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.