Thirty-five years after its beginnings in a Southern California garage, Metal Blade Records has become an enduring icon in the world of Heavy Rock. Label founder and CEO Brian Slagel’s mission to bring Metal to the masses saw him release his very first compilation, ‘Metal Massacre,’ in 1982; the now-legendary album featured the recording debuts of both Ratt and Metallica among its tracklist. Since then, the acts that have recorded for the venerated label read like a veritable Who’s Who of Hard Rock’s last four decades: Slayer and Armored Saint both released their debuts through Metal Blade, seminal works by Mercyful Fate, King’s X, Voivod, and Flotsam and Jetsam have all been graced by the imprint, and the current roster is one of the industry’s strongest, with acts like Behemoth, GWAR, Byzantine, and Cannibal Corpse currently calling the label home.
To celebrate the label’s emerald anniversary, ‘For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records,’ a biography/history penned by Slagel and co-writer Mark Eglinton hits bookstore shelves this week. The tome, featuring a foreword by Lars Ulrich of Metallica, offers readers insight into the effects the label and its artists have had on the Hard Rock and Metal landscape, and into the wholesale changes the Music business has undergone since the early 80s. Slagel has played a vital role in the careers of numerous artists; ‘For the Sake of Heaviness’ illustrates his involvement with bands like Alice in Chains, Lamb of God, Motley Crue, Faith No More, and Mother Love Bone, among others.
At 7 PM on Monday, October 2nd, Slagel and an all-star panel will take part in a Q&A/book signing at Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. ‘That Metal Show’’s Eddie Trunk and Don Jamieson, John Bush and Joey Vera from Armored Saint, Lizzy Borden, and Betsy Bitch will join Slagel to discuss the history and influence of Metal Blade as well as sign copies of ‘For the Sake of Heaviness.’
An excerpt from the book detailing how Metallica’s ‘Metal Massacre’ debut was nearly derailed over a matter of $50 is now available at LAWeekly.com; once your appetite is thoroughly whetted you can order your very own copy (including in a limited edition box set) here; for more information on the panel/signing event, check out Book Soup’s event calendar here.