A local heavy metal band that has entertained audiences in the U.S. and abroad has completed work on its latest album and is gearing up to play a CD release party at an area show.
Beyond Fallen will headline a night of music that begins at 7 p.m. May 19 at the Irish Wolf Pub in Scranton in celebration of its third studio LP “As The Spires Fall.” The band will be joined by Scranton metal act Traverse the Abyss and Philadelphia bands Suicide Conspiracy and Assayer.
The origin of the Wilkes-Barre-based, five-piece dates back to 2003 when lead vocalist Joe Karavis, guitarist Steve Jasuilewicz and bassist Chuck Donahue began collaborating in a band that found their rhythm with cover songs before turning to writing original music.
“We put out a demo, and then we put out our first full-length, ‘Lost in the Shadows,’ somewhere around 2004 or 2005 and that got some attention,” Karavis said.
Through consistent live performance, Beyond Fallen generated a following in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but, knowing there was an established market for metal in Europe, the band sought distribution for their music overseas.
“We got a deal with a label in the Netherlands called Melissa Records,” Karavis said. “We did a tour over there, and we put out the ‘Mine Fire’ album in 2007.”
The band was received well in Germany, playing both the Headbanger’s Open Air Festival and the Ballroom Hamburg.
Another album, “Machines of Corruption,” was released in 2013, and subsequent touring has taken Beyond Fallen to Illinois, Ohio, Virginia, New York and New Jersey as well as throughout Pennsylvania.
“As The Spires Fall” features both hard-driving, frenetic thrash and melodic metal set against the lyrical backdrop of a war-time narrative.
With titles like “The Arrival,” “Return Of The Sky Gods,” Destroying Reality” and “Hatecrown,” the album follows a fictional battle-story created by Karavis and Jasuilewicz.
“It’s loosely a concept album,” Karavis said. “There is a theme. We thought about it a lot to make it cohesive. It’s a journey through the whole album. But it’s not an ego type of thing where I’m telling about my life. I didn’t want to get too personal.”
Karavis said Beyond Fallen’s unique brand of metal is the result of a wealth of influences that encompasses everything from early heavy music like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple to thrash and doom metal to The Beatles, Queen and progressive rock groups like Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
“Our bass player is into Primus and Tool,” Karavis said. “Our guitar player Randy (Bobzien) was in a KISS tribute band for a while. He has as much experience as anyone in the band. He was on a major label with the band Fear of God, and he’s another guy who’s diverse.”
Karavis, Jasuilewicz, Donahue and Bobzien along with drummer John Jesuele will perform “As The Spires Fall” in its entirety along with select songs from throughout their catalogue on May 19 in Scranton.
“Hopefully some people who haven’t heard of us will drift in and see what we have to offer,” Karavis said. “We try to perform as if we’re in a stadium. We try to bring that feel more than (that of) a jam session in a bar.”
The band will be feeding off of momentum from a recent local performance, Metal Meltdown, which took place on May 6 at the Irish Wolf. Organized by Beyond Fallen on a yearly basis, and featuring a festival bill worth of local and visiting musicians, the event has grown to draw large crowds and ample enthusiasm, Karavis said.
“We have some things already in the works for next year,” Karavis said.
But the May 19 CD release show will be a “special event,” according to Karavis.
“It’s going to be a good time with friends and fans and family — and whoever else wants to join us,” Karavis said. “It’s a celebration of what we’ve done, and we’re happy to share it with everybody and see what they think.”
“As The Spires Fall” is available now through digital outlets that can be accessed at beyondfallenmetal.com.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.
IF YOU GO
What: Beyond Fallen CD release party
Where: Irish Wolf Pub, 503 Linden St., Scranton
When: 7 p.m. May 19
Additional information: Admission will cost $5 at the door the evening of the event.