A well-known German metal record label (actually the label is just Nuclear Blast) and distributor. Founded by Markus Staiger in 1987, first as just Blast and soon renamed Nuclear Blast (NB). He had a small label before NB called Misthaufen Distribution, later Core Distribution, which focused on hardcore metal and punk bands. Until mid-1990s, the company was run practically by Markus alone, but since then, it has grown to over 50 employees and a division in the USA, called Nuclear Blast America. They are also opening an office in South America during 2002.

NB started as a distributor for US hardcore bands, but today releases all kinds of metal, from power to black, and has many famous bands from all over the world under its hood, such as Hypocrisy, Dimmu Borgir, Therion, Hammerfall and Amorphis, of which many have reached album charts. As a negative side effect of this fame and fortune, nowadays NB releases mostly mainstream metal and is not considered an underground label anymore. Their web site at http://www.nuclearblast.de/ also features an online shop.

Sources:
http://www.nuclearblast.de/

What their official page does not say, but is a well-known fact among german underground bands, is that NB turned out to be just another record label. They do anti-mp3 and anti-copying propaganda and, even worse, they treat newcomers like shit.
A friend of mine, just for the fun of it, sent a brand-new, blank tape to NB, claiming it being the brand-new demo tape of his band. The reply was a form letter saying something like:

We appreciate your music and think your band's quite good, but your need some more perfection before we can give you a record deal. Please send us another demo at a later point.

They didn't even listen to the tape!

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