|Born||February 14, 1961|
|Origin||Woodland Hills, California, U.S.|
|Labels||Metal Blade Records|
Brian Slagel (born February 14, 1961) is the founder and CEO of Metal Blade Records. Slagel is known for having initiated the Metal Massacre series of compilation albums in 1982, the first of which included the first commercial recording by Metallica. Metal Blade has since released seminal albums by Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Cannibal Corpse, Fates Warning, Amon Amarth and The Black Dahlia Murder, among others.
Metal Blade Records is a heavy metal independent record label founded by Brian Slagel in 1982. The U.S. office for Metal Blade is located in Agoura Hills, California. It also has offices in Germany, Japan, Canada, and the UK. The label is distributed in the U.S. by RED Distribution, and in Canada by Sony Music Entertainment. It was distributed by Warner Bros. Records in the United States from 1988 to 1993.
Metal Massacre is a series of compilation albums released through Metal Blade Records. It is famous for "shedding light" on bands such as The Obsessed, Trouble, Overkill, Metal Church, Metallica, Slayer, Virgin Steele, Hellhammer, Voivod, Armored Saint, Lizzy Borden, Possessed and more.
Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.
Slagel grew up in Woodland Hills, California, and with an early love of heavy music, began working at a rock record store, Oz Records, as a teenager.With the new wave of British heavy metal sweeping the underground metal scene, bands such as Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Diamond Head were virtually unknown in the US, outside of the tape trading underground. Slagel began importing NWOBHM records, and noticing a public interest in European metal, organized one of the first metal fanzines, The New Heavy Metal Revue. As the fanzine started to pick up steam, Slagel began working as a columnist for Kerrang! , Sounds Magazine, and other music publications.
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.
The new wave of British heavy metal was a nationwide musical movement that started in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and achieved international attention by the early 1980s. Journalist Geoff Barton coined the term in a May 1979 issue of the British music newspaper Sounds to describe the emergence of new heavy metal bands in the mid to late 1970s, during the period of punk rock's decline and the dominance of new wave music.
Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The band's discography has grown to thirty-eight albums, including sixteen studio albums, twelve live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations.
In 1982, Slagel organized the release of a compilation album, featuring all local Los Angeles metal bands, called The New Heavy Metal Revue Presents Metal Massacre. The album featured the first recordings of Ratt, Steeler, Black 'n Blue, Malice, Avatar, Cirith Ungol, Bitch and Metallica. The album quickly sold all 5,000 copies that were printed, and led to a distribution deal with Enigma Records in 1983. Slagel founded Metal Blade Records in 1982, and released albums by Warlord, Bitch, Armored Saint and Slayer's Show No Mercy , which sold 40,000 copies worldwide.
A compilation album comprises tracks, which may be previously released or unreleased, usually from several separate recordings by either one or several performers. If by one artist, then generally the tracks were not originally intended for release together as a single work, but may be collected together as a greatest hits album or box set. If from several performers, there may be a theme, topic, time period, or genre which links the tracks, or they may have been intended for release as a single work—such as a tribute album. When the tracks are by the same recording artist, the album may be referred to as a retrospective album or an anthology.
Ratt is an American heavy metal band that had significant commercial success in the 1980s, with their albums having been certified as gold, platinum, and multi-platinum by the RIAA. The group is perhaps best known for hit singles such as "Round and Round" and "Lay It Down", tracks that ranked on Billboard's top 40 at No. 12 and No. 40, respectively, as well as other songs such as "Wanted Man", "You're in Love" and "Dance". Along with groups such as friendly rivals Mötley Crüe, Ratt has been recognized as instrumental in the formation of the early 1980s Los Angeles glam metal scene, also known as "hair metal" or "pop metal".
Steeler was an early 1980s American heavy metal band originally formed in Nashville, Tennessee by Ron Keel in 1981. Original band members included Ron Keel on vocals and guitar, Michael Dunigan on lead guitar, Bobby Eva on drums and Tim Morrison on bass. In 1982, they released the single "Cold Day in Hell".
Metal Blade quickly expanded, signing bands such as Trouble, Flotsam and Jetsam, GWAR, Sacred Reich, and Corrosion of Conformity, and although the label's roster expanded, Slagel ran the company alone until 1988.
Trouble is an American doom metal band from Aurora, Illinois, formed in 1979 and considered one of the pioneers of the genre alongside Candlemass and Saint Vitus. The band created a distinct style taking influences of the British heavy metal bands Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, and psychedelic rock of the 1970s. A critically acclaimed group, their first two albums, Psalm 9 and The Skull, are cited as landmarks of doom metal. To date, Trouble has released eight studio albums. Although the band never officially broke up, Trouble was plagued by extended inactivity after their original singer Eric Wagner left in 1997. He eventually rejoined in 2000 before leaving again eight years later.
Flotsam and Jetsam is an American thrash metal and progressive metal band that formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1981. The band currently consists of vocalist Eric "A.K" Knutson, guitarists Michael Gilbert and Steve Conley, bassist Michael Spencer, and drummer Ken Mary. Flotsam and Jetsam went through several lineup changes over the years, and Knutson has been the only constant member of the band. They are also notable for featuring bassist Jason Newsted, who left the band shortly after the release of their debut album to join Metallica as Cliff Burton's replacement.
