2013 (or the first post-apocalyptic year of our lives) kicked off with »The Divinity Of Purpose« - the new manifesto of hate and Nuclear Blast debut by American masters of brutality HATEBREED.
In February, the label’s mighty classic rock front went one better in the form of FREE FALL’s debut record »Power & Volume« and ORCHID’s EP »Wizard Of War« that already indicated impressively what kind of feats were to expect in the near future.
March brought the comeback of the year – if not of the decade – for all lovers of magical melodies and bewitching bombast: Tobias Sammet’s AVANTASIA – who actually had disappeared from the scene after their acclaimed Wacken Open Air headliner show in 2011 – returned gloriously with their new opus »The Mystery Of Time«! TV appearances and an extensive tour together with guest stars à la Ronnie Atkins, Eric Martin, Bob Catley and Michael Kiske caused high chart entries all over Europe and a phenomenal rank 2 in the German album charts.
Competition in contention for the title “Nuclear Blast highlight of the first quarter“ came from US rockers ORCHID, whose NB full-length debut »The Mouths Of Madness« was frenetically celebrated by both the media and the general public and was consequently ennobled by a sensational #18 in the German album charts! Moreover, together with FREE FALL, the Californians went down in label history with a never before seen exclusive live set for the NB staff only, in the course of a work party on occasion of several employees’ jubilees.
During the extremely over-chilled month of May, the BLACK STAR RIDERS – the new band by Thin Lizzy members Scott Gorham, Ricky Warwick, Damon Johnson and Marco Mendoza, together with drummer Jimmy DeGrasso – fired us up with their debut record »All Hell Breaks Loose«, while at the further end of the spectrum of hardness, all fans of sheer brutality celebrated the signing of UK extreme metal legends CARCASS excessively. In the same breath, a new studio record – the first in 17(!) years – was announced for autumn of 2013.
June: with temperatures increasing the heat also comes music wise – the first sizzling strike is done by Finnish Death Metalheads CHILDREN OF BODOM upon their return to Nuclear Blast and thus »Halo Of Blood« charts on a smashing #18 on the German Media Control Charts and celebrates further entries worldwide. From Finish lakes to the Texan desert: SCORPION CHILD hit right off with their self-titled debut »Scorpion Child« and win fans and critics alike with their dust dry mix of numerous Metal ingredients.
July got things on the verge of fire with multicultural sensation BLUES PILLS signing a worldwide contract with Nuclear Blast. Don’t miss the foursome on the tour with labelmates ORCHID and SCORPION CHILD in November. More additions come in form of Thrash Metallers GENERATION KILL, that gathers vocalist Rob Dukes of EXODUS and former PRO-PAIN / M.O.D. member Rob Moschetti on bass guitar and backing vocals alongside Jason Trenzcer and Jason Velez on lead guitars and James DeMaria of on drums. And also AVATARIUM, the brand new band featuring legendary Swedish doom metal pioneer Leif Edling, is welcomed as a new member of the big NB family.
As the sun reaches its high peak in august and the Metal world foresees its zenith alike, Symponic Metal Formation NIGHTWISH takes this year’s Wacken Open Air by storm. This being a highlight itself, the entire show of the Norsemen and their Dutch vocalist Floor Jansen is filmed and will be released as a live DVD this very year. German Thrash Metal titans KREATOR celebrate a very special premiere on August 29: A day ahead of the official release of live DVD »Dying Alive« the new output is presented to an excited audience at Lichtburg Essen. The band itself gives its honors and besides a signing session, frontman Mille Petrozza conducts a Q&A round.
Whilst the days are slowly getting shorter, the release of the year is happening. Friday, September 13, 2013: Almost two decades after their untimely demise, British brutes CARCASS show up in absolute top form. With scalpel sharp precision »Surgical Steel« - first album after 1996s »Swansong« - is heading right towards the title “record of the year” (album of the month at Metal Hammer, Rock Hard, Legacy, e.g.). Completely unimpressed by any votes expecting a nostalgia-dripping comeback-corpse, Walker and Steer along with their novices Wilding and Ash are set to write a new chapter of Extreme Metal history.
October: Where expectations couldn’t be any higher, CARCASS manage to live up to their own legacy of genre defining records with »Surgical Steel« hitting the global charts within the first week of its release. Congratulation to the following entries: World Charts #43, Finland: #6, Germany: #10, Austria: #24, Japan: #36, USA: #41, Sweden: #42 (Sweden Rock/Metal #4), UK: #47 (UK Indie #13, UK Rock #4), Australia: #59, Netherlands: #73, France: #80, Ireland: #84 (Ireland Indie: #15), Belgium: #117 (Flanders #130, Walloonia #87). Heating up the cold season even more, several new and established acts got signed to Nuclear Blast. Icelandic Classic Rock trio THE VINTAGE CARAVAN are not only the latest new addition to the NB family to be announced in October, but with an average age of not even 20, they also hold the title of the youngest of all bands. Speaking of young, multicultual Rock newcomers BLUES PILLS released their stunning debut EP »Devil Man« on October 18th. Not quite as young, but fully established are Oakland based Metalheads MACHINE HEAD. The band found its new home at Nuclear Blast Entertainment, Nuclear Blast Records’ joint venture headed by the band's longtime friend and former Roadrunner A&R guru Monte Conner. Further additions of this US based and operating joint venture are: DEVIL YOU KNOW, the gathering of former KILLSWITCH ENGAGE vocalist Howard Jones, ALL SHALL PERISH stringkiller Francesco Artusato and John Sankey, who plays drums Australian combo DEVOLVED and has also worked with FEAR FACTORY and DIVINE HERESY. And yet another supergroup by the name of KILLER BE KILLED. The band is comprised of SOULFLY mastermind and SEPULTURA co-founder Max Cavalera, THE DILLENGER ESCAPE PLAN vocalist Greg Puciato, MASTODON bassist Troy Sanders and drummer David Elitch of THE MARS VOLTA. Not actually new, but back on track with Nuclear Blast is Californian Death Metal outfit CARNIFEX, who set up a new deal with the label. Exclusively signed with Nuclear Blast Entertainment for the US marked are Norwegian Black Metal doyen SATYRICON and Dutch Symphonic Metal act WITHIN TEMPTATION. After previously sharing an office with the US outlet of Century Media Records, the NB US staff now found a new LA home.
November: To conclude the year in a most epic manner, the new release of EPICA and NIGHTWISH, both of which are leasing acts of the Symphonic Metal genre, are scheduled. Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special concert in March, Dutch and EPICA will have their »Retrospect« out on November 8, 2013. As for Finish institution NIGHTWISH, who just announced Dutch singer Floor Jansen of REVAMP and Vocalist & pipe player Troy Donockley as permanent members, their visual creation is set up for its release on November 29, 2013. Making »Showtime, Storytime« one of the final releases for the entire year.
Two we two massive milestones are announced within our new media / social media spheres: On November 07, 2013 we just reached 500.000 subscribers on our Nuclear Blast Europe channel on YouTube and also smashed the 300.000 likes mark on the Nuclear Blast Europe Facebook page.