Zine Metal Blade Records/BMG • Published Tue 29 Aug 2017
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Today, August 29th, Metal Blade Records and BMG will release ‘For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records’ – written by label founder and CEO Brian Slagel with Mark Eglinton, and featuring a foreword by Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich. Celebrating the storied label’s 35th anniversary, ‘For the Sake of Heaviness’ is an inside look at how Slagel built Metal Blade from a one-man operation in his mom’s non-air-conditioned garage to the preeminent international home of heavy music that it is today.

For another preview of ‘For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records’, please visit AltPress.com for an exclusive excerpt of the book.

For the Sake of Heaviness’ pulls back the curtain to reveal the definitive look at how Metal Blade began, what they’ve accomplished, and where they’re going. Slagel reveals the early advice he gave that helped guide Motley Crue‘s career; how he helped Metallica replace their bassist – twice; his detailed work on Thin Lizzy and Alice Cooper re-issues; his behind-the-scenes role in the careers of SlayerGWARMother Love BoneAlice in ChainsFaith No MoreGoo Goo Dolls, and Lamb of God; and his unlikely ventures with kindred metal heads – from hockey star Ken Baumgartner, to celebrity chef Chris Santos, to The Howard Stern Show’s Richard Christy, to comedians Jim Florentine, Don Jamieson and Jim Breuer.

On September 19th at 6PM, Slagel will appear for a book panel and signing at Rough Trade in NYC alongside Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder), Richard Christy (Charred Walls of the Damned and The Howard Stern Show radio personality), and Jim Florentine (Stand-up Comedian and TV personality for That Metal Show). Hosted by Don Jamieson (Stand-up Comedian and TV personality for That Metal Show), please visit roughtrade.com/events for more details. (disabled)

Slagel comments: “I have been asked many times about doing a book about the history of Metal Blade and it just seemed like a cool thing to do to document the 35th anniversary. You never really stop to think about a lot of this stuff, so doing the book is a great way of looking back at how many awesome things have happened to me and Metal Blade. We have had a long relationship with BMG and with their new move in book publishing, it all seemed like perfect timing. Being able to work with their team really made the final decision to actually do the book. I am really happy with the way it came out and I hope everyone out there enjoys it as well!

The story of Metal Blade Records is the story of Brian Slagel-a metal-obsessed Southern California kid who launched a fanzine and landed a record store job before cobbling together what he assumed would be a one-off compilation of fledgling bands from the L.A. scene. Released in 1982, the Metal Massacre LP included the debut recordings of local groups such as Steeler, Malice, Ratt, and Metallica. In the wake of the album’s unexpected success Slagel virtually stumbled into creating a proper record label, issuing the first releases by Bitch, Armored Saint, and Slayer the following year.

For The Sake Of Heaviness is an inside look at how Brian built Metal Blade from a one-man operation in his mom’s non-air-conditioned garage to the preeminent international home of heavy music that it is today. He shares his insights into signing and working with Amon Amarth, Anvil, As I Lay Dying, Behemoth, The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse, Cirith Ungol, Corrosion of Conformity, D.R.I., Fates Warning, Flotsam and Jetsam, Gwar, King Diamond, King’s X, Lizzy Borden, Manowar, Mercyful Fate, Overkill, Raven, Sacred Reich, Six Feet Under, Trouble, Unearth, Voivod, Whitechapel, and others.

Always hard at work on a diverse range of projects, Brian reveals the early advice he gave that helped guide Mötley Crüe’s career; how he helped Metallica replace their bassist-twice; his detailed work on Thin Lizzy and Alice Cooper reissues; his behind-the-scenes role in the careers of Mother Love Bone, Alice in Chains, Faith No More, Goo Goo Dolls, and Lamb of God; and his unlikely ventures with kindred metal heads-from hockey star Ken Baumgartner, to celebrity chef Chris Santos, to The Howard Stern Show’s Richard Christy, to comedians Jim Florentine, Don Jamieson and Jim Breuer.

Throughout For The Sake Of Heaviness, Brian steps aside to present first-person insights and extended guest interviews featuring friends, colleagues, Metal Blade staffers, and a long list of artists, including Metallica’s James Hetfield, Slayer’s Kerry King, King Diamond, and many more.

Brian highlights the ins and outs of his 35 year metal odyssey, from promoting small shows in California’s San Fernando Valley in the early days, to forging a major partnership with Warner Bros. Records; from weathering the Parents Music Resource Center’s attempts to regulate lyrical content, to squaring off with Time Warner over Gwar’s envelope-pushing themes; from nearly going bankrupt after underestimating the impact of the rise of CDs, to surviving and thriving in today’s rapidly changing music business environment.

Featuring a Foreword by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, For The Sake Of Heaviness pulls back the curtain to reveal the definitive look at how Metal Blade began, what they’ve accomplished, and where they’re going. With the help of co-writer Mark Eglinton, Brian Slagel invites the reader into a personal conversation about his life’s passion, and the passion that drives Metal Blade-finding, exposing, and promoting the best heavy music on the planet.

 

Book 1: For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records (29 Aug 2017). Nb! article has focus on this book.
Book 2: Swing of the Blade: More Stories from Metal Blade Records (09 May 2023)

 

Book 1

BUNDLE INCLUDES:
===================

  • Metal Blade Records 35th Anniversary Box Set
  • Metal Blade Records 35th Anniversary T-Shirt

BOX SET INCLUDES INCLUDES:
===================

  • “For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records” Book
  • “For the Sake of Heaviness” Cassette
  • Metal Blade Records 35th Anniversary Bookmark
  • Bookplate autographed by Brian Slagel
  • Box Dimensions (9.375″ x 6.375″ x 1.25″)

Cassette:
==================
SIDE A

  1. Fates Warning “Guardian”
  2. Lizzy Borden “Lord of the Flies”
  3. Omen “Holy Martyr”
  4. Cirith Ungol “Black Machine”
  5. GWAR “Gor-Gor”
  6. Cannibal Corpse “Stripped, Raped, and Strangled”
  7. Six Feet Under “War Is Coming”

SIDE B

  1. Mercyful Fate “Egypt”
  2. King Diamond “Voodoo”
  3. The Black Dahlia Murder “Funeral Thirst”
  4. Unearth “Black Hearts Now Reign”
  5. Amon Amarth “Twilight of the Thunder God”
  6. Visigoth “From the Arcane Mists of Prophecy”

Code: MBR-35th-Book

Indiemerch (Metal Blade Records)

For the Sake of Heaviness

 

Book 2

BUNDLE INCLUDES:
===================

  • “Swing of the Blade” Paperback Book (171 Pages)
  • “40th Anniversary” Limited Edition Collector’s Medal (3″x3″)
  • “Swing of the Blade” Printed Patch (3.9″ x 3.9″)
  • “Swing of the Blade” Flush Cut Laminate Bookmark
  • “Swing of the Blade” Bookplate Autographed by Brian Slagel
Support the artists, improve your metal collection, buy records or merchandise of For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records 🛒

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