Sacred Reich is an American thrash metal band based in Phoenix, Arizona, that was formed in 1985. Singer/songwriter Phil Rind's interest was in socially conscious and political speed metal. After several albums on Metal Blade Records, they signed to Hollywood Records for a short stint, but later returned to Metal Blade to continue their musical career. The band split in 2000, but reunited in 2006. Sacred Reich has been credited, along with Testament, Destruction, Death Angel and Dark Angel, for leading the second wave of thrash metal movement in the late 1980s.
With heavy metal's popularity exploding in the late 1980s, many Metal Blade artists began moving to major labels. After the expiration of their distribution deal with Enigma Records, Metal Blade entered a partnership with Warner Bros. Records, who would distribute and market some of the independent label's releases, but Warner was soon bought by Time, Inc, and incorporated into WEA.At the same time, Body Count's "Cop Killer", also released on WEA, was causing controversy, and after public backlash, the band was dropped from WEA. Following Body Count's troubles, WEA introduced new policies regarding controversial lyrics, and attempted to censor GWAR's America Must Be Destroyed . Not wanting to compromise the artistic integrity of any Metal Blade acts, WEA and Slagel parted ways in 1992, with Metal Blade giving WEA the Goo Goo Dolls, and receiving a distribution deal with RED Distribution.
Warner Bros. Records Inc. is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group and headquartered in Burbank, California. It was founded in 1958 as the recorded music division of the American film studio Warner Bros., and was one of a group of labels owned and operated by larger parent corporations for much of its existence. The sequence of companies that controlled Warner Bros. and its allied labels evolved through a convoluted series of corporate mergers and acquisitions from the early 1960s to the early 2000s. Over this period, Warner Bros. Records grew from a struggling minor player in the music industry to one of the top record labels in the world.
Warner Music Group Inc. (WMG), also known as Warner Music or WEA International Inc., is an American multinational entertainment and record label conglomerate headquartered in New York City. It is one of the "big three" recording companies and the third largest in the global music industry, after Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME). Formerly part of Time Warner, the company was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange until May 2011, when it announced its privatization and sale to Access Industries, which was completed in July 2011. With a multibillion-dollar annual turnover, WMG employs more than 3,500 people and has operations in more than 50 countries throughout the world.
Body Count is an American metal band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1990. The group is fronted by Ice-T, who co-founded the group with lead guitarist Ernie C out of their interest in heavy metal music. Ice-T took on the role of vocalist and writing the lyrics for most of the group's songs. Lead guitarist Ernie C has been responsible for writing the group's music. Their controversial self-titled debut album was released on Sire Records in 1992.
Until 2010, Metal Blade was one of the top independent heavy metal record labels, with a roster of over 30 bands. Brian also appeared in the documentary film Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, concerning the album bans of Cannibal Corpse in multiple countries, as well as the thrash metal episode of Metal Evolution.
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey is a 2005 documentary film directed by Sam Dunn with Scot McFadyen and Jessica Wise. The film follows 31-year-old Dunn, a Canadian anthropologist, who has been a heavy metal fan since the age of 12. Dunn sets out across the world to uncover the various opinions on heavy metal music, including its origins, culture, controversy, and the reasons it is loved by so many people. The film made its debut at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released as a two-disc special edition DVD in the US on September 19, 2006.
Cannibal Corpse is a death metal band from Buffalo, New York, now based in Tampa, Florida. Formed in December 1988, the band has released fourteen studio albums, two box sets, four video albums, and two live albums. The band has had little radio or television exposure throughout its career, although a cult following began to build after the release of the 1991 album Butchered at Birth and 1992 album Tomb of the Mutilated. As of 2015, they achieved worldwide sales of two million units for combined sales of all their albums, making them the top-selling death metal band of all time.
Metal Evolution is a 2011 documentary series directed by anthropologist and film-maker Sam Dunn and director, producer and music supervisor Scot McFadyen about heavy metal subgenres, with new episodes airing every Friday at 10pm EST on MuchMore and Saturday at 10pm EST on VH1 Classic. Its origins come from Dunn's first documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, which included the acclaimed "Heavy Metal Family Tree."
Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by vocalist and bassist Tom Araya and guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.
Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. The lyrics often deal with social issues and criticism of The Establishment, using direct and denunciatory language, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.
Reign in Blood is the third studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on October 7, 1986 by Def Jam Recordings. The album was the band's first collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, whose input helped the band's sound evolve. The release date of the album was delayed because of concerns regarding the lyrical subject matter of the song “Angel of Death.” The opening track "Angel of Death", which refers to Josef Mengele and describes acts such as human experimentation that he committed at the Auschwitz concentration camp, provoked allegations of Nazism. However, the band's members stated numerous times that they did not condone Nazism and were merely interested in the subject.
Show No Mercy is the debut studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on December 3, 1983 by Metal Blade Records. Brian Slagel signed the band to the label after watching them perform the song "Phantom of the Opera" by Iron Maiden. The band self-financed their full-length debut, combining the savings of vocalist Tom Araya, who was employed as a respiratory therapist, and money borrowed from guitarist Kerry King's father. Touring extensively promoting the album, the band brought close friends and family members along the trip, who helped backstage with lighting and sound.
