Relapse Records

Last updated
Relapse Records
Relapse Records logo.svg
Founded1990 (1990)
FounderMatthew F. Jacobson
Distributor(s) RED (U.S.), INgrooves/Fontana (Canada), eOne Music (worldwide)
Genre Extreme metal, heavy metal, hardcore punk, rock, electronic
Country of originU.S.
Location Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
Official website www.relapse.com

Relapse Records is an American independent record label based in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. It was founded by Matthew F. Jacobson in 1990. The label features a large number of grindcore, death metal, and sludge metal artists.

An independent record label is a record label that operates without the funding of major record labels. Many artists begin their careers on independent labels.

Upper Darby Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania Place in Pennsylvania, United States

Upper Darby Township is a home rule township bordering Philadelphia in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. Upper Darby is home to the Tower Theater, a historic music venue on 69th Street built in the 1920s. Upper Darby's population is diverse, representing over 100 ethnic cultures. The township hosts a range of housing types including densely populated rowhouse sections similar to houses in neighboring West Philadelphia, tree-lined neighborhoods of turn-of-the-century single-family houses and mid-century developments. It is Pennsylvania's sixth most populous municipality.

Grindcore is an extreme fusion genre of heavy metal and hardcore punk that originated in the mid-1980s, drawing inspiration from abrasive-sounding musical styles, such as: thrashcore, crust punk, hardcore punk, extreme metal, and industrial. Grindcore is characterized by a noise-filled sound that uses heavily distorted, down-tuned guitars, grinding overdriven bass, high speed tempo, blast beats, and vocals which consist of growls and high-pitched shrieks. Early groups like Napalm Death are credited with laying the groundwork for the style. It is most prevalent today in North America and Europe, with popular contributors such as Brutal Truth and Nasum. Lyrical themes range from a primary focus on social and political concerns, to gory subject matter and black humor.

Contents

History

The label was started by Matthew F. Jacobson in August, 1990 in his parents' basement in Aurora, Colorado. The first two releases on the label were 7-inch singles by the bands Velcro Overdose and Face of Decline, closely followed by three death metal bands that would become among the biggest on the label, Deceased, Suffocation, and Incantation.

Aurora, Colorado Home Rule Municipality in Colorado, United States

Aurora is a Home Rule Municipality in the U.S. state of Colorado, spanning Arapahoe and Adams counties, with the extreme southeastern portion of the city extending into Douglas County. Aurora is one of the principal cities of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's population was 325,078 in the 2010 census, which made it the third most populous city in the state of Colorado and the 54th most populous city in the United States.

Deceased (band) death/thrash metal band

Deceased is a extreme metal band from Virginia that have attained a cult following throughout a lengthy career. In 1990 they were the first band to sign with Relapse Records, and released four albums and a number of EPs before parting ways with the label in 2003. Their sound centers around themes of horror, with lyrics barked and sometimes narrated by vocalist and founder King Fowley.

Suffocation (band) American death metal band

Suffocation is an American death metal band formed in 1988 in Centereach, New York. The band consists of lead guitarist Terrance Hobbs, bassist Derek Boyer, rhythm guitarist Charlie Errigo, drummer Eric Morotti, and vocalist Ricky Myers. Suffocation rose to prominence of death metal and created a blueprint for the genre for the 1990s with their 1991 debut album Effigy of the Forgotten, and have released eight studio albums since formation. The band's raw death metal style uses growled vocals with a downtuned guitar sound, fast and complex guitar riffs and drumming, open chord notes, breakdowns, and a sophisticated sense of songwriting.

After this, Jacobson became acquainted with William Yurkiewicz Jr., who became his partner in the record label. Yurkiewicz had founded his own record label, which was soon to release albums from the bands General Surgery, Disrupt, Destroy, Misery, and Yurkiewicz's own band Exit-13. The two joined forces to create Relapse Records, aiming to release high-quality, professionally packaged extreme music.

General Surgery is a Swedish goregrind group, known as one of the earliest Carcass clones. Their 1991 debut, Necrology, was released by Relapse Records and would be General Surgery's only material released until 2001, when the group recorded one track for the Carcass tribute album, Requiems of Revulsion. However, in 2003, General Surgery reformed and released a split album with The County Medical Examiners, and have since released a collection of demos, two split 7"s, a 2005 demo, a split album with Butcher ABC, and two full-length albums.

Disrupt was a crust punk band from 1987—1994, formed in Lynn, Massachusetts, United States. They only released one full-length studio album, however the band acquired a cult following on the strength of several underground 7-inch EPs and compilation appearances. Their lyrics were politically anarchist, expressing animal rights and anti-capitalist views.

Misery (band) Australian metal band

Misery was a death metal band from Brisbane, Australia. Since forming in 1991, the band has released four albums and an EP. The band split in 2005, but has reformed once more for an East Coast Australian tour in support of its final album On Demon Wings in 2009.

In 1991, the label moved their headquarters to Millersville, Pennsylvania. In 1992, the label expanded its range with the creation of its subsidiary label called Release Entertainment, which specializes in experimental, ambient, industrial, and noise titles. With continued growth came a mail-order/wholesale operation that soon became the largest underground distribution center for all things metal in the United States [ citation needed ]. The mail-order service carried a wide array of extreme music recordings and merchandise, as well as publications from around the world.

Millersville, Pennsylvania Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Millersville is a borough in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 7,774.

