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Review: Fallen Empire - Through The Blackened Gates Of Immortal Hell
Fallen Empire
Through The Blackened Gates Of Immortal Hell

Label: Independent
Year released: 2002
Duration: 38:47
Tracks: 8
Genre: Symphonic Black Metal


Review online: September 24, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.33/5 (66.67%) (3 Votes)

Been getting a lot of US Black Metal lately, one way or another (Crimson Moon, Ancient Ceremony, and now this one). Fallen Empire are a cool underground band from Arkansas (!) and this is their latest release, put out back in 2002.

I realize a lot of BM purists loathe any use of keys, and regard such things as 'Symphonic' Black Metal as heresy, but I don't care as long as it's done well. This one is. Fallen Empire play fast and highly melodic BM with a definite similarity to EDT-era Dimmu Borgir or Old Man's Child. If all they did was blast away and screech, however, I would not have rated this so highly. What is cool about FE is that they refuse to go stale or stick with formulaic songwriting, injecting their Black Metal assault with melodic quirks and acoustic interludes, switching tempos and varying the music enough to keep from getting dull, even injecting a touch of mideast-flavor here and there. Just when you think they've been at one thing a bit too long, they switch over to something new, yet they never seem hyperactive or wanky. They manage to build this CD around some very cool riffs, and though the songs veer off here and there and add in new elements, they always come back to the main theme, which adds a touch of classical flair to the whole proceedings. The majority of the vocals are the standard screech variety, and I have to say those are fairly one-dimensional, but they spice things up here and there with some nice non-operatic female vocals.

This is a self-released digipack, and the cover is one of the more horrid offenses against Photoshop I have ever seen, but overall Fallen Empire deliver. This may not be the most original music out there, but at least this band is striving for something different, and is not content to just paint by numbers. Despite the departure of some key members, FE are still around, and I hope they don't call it quits.

More about Fallen Empire...
Interview with Fallen Empire on October 31, 2004 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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