Hell Awaits is the second studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released in March 1985 by Metal Blade Records. The band's 1983 debut Show No Mercy became Metal Blade Records' highest-selling release, and as a result, producer Brian Slagel desired to release a second Slayer album. To that end, Slagel financed a recording budget and recruited several experienced producers to help in the studio.
Possessed is an American death metal band, originally formed in 1983. Noted for their fast style of playing and Jeff Becerra's guttural vocals, they are often called the first band in the death metal genre.
Six Feet Under is an American death metal band from Tampa, Florida, formed in 1993. The band consists of five members: founding vocalist Chris Barnes, guitarists Ray Suhy and Jack Owen, bassist Jeff Hughell and drummer Marco Pitruzzella. It was originally a side project formed by Barnes with guitarist Allen West of Obituary, but became a full-time commitment after Barnes was dismissed from Cannibal Corpse in 1995. They have released twelve albums, and are listed by Nielsen Soundscan as the fourth best-selling death metal act in the U.S., with album sales over 370,000.
Haunting the Chapel is an extended play (EP) released by American thrash metal band Slayer in 1984 through Metal Blade and Enigma Records. Slayer's debut album Show No Mercy became Metal Blade's highest-selling, leading to producer Brian Slagel wanting to release an EP. Recorded in Hollywood, the recording process proved difficult when recording drums in a studio without carpet, although it resulted in drummer Dave Lombardo meeting Gene Hoglan who was to become an influence in his drumming style and speed. It was during the recording of this session that Lombardo first had the double bass added to his kit. Hoglan, working for Slayer at the time, sat at the kit and played a double bass for the first time. Lombardo was impressed and although Hoglan never gave him lessons, he did give him tips regarding the use of the double kick drum.
This Toilet Earth is the fourth album released by heavy metal band Gwar. Released in 1994, this album was to be one of their oddest and most bittersweet albums. It was the first Gwar album to be censored, due to their gain in popularity as a result of MTV exposure. The music and artwork is almost cartoonish when compared to the previous albums, and the instrumentation had expanded to include horns that reinforce the goofiness. An instrumental version of the song "Jack the World" was also featured in the Beavis and Butt-Head video game for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Music for Nations is a British independent record label focusing mainly on rock and metal. It was a subsidiary of the larger label distributor Zomba Records, which was a division of BMG and later Sony Music Entertainment.
Vile is the fifth studio album by American death metal band Cannibal Corpse. It was released in 1996 through Metal Blade Records. It was originally titled Created to Kill and had partially been completed Chris Barnes on vocals. Before the album was released, Barnes was dismissed from the band, which then brought in Monstrosity vocalist George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher to finish the album's vocal work. Fisher Barnes's vocal tracks and the band released the album under the new title Vile. Vile also marks the last album featuring guitarist Rob Barrett until Kill, and features a brand new band logo, because the previous logo had been drawn by the departing Chris Barnes. During the Vile sessions, "The Undead Will Feast" from Eaten Back to Life was re-recorded with Fisher on vocals. This version of the song would first appear as the only bonus track on a Japanese import edition of Vile and then on the Worm Infested EP in 2003.
Epidemic was an American death/Thrash metal band which was part of the Bay Area thrash scene.
Haunted is Six Feet Under's debut album. It was released on Metal Blade in 1995, after Chris Barnes' departure from Cannibal Corpse.
Bitch is a female-fronted American heavy metal band, formed in Los Angeles in December 1980. They gained notoriety as a result of their theatrical live performances inspired by Alice Cooper, which featured sadomasochistic themes. Bitch was the first artist ever signed to Metal Blade Records.
Be My Slave is a 1983 album by the American heavy metal band Bitch, released on the Metal Blade Records label under the genre "dominatrix metal". Be My Slave was cited by Tipper Gore, during the Parents Music Resource Center campaign against violent and sexually explicit content in the music industry and was held as an example in the hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on September 19, 1985. The album was re-issued in 1989 on a single CD with the EP Damnation Alley.
S.A.Slayer, originally known as Slayer, was an American heavy metal band formed in San Antonio, Texas in 1981 by the former Blitzkrieg guitar duo Robert "Bob Dog" Catlin and Art Villarreal, bassist Don Van Stavern, drummer Dave McClain, and vocalist Chris Cronk. The latter was soon replaced by Steve Cooper and the band signed a record deal with local upstart label Rainforest Records and proceeded to record six songs for a proposed EP at B.O.S.S. Studios with producer/engineer duo Bob O'Neill and Rick Shrieves. The Prepare to Die EP was released in 1983 and "Slayer" became one of the top metal draws of the Texas scene. The band changed their name to S.A. Slayer following a cease and desist lawsuit from founder of Metal Blade Records, Brian Slagel on behalf of thrash metal legends Slayer.
A Skeletal Domain is the thirteenth studio album by American death metal band Cannibal Corpse. The album was produced at Audiohammer Studios by Mark Lewis.