Friday 5

Friday 5: What Record Company Has The Most Awesome Bands?

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Happy Friday, MetalSucks reader! Welcome to MetalSucks Friday 5, our awesome series that appears every Friday (duh) on MetalSucks (duhh) and involves the quantity of five (duhhh).

Here’s how it works: A list of best/worst/weirdest/whatever five somethings is posted by one of your beloved MetalSucks contributors or by one of our buds (like you?). Then you, our cherished reader, checks it out, has a chuckle, then chimes in with a list of the same. No sweat, just whatever springs to mind, k? (Just like that movie about those losers working at a Chicago record store!) After all, it’s Friday — the day dedicated by the gods to mindless, fun time-wasting. 

Today, let’s talk about the record label with the highest number of awesome bands!

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THE FIVE

What is your best-loved record label in 2015?

THE LISTER

Anso DF, MetalSucks senior editor

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1. Cemetery Lust
from Portland

It’s a big world out there, so you may be haunted by the certainty that you’ve overlooked a bunch of awesome bands. Especially tough to spot are the artists of “selective appeal,” but whatever your current passions, you can depend on tastemakers to vet upcomers for awesomeness. Perhaps this talent-spotter is a friend, a radio DJ, or record store guy. Maybe it’s a MetalSucks contributor, a curator of your fancy streaming service, or a mellow dude you know on the internet. Or maybe it’s someone further upstream, like someone who does the work of delivering awesome bands from near and far to your ears. Today let’s zero in on the one label whose roster has the largest number of bands you love. Some win via sheer volume, some seem to enable excellence, some attract it. Big and small, American and not, bold and modest. Please share yours (and five of their awesome bands) right after my little ovation for a really smart metal label, Hells Headbangers

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2. Destruktor
from Australia

Creating great music is only part of the task of any band, and likewise, signing bands is just the start of a label’s success. As you’ve read in MS editorials about music business by our Vince Neilstein, a label’s success and image will depend on its connection to listeners — not just to artists. Hells Headbangers seems to fulfill Vince’s criteria effortlessly: all releases stream on bandcamp, presentation is awesome, brand is so tangible that it practically stains your jeans. Their technique never embarrasses you (like me) and they uncover far-flung gems like Destruktor (like me sorta). How can you feel anything but gratitude?

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3. Denouncement Pyre
from Australia too

Two key alumni of the Hells Headbangers roster are Inquisition and Cultes Des Ghoules. That kinda shows their investment in confrontation and contradiction. It’s weird: About any record label, few know more than its name and its logo. From its roster, maybe you can guess its basic philosophy. We might encounter their ad in fancy Decibel. Taken together, that is not much to work with, but Hells Headbangers scores. The label’s vibe is the same as that of its defining artists, dark, violent, and defiant. A rose by any other name would not be as great. Speaking of names, what’s a “denouncement pyre”? Asking for a friend.

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4. Deathhammer
from Norway

Deathhammer makes me think of that awesome scene in Get Thrashed, a documentary about Thrash metal. Surrounded by the rest of Strapping Young Lad, Gene Hoglan demonstrates Teutonic Thrash’s contribution to the genre’s sound: that evil, high shriek. It sounds like insanity. Again, Deathhammer.

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5. Abysmal Lord
from Louisiana

I heard from a bud that the second installment of Hells Headbangers’ weekend fest Hells Headbash was a classy ‘do. It was Labor Day weekend at a legit venue in Cleveland. Naturally its line-up of guttural, bestial death and black metal bands was awesome, and reports indicate that MS favorite Bonehunter was a highlight. I wonder if Abysmal Lord was as awesome and scary as they seem — but I don’t want to know. Weird right? Happy Friday!

Your turn! Have a great wknd!

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