Nuclear Blast

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Nuclear Blast
Nuclear-Blast logo.jpg
Parent companyBelieve Digital
FounderMarkus Staiger
Country of originGermany
LocationDonzdorf, Germany

Nuclear Blast is a record label and mail order record distributor with subsidiaries in Germany, the United States and Brazil. The label was founded in 1987 by Markus Staiger in Germany. Originally releasing hardcore punk records, the label moved on to releasing albums by thrash metal, melodic death metal, grindcore, industrial metal, power metal and black metal bands, as well as tribute albums. It also distributes and promotes two post-hardcore/metalcore labels, SharpTone Records, focused on American scene, and Arising Empire, focused more on European bands.

In October 2018, French independent label Believe Digital acquired a majority stake in Nuclear Blast.[1]


Nuclear Blast is most known for signing veteran thrash metal bands during the 2000s and 2010s, including Slayer,[2] Exodus,[3] Testament,[4] Anthrax,[5] Kreator,[6] Overkill,[7] Sepultura,[8] Destruction,[9] Tankard,[10] Death Angel,[11] and Heathen.[12] Other acts that have released music through this label include Machine Head,[13] Accept, Amaranthe, Epica, The Adicts, Wednesday 13, Blind Guardian, Helloween, In Flames, Therion, Opeth,[14] Death, Decapitated, Dimmu Borgir, Danzig, Cradle of Filth,[15] Edguy, Eluveitie, Nightwish, Symphony X, Secret Sphere, Suffocation, Fear Factory, D.R.I., [16] Sabaton,[17] Fit for an Autopsy, Rob Zombie,[18] Comeback Kid, Ministry, The Damned Things, Alcest, As I Lay Dying, Obscura, Septicflesh and Beast in Black.


Nuclear Blast was formed in 1987 after founder Markus Staiger traveled throughout the United States for four weeks and saw a gig of his favorite band BL'AST!. The label's first release was a vinyl compilation called Senseless Death (NB 001) featuring US hardcore bands like Attitude, Sacred Denial, Impulse Manslaughter and others.

Swedish band Meshuggah became the first band in the history of Nuclear Blast Records to crack the Billboard 200, landing at number 165 with their 2002 album, Nothing. Meshuggah also became the first Nuclear Blast band to be reviewed in Rolling Stone magazine.[19]

In 2004, Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish released Once on Nuclear Blast, which rocketed to the top of the charts in multiple countries, including Finland, Germany, Norway, Greece, Sweden, Austria, and more. It became the first release in the company's history to reach number 1 on the German charts. Slayer released the album Repentless in 2015 which went to number 4 on the Billboard 200 making it the highest charting Nuclear Blast release in the United States.[20][21]

The exclusive distribution in Greece is being carried out by Infinity Entertainment IKE.[22]

In 2021, Nuclear Blast founder Markus Staiger has launched a new company called Atomic Fire GmbH.[23]

Blood Blast Distribution[edit]

Blood Blast Distribution is a subsidiary of Nuclear Blast that focuses solely on the distribution of extreme music. The company was founded in 2020 by Bryce Lucien, Jerome Riera, Denis Ladegaillerie and Myriam Silberstein.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Believe buys majority stake in rock and metal label Nuclear Blast". Music Business Worldwide. October 10, 2018.
  2. ^ Grow, Kory (April 24, 2014). "Slayer Debut New Song 'Implode' During Surprise Golden Gods Appearance". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  3. ^ "EXODUS Sign With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 28 August 2003. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  4. ^ "TESTAMENT Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 28 June 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  5. ^ "ANTHRAX - Nuclear Blast". Retrieved 2020-09-23.
  6. ^ "KREATOR Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 9 February 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  7. ^ "OVERKILL Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 30 October 2009. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  8. ^ "SEPULTURA Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 6 July 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  9. ^ "DESTRUCTION Signs New Deal With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 9 June 2010. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  10. ^ "TANKARD Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 14 February 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  11. ^ "DEATH ANGEL Sign With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 8 October 2003. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  12. ^ "HEATHEN Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 10 April 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  13. ^ "Nuclear Blast History".
  14. ^ "OPETH Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST ENTERTAINMENT; New Album 'Sorceress' Due In Fall". June 15, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  15. ^ "CRADLE OF FILTH - sign worldwide record deal with Nuclear Blast Records!". Nuclear Blast. November 10, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  16. ^ "FEAR FACTORY Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST ENTERTAINMENT; New Album In The Works". September 12, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  17. ^ "SABATON Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". November 20, 2009. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  18. ^ "ROB ZOMBIE Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS; New Album Due In 2019". July 20, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  19. ^ "Meshuggah Breaking New Ground With 'Nothing'". September 8, 2002. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  20. ^ "History 2003-2007 - Nuclear Blast".
  21. ^ "SLAYER's "Repentless" SLAYS Through The Charts". The Daily Rind. September 30, 2015. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  22. ^ "Infinity Wholesale - INFINITY ENTERTAINMENT GROUP". Retrieved 2022-04-11.
  23. ^ Blabbermouth (2021-11-11). "NUCLEAR BLAST Founder Launches New Label ATOMIC FIRE". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 2022-04-11.

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