Noise Album Sampler – “Various” (Seminal Noise Records)
Helloween. Gamma Ray. Kamelot. Kreator. Celtic Frost. Voivod. The list seems endless in the number of great metal bands that at one time or another have been signed to cult German label, Noise Records. Formed by German music producer and entrepreneur Karl-Ulrich Walter Bach, Noise proved to be as daring as its founder. Moving to the radicalized Kreuzberg area of Berlin in the early 70s, Walter Bach became an anarchist and participation in demonstrations soon landed him in prison. Upon release he became active in Berlin’s punk scene eventually forming a label that not only nurtured home grown bands like Toxoplasma but brought international names like the Misfits, Bad Brains and Black Flag to East Germany. By the early 80s, Walter Bach sensed a new movement, one that took in the aggression of punk but with its own radical philosophy, resulting in 1984’s “Death Metal” compilation, a split release that would feature Helloween, the first Noise outfit to reach 7 digit figures in album sales, and take the label to the next level. As the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989, the music scene and political landscape underwent radical changes and so too did Noise. Unafraid to diversify into new genres, the label signed Skyclad and Stratovarius adding fresh variety that kept the label in good form throughout the 90s, as metal largely declined. Walter Bach sold Noise to Sanctuary Music in 2001, who launched Dragonforce until it was sold to Universal Music in 2007, where Noise’s catalog has laid dormant ever since…until now. BMG purchased Noise’s holding company Sanctuary records from Universal Music in 2013, and this year will re-launch Noise Records! As part of its initial run there will be eight 2CD ‘Best Of’s’ from the legendary Kreator, Helloween, Kamelot, Sinner, Running Wild, Tankard, Skyclad and Grave Digger. There will also be this 8 track album sampler featuring the likes of Running Wild’s ‘Conquistadors’, Grave Digger’s ‘Heavy Metal Breakdown’ and Tankard’s ‘Space Beer’ – which certainly brings back a few memories for me! As for Walter Bach himself, an ill fated venture into property during the millennium years has seen him return increasingly back to his music roots, today managing the likes of Alpha Tiger and Hammercult while signing up young bands as he did in his own youth.