Metal Blade Records was founded by Brian Slagel, who at the time was a record store employee in suburban Los Angeles, as a way to increase the recognition of local metal bands. The label's first release was a compilation album called The New Heavy Metal Revue presents Metal Massacre, and included Metallica, Ratt, and Black 'N Blue.
Metal Blade artists that have appeared on the Billboard Top 200 chart include The Goo Goo Dolls, Amon Amarth, Trouble, As I Lay Dying, Behemoth, The Black Dahlia Murder, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Fates Warning (the first Metal Blade band to have achieved this), Lizzy Borden, Anvil, Gwar, King Diamond, Job for a Cowboy, Whitechapel, Armored Saint, The Red Chord, Unearth, Between the Buried and Me, D.R.I. and Corrosion of Conformity.
From 1985 to 1998, Metal Blade had a sublabel called Death Records, which released recordings by D.R.I., Corrosion of Conformity, Cryptic Slaughter, The Mentors, Cannibal Corpse, Atheist, Angkor Wat, Loss for Words and Dark Funeral.
In 2010 Metal Blade Records joined the RIAA.
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