Record labels, the often antagonized and faceless members of the music industry that help to keep music thriving in today’s world. While there are quite a few negative things to be said about record labels, there are also many positive aspects as well. There are jazz labels like Impulse! who work to reissue all of the classic records that were recorded back in the 60s, despite the fact that they haven’t had a regular release since the 70s. Labels also serve to bring many artists of similar stylings together to make it easier for fans to connect with music in the same vein. They also bring a spotlight to those bands who need to be heard, and make their music more accessible than if the artists remained unsigned. All of those are things that the newly revived UK label, Music for Nations, seeks to accomplish by announcing it’s return today (February 16th): keeping the music alive and thriving under one roof.
The significance of Music for Nations cannot be underestimated either, as it had a catalog of some of the biggest names in metal. They worked with acts like Anthrax, Cradle of Filth, Frank Zappa, Godflesh, Manowar, Megadeth, Mercyful Fate, Metallica, Opeth, Slayer, Testament, Tool and Venom were all part of the label in it’s prime. Unfortunately, the label was closed down in 2004, and it’s catalog was transferred to the Zomba Records Group. Although the music wouldn’t easily just disappear, it was having all those huge names under one roof that made the label special.
Now, the label has announced it’s return, and seeks to return itself to it’s former glory! The label will release a bunch of reissues to bring life back to all the significant releases that they had in the past, as well as signing new artists for the first time in over a decade. Anathema, for example, will have their entire back catalog re-released through the label this April. The band’s guitarist, Daniel Cavanagh, talked about the project, saying:
“I’m really happy that after all these years, the Music for Nations era of Anathema music is finally receiving the attention, respect and treatment it deserves. It has been a great pleasure to work on this package. Everything from supplying the additional artwork, the remastering process of the albums, and the chance to add a surprise or two, has been a wonderful process.”
Not only is Anathema getting the treatment of expanded releases, but Paradise Lost’s back catalog, three Opeth albums (Blackwater Park, Damnation, and Deliverance), Spiritual Beggars’ back catalog released on LP for the first time, and Cradle of Filth are all getting their own special reissues. Also in 2015, the label will be releasing music by some new bands in a line of 7” singles and compilations, so maybe this could mark the return of one of the greatest eras in metal and prog? Maybe the next Megadeth, Metallica, or Slayer are on the brink of being heard for the first time? Only time will tell, but for now, the future looks quite promising, and at worst, there will be a bunch of reissues to take away from it.
You can check out the labels announcement of their return below: