Lick My Label




It’s the end of an era for Victory Records; the only two credible metal acts they had on their roster have finished their contracts and are free to sign elsewhere. Darkest Hour ended up on E1, a good fit for a label who has signed a number of already-established metal acts over the past few years (High on Fire, Hatebreed, Black Label Society, Overkill and In Flames, just to name a few). Where will Between the Buried and Me end up? It’s gettin’ to be about that time for them to release an album, whatwith those EP rumors and all.

If I were a betting man I’d put a few fat ones down on the table on BTBAM ending up with Metal Blade. The reason why has nothing to do with the actual music but with the folks behind the scenes. In fact, there’s a good chance the deal is already done, the t’s crossed, the i’s dotted, the ink dried.

Take a look at the artist management roster of Good Fight Entertainment, the new(ish) company formed by ex-Ferret masterminds Carl Severson and Paul Conroy that manages Between the Buried and Me (Good Fight’s record label division has released albums by Cancer Bats, Son of Aurelius, The Contortionist and others). Good Fight’s management arm has a pretty wide variety of acts from across the heavy music spectrum, so let’s just look at the bands that are the heaviest of the heavy… for all intents and purposes, bands that MetalSucks would cover: Behemoth, Born of Osiris, Cannibal Corpse, Children of Bodom, Every Time I Die, Job For A Cowboy, Straight Line Stitch, Terror. Notice a pattern there? Metal Blade, Sumerian, Metal Blade, Nuclear Blast / Spinefarm, Epitaph, Metal Blade, E1, Century Media. That’s a whole lotta Metal Blade where no other label appears more than once.

I won’t say it’s impossible, but I really doubt BTBAM ends up with Sumerian; they don’t fit Sumerian’s business model of signing young bands into all-encompassing deals that hold a stake in all sources of revenue (BTBAM are too smart and established to sign a deal like that anyway). BTBAM aren’t European, so they won’t end up on Nuclear Blast or Spinefarm. Epitaph… I suppose that’s possible, though unlikely, as Every Time I Die are pretty much one of the only heavy heavy bands left on Epitaph too so it’d be kinda be like signing to Victory again (although without all the inevitable Tony Victory drama and shenanigans). You can bet your ass E1 is making a play at BTBAM; they’d be silly not to, and the band fits E1’s business model of signing established bands perfectly. And while I bet Century is interested, for some reason I doubt they’d pony up the cash and they, like Sumerian, seem a lot more interested in the young band hunt.

Then there’s this bit about BTBAM vocalist Tommy Rogers releasing his solo album through Metal Blade on February 1st.* That’s pretty much the tell-tale sign for me. What label comes out of the woodwork to release a solo album of a band they’ve never worked with before? I mean, it could happen, but it’s a lot more likely that Tommy’s solo album being released by Metal Blade is part of a bigger picture involving BTBAM.

For what it’s worth, I think Metal Blade is a great home for BTBAM. Good Fight Management and Metal Blade seem to have great synergy; just look at the success of Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse and Job For A Cowboy over the past few years.

I’m not gonna count E1 and Century out of the hunt just yet, but to me all signs points to Metal Blade. Let’s be honest, though… BTBAM could sign with Poop On A Stick Records and they’d do insanely well. Come to think of it, how come they don’t just create their own label and hire out for marketing help? That’s the real way to keep all the dough for yourselves without any pesky middle-men. Poop On A Stick Records, come on guys, let’s do it.


*Side note: who’s excited for that??? holy crap, I am!!

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