with our music. So I'd say we are more influenced by that than by other concept albums, though there are great concept albums of course. When we write music we get these images in our heads, and with the concept we try to get those images out in form of a story.
The concept of the first album was more vague and open than the new album. On "The Veil of Serenity" the concept was basically provided through different themes, and the actual story is very vague and open to interpretation. On "The Fall of Therenia" there is a more clear story to follow, even with some characters. But I still think you have to really dig deep or pay attention to get the concept. If we choose to do a concept for the next album I think I'd like to do a mix of the two previous concept types, a bit more vague than the new album. But then provide a full detailed story in the form of a book.
Top 5 concept albums off the top of my head now would be:
1. Pink Floyd - The Wall
2. Opeth - Still Life
3. Ayreon - The Human Equation
4. Between the Buried and Me - The Great Misdirect
5. Fear Factory - Obsolete
As far as I'm concerned, there are three stages on the overall story: a) the fall of a paradigm, b) the realization of a misconception and c) the search for truth. Your lyrics are plenty of sci-fi references (A.I., motherships... ) and other concepts that are more personal such as Therenia, Revenant Slight, the City of Stone and the like. Can you please introduce us into all this Therenian world?
It takes place on the planet Therenia which is far away in another star system in the Milky Way. The Therenian people are technologically advanced, and have abolished war, poverty and most forms of illness. They have a unified goal of peace and understanding of the galaxy, and have largely forgotten their violent past which was fairly similar to our own present world. Out of the blue they receive a message from an unknown alien race called "The Revenant" and these aliens attack Therenia with an unrelenting force. With very few means to fight back, a scientist and his team goes on a journey to search for an ancient weapon that was believed to be extremely powerful. This weapon is their only hope of fighting back and stopping the attack. On this journey the scientist discovers that everything may not be what it seems on Therenia, and ultimately may have to make a huge sacrifice which culminates in the last song on the album "Reality Unfolds".
My country of origin is the proud host for second time of the Wacken Metal Battle in Uruguay, and the band which wins the competition will play at W:O:A 2015!! I'm aware you reached 2nd place in the Norwegian Wacken Metal Battle finals, which is a huge honour for you I guess! How would you sum up that experience for the ones that have not taken part in this type of contests yet?
We had a great time with Wacken Metal Battle, and this was still pretty early in terms of when we started playing live so it was a great learning experience and we received a decent amount of attention. We also got some friends on the other side of the country that we hang out with everytime we are in town, so that was really cool. So if you are in a band that are looking into this I say go for it!
Mexican author Juan Domingo Argüelles recently stated: "La realidad siempre es más extraordinaria que la invención, porque la invención es sólo una parte de la realidad" (Reality is always more marvellous than fantasy, as fantasy is a reality's chunk). The verses "Your innocence is a lie / I have observed you for a thousand years / I know all of your lies and all of your fears" & "We'll meet again in another cycle / We'll meet again in another lifetime" do produce a lot of thoughts on me... they remind me to reincarnation, astral journeys, the seven dimensions, mankind's contemplation by other beings towards its imminent end, etc. In your view, what does belong to fantasy and what to reality in regards to these tokens/wounds the earth is exhibiting?
I'm not religious in any way, but I do find spirituality interesting. But mainly science of course. And there is so much we don't know. The interesting thing with coming up with stuff like "The Fall of Therenia" is thinking about all this stuff that we don't know and come up with theories. Have the Therenian people figured out what happens after we die? Is the universe infinite? Is there a great cycle that keeps happening? Are there beings existing in a different dimension than our own? This stuff is really fascinating to me, and there are endless questions we don't know the answers to. When coming up the the concept for the new album I read a lot and watched a lot of movies and documentaries about this stuff, and it is so fascinating to me.
Have you guys ever read about Giorgio Bongiovanni or Eugenio Siraguza? The main concept behind "The Veil of Serenity" was about the world's destruction. Where's Men currently leading the world?
No, I have not. But now I'm really interested so I have to check out their work, so thanks for the tip! You just have to watch the news any day to see that there is a possibility of a very dark future ahead. But there is still hope for a bright future, and we like to insert that in our music and our lyrics, that even though there are terrible things happening there is always hope. Unfortunately we have a tendency to ignore all of the darkness and just focusing on our every day materialistic world. The danger is that we don't see the darkness before it's too late. And that is basically what "The Veil of Serenity" is about. And there are some tough things humanity has to go through before we see the light again.
But I am optimistic that we will do the right thing and eventually stop killing each other and work together to make the world a better place!
Marius, I hope you are still alive and able to answer the final question and weren't drowned by all these doubts! What's in sight for 2015? HAVE A GREAT YEAR!!
I am alive and well! in 2015 we will see the vinyl release of "The Fall of Therenia" very soon, and we will be playing at the metal festival Blastfest in Bergen Norway in February with bands like At the gates and Decapitated. Other than that, we will be playing live as much as possible and hopefully get some music videos out. We are working on booking gigs, so if anyone has any offers hit us up at email@example.com
Thanks for the interview, and I hope everybody checks out our new album "The Fall of Therenia"!
The Fall of Therenia
The Veil of Serenity
The Lingering Animosity
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