June 19, 2014

Focus on Fallen Empire Records

By Dave Schalek.
By Dave Schalek.

Fallen Empire Records plays a very smart marketing game. Besides capturing a portion of the cassette and vinyl release market, the New Jersey-based label has established a strong presence on Bandcamp. Here’s a quick look at two recent releases.

Artwork by H.V Lyngdal

The phrase “asphyxiating black metal” is used to describe this outfit, an apt description as Skáphe are a swirling miasma of raw guitars, off kilter tempo changes, screeched vocals, and horrid atmosphere. The music takes on a suffocating air, but Skáphe are at their best when they downshift into eerie bass lines and other quiet moments. Comparisons to the now defunct Necrite come to mind, as well as to Pale Chalice and a few other similar bands. Very little information about Skáphe could be gleaned from my cursory research other than the band is from the United States.

A black metal trio from Québec, Eos first gained exposure on the monstrous Svn Okklt cassette sampler in 2013. Like many acts from Québec, Eos play raw black metal with plenty of atmospherics on L'Avalé, officially labeled as a three-song demo. Limited to only 150 copies, your best bet in hearing this release from Eos is on Bandcamp. Two of the songs are new with “Katharsis,” the middle track, having previously appeared on the Svn Okklt sampler. The new songs are a bit different from “Katharsis” with a greater concentration upon slow atmospherics. The production values are slightly different, as well, possibly indicating that the songs were recorded at different times. Regardless, though, L'Avalé is an intriguing release.

  1. I'm glad to see this label getting attention. (I kept meaning to write up something about them, but I am lazy/easily distracted.) Along with Profound Lore, they've quickly become one of my "buy all releases immediately when available" labels. Can't wait for new Xothist this summer.

    1. That's more or less the role of good labels these days: function as taste makers. And Mike/Fallen Empire, Chris/Profound Lore, Dave/20 Buck Spin, Patrick/Iron Bonehead etc all have very good taste.