The Artisan Era is an American extreme metal label that specializes in Technical Death Metal. Once just a vehicle for Inferi's Malcolm Pugh to self-release his solo project A Loathing Requiem after Inferi fell apart, the label grew beyond everyone's expectations into a fast-rising boutique label with numerous critically-lauded releases and a devoted fanbase that effectively serves as the epicenter of the late 2010s tech scene.
Created in 2010 by Malcolm Pugh and Mike Low after Inferi collapsed following a failed deal with Sumerian Records, its first (and sole for almost four years) release was the A Loathing Requiem debut Psalms of Misanthropy. While the album attracted some minor online attention (likely due to its ties to Enfold Darkness, which Malcolm was a member of at the time), the attention eventually faded, and both owners spent the next few years quietly working on their own projects.
This changed in 2014, when a revamped Inferi reemerged with The Path of Apotheosis, their third full-length. The album picked up a surprising amount of buzz, and Low's own side project Oubliette also put out a full-length on the label that year. 2015 brought another release from A Loathing Requiem that attracted far more attention than their first one, in addition to their first proper signing with Enfold Darkness. While 2016 was a fairly uneventful year for the label, Pugh and Low were quietly working on Inferi in the background. This all changed in 2017, when the label began to grow with multiple new signings outside the Nashville metro area, including several established acts with Inanimate Existence and Augury, while the establishment of The Artisan Era Society on Facebook also accelerated its rise by creating what would become the hub and defining tastemaker for the modern tech scene.
The label's success was cemented in 2018, when Inferi released Revenant, their fourth full-length, and began touring heavily. The label has continued to rise since then, with multiple established acts signing to the label and entering the touring world, while Inferi itself has continued to serve as an effective promotional vehicle for the label.
- Dark Matter Secret
- Demon King
- The Devils of Loudun
- Devil's Reef
- Enfold Darkness
- Inanimate Existence
- A Loathing Requiem
- Mordant Rapture
- Myth of I
- The Odious Construct
- Order of Diptera
- Spectrum of Delusion
- Virulent Depravity
ALL TROPES GO TO HEAVEN:
- Butt-Monkey: Nick Padovani of Equipoise and Kossuth is the de facto perennial target of good-natured ribbing on the page. Whenever there is an Equipoise-related post on the group, you can expect to see at least one or two trash-related comments, and if you are really lucky, someone may dig up the infamous "Blocked" (an old photo of Nick that was Photoshopped to resemble the Suicide Squad version of The Joker, complete with a cursive "Blocked" across his forehead) image that Elijah Whitehead created many moons ago.
- Technical Death Metal: The epicenter for it at this point in time, though there are acts on the label who do not fit into that style. The label is also known for focusing on a particular style of melodic tech heavily influenced by The Black Dahlia Murder that commonly features symphonic elements, flashy neoclassical leadwork, and a generally bombastic and theatrical style, which was largely created and codified by Inferi and Enfold Darkness, as well as non-label acts Vale of Pnath and Alterbeast.
- Trope Codifier: For the modern tech scene. While there was something of a tech scene before the label came along, it had no real culture - it was just a bunch of like-minded bands who often shared fanbases and usually found their way onto the same labels (primarily Willowtip and Unique Leader Records). The Artisan Era and particularly the corresponding Facebook group, on the other hand, formed their cultural hub - while the culture has changed to some degree to be less meme-driven (as the moderators began cracking down on excessive memeposting once it became clear that it was starting to turn into a meme group; anyone who still wants nothing but memes can subscribe to BOIZ KLUB 4 MEN, Elijah Whitehead's dank meme/shitposting page), playing most styles of tech at this point means that you will likely be associating with the label in some fashion.
- True Companions: While they are not currently signed to the label, Archspire is effectively part of the label due to their close ties and similar mindset, and their own rise to the fame around the end of the 2010s roughly paralleled the label's own and they have been happy to help out Malcolm by taking Inferi out on tour.
- Vanity Publishing: This was what the label started out as, as it was little more than a vehicle for Malcolm and Mike's projects (and eventually their friends and former bandmates in Enfold Darkness), but Inferi's success allowed for it to grow into a legitimate label.