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"Demo Review 1: Square Edged Circle EP"

Putting out quality bands such as Communic, Pagan’s Mind and Circus Maximus etc. Norway has put itself on the progressive metal map.
Aspera is no exception and is based in the same musical surroundings. The difference? These guys are now 19 years old. Meaning they were 17-18 when they recorded this.
This music is so ridiculously mature, it’s pretty hard to believe they’re so young. They did study music for three years at high school,
which of course contributes to their musical talent and their songwriting skills. However, I sure as hell didn’t expect this.
Musically this is strongly inspired by Pagan’s Mind, Dream Theater and A.C.T, and is highly enjoyable.
The atmospheric intro is composed by vocalist(!) Atle Pettersen and sets a fine mood for the next track Katatonic Coma. It's a rather slow song,
and claims your attention with its catchy vocal melodies, and the great guitar-playing by Robin Ognedal, The leads are great and not what you would expect from a 17 year old. His playing is very mature.
Leviathan is the next track. Direct and rhythmic riffing, accompanied by steady double-bass drumming, breaks down into a highly melodic chorus,
where Atle shows off his vocal skills. His voice is powerful and slightly raspy sometimes. Do not expect your typical high-pitched and wailing vocals, which we are so used to.
However, when he does the falsettos, he nails them. He does sound a bit 80s’ glam/rock/metal-ish ala Bon Jovi, and i think it’s pretty bold that they dare vary from their obvious peers.
The Face of Fairness starts with fast and straightforward riffing, accompanied by keyboards and catchy melodies.
After the piano-solo there’s an instrumental part which bursts into a great guitar-solo. How he pulls that off so technically clean is beyond me... once again,
the age comes to mind, making it even more impressive
This sets my expectations sky-high for their upcoming album, and if they keep up the good work, they will, without a doubt, be up there with the big names some day. - - October 2008

"Demo Review 2: Square Edged Circle EP"

Illusion (now Aspera) - Square Edged Circle
the record starts of with a beautiful and pleasant intro, but from the first ordinary track, the band from Skien makes it clear that Norway got,
besides Pagans Mind, another ace up the sleeve when it comes to the more progressive kind of metal.
It isn't hard to see that these guys at the age of 17, got lots of talent. The instrumentation is flawless, so can be said about the songs in general.
The tracks are catchy, melodic and variated, and are fitting in as a entity at the same time.
I would dare to say that none of the five songs has any noticeable weaknesses. The arrangements are mature and holds a high standard, especially if you consider the young age.
Already now, it would have been hard to not notice this band, but if these guys is continuing to develop in the right direction, i'm shure they'l reach far.

- Leif Kringen, Scream Magazine - Scream Magazine, November 2007

"Demo Review 3: Square Edged Circle EP" - 24/10-07

This young band from Skien won the demo-competition to play at the Motstøy-festival earlier this year, sharing stage stage with bands such as Pain of Salvation, A.C.T, Evergrey and Immortal.
In additition, they opened the Club Subtacto-night i Oslo last week, and proved that they are more than capable of recreating the sound from the record live onstage.
It all ends out in a couple of simple factors: Gather a group of skilled musicians, let them create a couple of really strong tracks,
put them in a studio and let them produce an EP with good sound quality.
Can it go wrong?
No, it cant!
The EP called Square Edged Circle is, in my opinion, placing Illusion (now Aspera) up in the elite of metal bands in Norway. They are young and will undoubtedly improve even further in the coming years,
but can after this release stand tall, and know that they dont stand back for any of the more famous acts in the genre.
The music is not purely progressive metal, but it is a pleasure to listen to nevertheless, and I am convinced that this is a band to count on in the future.
And i can't wait!

"Demo Review 4: Square Edged Circle EP" - 2007

Illusion (now Aspera) from Skien, Norway, is a promising band that keeps away from the clichés.
Being at the age of 17 while recording this EP, I'm really impressed. This quintet got lots of talent, and i won't comment anyone particularly.
They're all equally skilled.
The arrangements is a mix of Dream Theater and plain hardrock. The EP is produced by the band themselves, and the sound is really good!
The 'Intro' and the 'Outro' is two well composed and pleasant pieces of music.
The rythmsection combined with the guitarplaying is tight and steady, and it is impossible to hear that these guys was only 17 years old when they recorded the tracks.
It will be interesting to check out the development of this band in the future.



2007 - Sqare Edged Circle EP
2009 - Ripples - album recorded and mixed, ready for a label



ASPERA started 2005 under the name Illusion. Over these years they have released three self produced demos, played more than 40 live shows of different sizes in the Nordic region and worked constantly on their development.

In 2007 they won the demo-competition to play at the Motstøy-festival, sharing stage stage with well known metal bands such as Pain of Salvation, A.C.T, Evergrey and Immortal.

Due to each members wide range
in musical taste their music has evolved into a unique blend of heavy and tight riffing, atmospheric soundscapes, virtous solo's and
"in-your-face" rock'n'roll attitude with a strong foucus on catchy melodies! Their new album "Ripples" is recorded in their own studio and
mixed at Fascination Street Studios, by the well know Jens Bogren, who also has produced bands such as Opeth, Soilwork and Symphony X.