Monumental progress doesn’t occur overnight. Some of man kind’s most powerful words don’t come from education or privilege, but erupt from the pain and roughness of the streets; they smolder through the cracks in the concrete until eventually grand truths are revealed, and the winds of change slowly emerge. It is with these notions in mind that old school Hardcore Kings DOWNSET began to surface in Los Angeles, California in the early 1980’s.

The genesis of DOWNSET itself was not one of entitlement or handouts, either. Originally formed with a straight edge mentality under the name of SOCIAL JUSTICE, the members of DOWNSET have been fighting against societal injustice for a long time. Founder and vocalist Rey Oropeza began using graffiti as its own language for change in about 1982. The group eventually released demos and shifted from SOCIAL JUSTICE to DOWNSET. “It has multiple meanings,” explains guitarist and producer Rogelio Lozano (CYPRESS HILL, POWERFLO). “Some people are set up in life, some are down with a set, but it also means to start off underprivileged; to have a life full of disadvantages.” All of these notions and inspirations eventually procured a self-titled studio album that was released in 1994 via Mercury Records.

A musical style that was distinctly hardcore combined with Oropeza’s MC abilities allowed DOWNSET to stand out from other metal acts, while still being able to achieve a variety of tours with some of the most prominent bands of the time. After member rearrangements, and the 1996 release of "Do We Speak A Dead Language," the band went on to join the original “TATTOO THE EARTH” tour in 2000 with the likes of SLAYER, SEPULTURA, MUDVAYNE and more. This all coincided perfectly with the release of "Check Your People," and once again the band was on the hustle.

With more member changes and the release of "Universal" a few years later in 2004, followed up by self-released "One Blood" in 2014, the band continued on hiatus. Now seven years later in 2022, DOWNSET have officially returned to the scene and have signed a record deal with the world’s leading metal label: Nuclear Blast Records. The new year will hold colossal announcements as far as new music, touring, and more. The future of society remains to be seen, but the future of DOWNSET has been carved in the stone of the streets for decades.

Radiating News

  • DOWNSET - release powerful socio-political album 'Maintain'

    Los Angeles' groundbreaking rap/hardcore pioneers, DOWNSET., have released their first album in 8 years, "Maintain," today with Nuclear Blast.

    Read more »
  • DOWNSET - return with powerful socio-political album 'Maintain'

    Los Angeles' groundbreaking rap/hardcore pioneers, DOWNSET., will make their long-awaited return this spring for the release of their first album in 8 years.

    Read more »
  • DOWNSET - sign with Nuclear Blast & reissue groundbreaking debut 7" demos!

    DOWNSET have officially joined forces with Nuclear Blast Records and are currently plotting one of the genres greatest comebacks.

    Read more »


One Blood




One of the leading heavy metal record labels and online shops in the world

Nuclear Blast Records is among the world's leading heavy metal online shops, when it comes to ordering CDs, vinyl records, and Blu-Ray/DVDs, as well as accessories and merchandise such as band T-shirts, hoodies, patches, and a whole lot more from the heavy metal scene. At the Nuclear Blast online metal store, you'll find over 30,000 items from more than 8,000 bands—pieces to add to your music collection, merch to get into for concerts and gigs, and stuff to gift to heavy metal fans you know. 


As the number one heavy metal record label, Nuclear Blast specializes in offering items from metal icons of the following genres: death metal, thrash metal, black metal, gothic, hard rock, doom, hardcore, symphonic metal, power metal, pagan metal, and progressive metal. In our online metal store, you can get your favourite albums on vinyl, including pre-ordering exclusive drops of colored vinyl bundles and other limited-edition pieces. Along with the extensive vinyl selection, you can shop for your favourite bands and all-time heavy metal classics in CDs + DVDs/Blu-Rays and box sets at Nuclear Blast online metal store.


If you're looking for a heavy metal shop to get official merchandise from your favourite bands and artists, Nuclear Blast Records is the place to be. In our metal shop, we sell metal band-related apparel, accessories, and official fan merchandise. From band T-shirts, jackets, and hoodies to patches, pins, and other carefully selected merch and deluxe items, the Nuclear Blast online store has what any fan could ever want and need.

As soon as the goods you order are in stock or released, your order gets prepared for shipment and will be delivered within 3-5 business days. Shop from a vast range of heavy metal articles at NuclearBlast.com heavy metal online shop. Get the latest and exclusive heavy metal fan artefacts at a fair price for all those interested in T-shirts, CDs, DVDs, vinyl, and more from the leading heavy metal record label around.