Nuclear Blast

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Nuclear Blast
Parent companyBelieve Digital
FounderMarkus Staiger
Country of originGermany
LocationDonzdorf, Germany

Nuclear Blast Records is a German record label with subsidiaries in Germany, the United States and Brazil. It was founded in 1987 by Markus Staiger in Donzdorf. 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 post-hardcore/metalcore labels SharpTone Records; another post-hardcore/metalcore label, Arising Empire, was in Nuclear Blast portfolio until its acquirement by Kontor New Media in 2020.

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


Logo and typeface of Nuclear Blast used from 1987 to 2022

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.[2]

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.[3][4]

During the 2000s and 2010s, Nuclear Blast signed many veteran thrash metal bands including Slayer,[5] Exodus,[6] Testament,[7] Anthrax,[8] Kreator,[9] Overkill,[10] Sepultura,[11] Destruction,[12] Tankard,[13] Death Angel,[14] and Heathen.[15]

In 2021, Nuclear Blast founder Markus Staiger launched a new record company called Atomic Fire GmbH.[16]

In June 2022, Nuclear Blast unveiled a new logo. The logo caused some controversy when the canned water company Liquid Death jokingly noted its similarities with their logo (which also features a melting skull), inadvertedly leading to its designer, Justin Moll, receiving hate mail.[17] Liquid Death quickly apologized for the joke, saying that it was not targeted at Moll but at Nuclear Blast, whose personnel had reportedly raised concerns over the new logo's similarities with Liquid Death's before it was implemented.[17]

On 23 August 2022, the video game Saints Row was released, which features an in-game radio station that includes Nuclear Blast artists.[18]

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.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Believe buys majority stake in rock and metal label Nuclear Blast". Music Business Worldwide. 10 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Meshuggah Breaking New Ground With 'Nothing'". 8 September 2002. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  3. ^ "History 2003–2007 – Nuclear Blast".
  4. ^ "SLAYER's "Repentless" SLAYS Through The Charts". The Daily Rind. 30 September 2015. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  5. ^ Grow, Kory (24 April 2014). "Slayer Debut New Song 'Implode' During Surprise Golden Gods Appearance". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  6. ^ "EXODUS Sign With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 28 August 2003. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  7. ^ "TESTAMENT Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 28 June 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  8. ^ "ANTHRAX – Nuclear Blast". Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  9. ^ "KREATOR Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 9 February 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  10. ^ "OVERKILL Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 30 October 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  11. ^ "SEPULTURA Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 6 July 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  12. ^ "DESTRUCTION Signs New Deal With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 9 June 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  13. ^ "TANKARD Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 14 February 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  14. ^ "DEATH ANGEL Sign With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 8 October 2003. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  15. ^ "HEATHEN Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". 10 April 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  16. ^ Blabbermouth (11 November 2021). "NUCLEAR BLAST Founder Launches New Label ATOMIC FIRE". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  17. ^ a b Rhombus, Emperor (21 June 2022). "Liquid Death Water Roast Nuclear Blast's New Logo, Apologize to Designer When Their Fans Blame Him". MetalSucks. Retrieved 8 August 2023.
  18. ^ Lambgoat (28 September 2022). "Nuclear Blast Records curates in-game radio station for Saint's Row (2022)". Retrieved 27 December 2022.

External links[edit]