Experimental music is a general label for any music that pushes existing boundaries and genre definitions. Experimental compositional practice is defined broadly by exploratory sensibilites radically opposed to, and questioning of, institutionalized compositional, performing, and aesthetic conventions in music. Elements of experimental music include indeterminate music, in which the composer introduces the elements of chance or unpredictability with regard to either the composition or its performance. Artists may also approach a hybrid of disparate styles or incorporate unorthodox and unique elements.

Ambient music is a genre of music that emphasizes tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm. A form of slow instrumental music, it uses repetitive, but gentle, soothing sound patterns that can be described as sonic wallpaper to complement or alter one’s space and to generate a sense of calmness. The genre is said to evoke an "atmospheric", "visual", or "unobtrusive" quality.

Throughout the years Relapse has continued to grow and sign on more influential artists from a broader range of genres. In 1996, Relapse unveiled the Resound Music Resource Guide. Resound gave fans direct access to the label's roster through interviews and reviews, as well as being part mail-order catalog.

In 1998, Relapse opened a promotions office in Berlin, as well as establishing a German Distribution deal. In 2003, Relapse held a music festival - the Relapse Contamination Festival took place on January 18 and 19 at the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and featured various Relapse artists. In 2000, the label relocated to Upper Darby, outside of Philadelphia and began plans to include a physical record store [ citation needed ]. In June 2001, the label opened their first record store off of South Street in Philadelphia.

Trocadero Theatre

The Trocadero Theatre is a historic theater located in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Over the years, it has offered musical comedies, vaudeville, opera, and burlesque. The Trocadero Theatre was refurbished for use as an art house cinema and fine arts theatre in 1970s, and by the 1990s had become an iconic venue for rock and punk concerts.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Pennsylvania State of the United States of America

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

In 2010, Relapse announced that they had done a deal with intellectual property lawyer Eric Greif and Perseverance Holdings Ltd. to take over Chuck Schuldiner's catalog and the Death and Control Denied names internationally. Death's 1995 sixth studio album, Symbolic was excluded from the deal as the rights for said record remain with Roadrunner Records. [1]

Eric Greif American record producer

Eric Greif is a lawyer and entertainment personality known first for a management and record production career within the heavy metal musical genre in the 1980s and early 1990s, and later within the legal profession. Canadian filmmaker Sam Dunn has referred to Greif as a "hugely important figure in the extreme metal scene." He is the nephew of deceased American-Irish writer and publisher Martin Greif.

Chuck Schuldiner American guitarist and singer most notable for founding the metal band Death

Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He founded the band Death in 1983 and was their lead vocalist until his death in 2001. His obituary in the January 5, 2002 issue of UK's Kerrang! magazine said that "Chuck Schuldiner was one of the most significant figures in the history of metal." Schuldiner was ranked No. 10 in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists in 2009 and No. 20 in March 2004 Guitar World's "The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists". Schuldiner founded the publishing company Mutilation Music in 1987, affiliated with performance rights organization BMI. Schuldiner died in 2001 after a two-year battle with brain cancer.

Death (metal band) American death/progressive metal band

Death was an American death metal band from Orlando, Florida, founded in 1983 by guitarist and vocalist Chuck Schuldiner. Death is considered to be among the most influential bands in heavy metal and a pioneering force in the extreme metal subgenre of death metal. Their debut album, Scream Bloody Gore, has been widely regarded as the first death metal record.

On August 5, 2011, Relapse announced a pay what you want partnership with Moshpit Tragedy Records, which will see one mp3 album from the Relapse catalog issued weekly through MoshpitTragedy.com. [2]

Musical style

The label specializes in various types of heavy metal. Recently, with the increasing popularity of extreme metal, Relapse Records has ostensibly become more mainstream, with bands on their roster frequently appearing on the front cover of the magazine Kerrang! and video plays on TV music channels, along with some albums charting on the Billboard 200. The word has also been spread by the sponsorship of such festivals as the Milwaukee Metalfest.

It would be hard however to label the company as dealing in one specific style or another, as there are artists of such a wide variety on their roster, ranging from stoner rock and hardcore bands through to grindcore and death metal all the way to retro thrash metal and doom.

Although much of the music released on Relapse is from bands in various punk and metal subgenres, the label has also released records from several artists in other genres, including math rock (Don Caballero), shoegazing (Nothing, Cloakroom), post-punk (Publicist UK), space rock (Zombi), stand-up comedy (Brian Posehn) and synthwave (Survive).

The officially licensed reissues the label has also released also adds many other genres into their style.

Current artists

[13]

Former artists

See also

Related Research Articles

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Incantation is an American death metal band that was formed by John McEntee and Paul Ledney in 1989. They are one of the leaders in the New York City death-metal scene along with fellow bands Suffocation, Mortician and Immolation, even though the band is currently located in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. To date the band has released ten full-length records, two live records, four EPs, two singles, three splits, one DVD, and three demos. Their most recent album, Profane Nexus, was released through Relapse Records in August 2017. The band have maintained a significant cult following and underground popularity since the '90s, and are considered to be highly influential on a range of later death metal bands including Dead Congregation, Grave Miasma and Portal, who are often described as 'cavernous death metal'. Incantation's music frequently draws on anti-Christian, Satanic and occult themes, and the band is notable for mixing widely varied tempos into their music, often playing slow, down-tuned passages similar to those performed by death-doom bands like Autopsy.

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<i>Elegy</i> (Amorphis album) 1996 studio album by Amorphis

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Birds of Prey is a Southern-influenced death metal supergroup hailing from Richmond, Virginia. They released their third full-length, The Hellpreacher, through Relapse Records.

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References

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  14. "Relapse on dropping Tau Cross: band's liner notes "prominently thanked" Holocaust denier Gerard Menuhin". brooklynvegan.com.