Best Heavy Metal Record Labels

The Top Ten
1 Nuclear Blast

They have some of the finest extreme metal bands, like Carnifex, Children of Bodom, Machine Head, Suicide Silence, and Death Angel. One of the biggest metal labels in the world.

Biggest and best label in the world that is totally dedicated to metal.

Suicide Silence is under this label!

2 Metal Blade

Metal Blade has some of my favorite metal bands such as As I Lay Dying, Amon Amarth, Killswitch Engage, and Cannibal Corpse! m/

They've got some great bands signed, like As I Lay Dying, Whitechapel, Amon Amarth, and Cannibal Corpse.

3 Century Media

Tiamat, The Gathering, Stuck Mojo, Strapping Young Lad, Samael, Trouble, Rotting Christ, Merauder, Sentenced, Nevermore, Eyehategod, Morgoth - a great blend of European and American metal with only one common thing - great quality.

Iced Earth and At The Gates, also as previously mentioned, Lacuna Coil.

4 Roadrunner

The definitive metal label of the 1990s, giving us Sepultura, Type O Negative, Biohazard, Life of Agony, King Diamond, Deicide, Machine Head, and Trivium. The arch-enemy of Earache on the other side of the Atlantic, Roadrunner and Earache were at war in the 90s, trying to lure the best death metal bands to their rosters.

Some very well-known bands are signed to Roadrunner, such as Killswitch Engage, Slipknot, Trivium, The Devil Wears Prada, and others.

Slipknot makes Roadrunner Records the best record label for metal bands. It's the best of the best.

5 Season of Mist

A label that does its job - introducing and supporting new blood, regardless of genre. Not playing safe. Kind of what Roadrunner was about before it became irrelevant.

Love the black metal bands on this label. While I do love Unique Leader, Metal Blade, Relapse, etc. bands, this label has the most of my favorite bands on it.

Biggest French metal label, home to Morbid Angel, Cynic, Obsidian Kingdom, St. Vitus, Floor, and lots of fine black metal avant-garde bands.

6 Peaceville

This label has the most extreme bands in 2019. It used to be Nuclear Blast and Century Media, but not since 2015. Peaceville has stepped it up while the two giants from decades ago have gone way downhill with their non-extreme, crap signings.

Famous for the so-called "Peaceville 3" bands that created English doom-gothic: Paradise Lost, Anathema, and My Dying Bride.

7 Candlelight
8 Napalm Records

Someone forgot to mention Kamelot under unappreciated metal bands. Kamelot is epic! But Amberian Dawn and Delain are epic too. Those are my personal top favorites, but the others mentioned are really good as well!

This is where I find the less popular metal bands that actually have great songs! Like Xandria, Delain, and Visions of Atlantis!

So many unappreciated metal bands... People like Amberian Dawn and Alestorm are probably their biggest bands.

9 Sumerian

While they have some of the more popular bands like Asking Alexandria, they have some great metal bands too. Perfect examples: The Faceless, Upon a Burning Body, and After the Burial.

They have bands like Periphery, Animals as Leaders, After the Burial, and Veil of Maya. The list goes on. Amazing label.

The best metal label period. Born of Osiris and Periphery... enough said. There are other kick-ass bands on it too.

10 Relapse Records

Relapse Records has the most consistent roster, as well as the best-looking vinyl releases. Their releases are always on time (if not early). They have the best prices for a majority of their products, as well as the cheapest shipping prices compared to all of the other labels listed.

Deserves top 3. So many good bands are signed to Relapse (e.g., Nile, Mastodon, Pig Destroyer, Dying Fetus, Neurosis, and the list goes on and on).

In my opinion, the top three are Metal Blade, Relapse, and Nuclear Blast.

They have amazing bands like Nile and Obscura. What's not to like?

Season of Mist would be a close second, with Archspire and Beyond Creation, plus plenty of amazing black metal bands!

The Contenders
11 Earache

Legendary grindcore and death metal label, responsible for giving the world the gifts of Godflesh, Napalm Death, Carcass, Entombed, Morbid Angel, Repulsion, Bolt Thrower, Fudge Tunnel, Scorn, Dub War, OLD, Painkiller, and many more.

The fact that Earache is this low down proves that this site is filled with children...

One of the best labels for extreme metal bands.

12 Bindrune
13 Dark Descent
14 Hells Headbangers
15 Spinefarm

Kalmah, Ensiferum, Bullet for My Valentine - do I need to say more?

16 Razor & Tie
17 Artery

Iwrestledabearonce... that's enough.

18 Epitaph

With amazingly talented bands such as Escape the Fate, Falling in Reverse, and Bring Me the Horizon, why aren't they up there?

Only by having Architects under their name is already worth a vote.

The only metal band signed to this label is Parkway Drive.

19 Fearless Records

If you get signed to Fearless, you are already set. Bands like Ice Nine Kills, Get Scared, Pierce The Veil, August Burns Red, Motionless In White, and Set It Off are all thriving on Fearless Records (or at least were until they left). I am not saying that these are all metal bands - Set It Off is not, and while INK and MIW are, what I am saying is that it is a great record label!

20 Warner Bros.
21 Rise Records
22 Massacre Records
23 Prophecy Productions
24 Elektra Records
25 Rottweiler Records

Great roster. Positive message. Check them out!

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