German metal label Noise Records is to be relaunched by BMG.
Founded by Karl-Ulrich Walterbach in 1983, the label was an important supporter of European heavy rock acts throughout the ’80s and ’90s, helping to popularize the thrash, speed and power metal subgenres.
Key acts among its roster included Grave Digger, Hellhammer (who became Celtic Frost), Kreator, Running Wild, Gamma Ray, Tankard and Hamburg’s Helloween, whose second and third albums Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part 1 and Part II achieved worldwide success in the late ’80s.
In 2001, Walterbach sold Noise to U.K.-based Sanctuary Music, who retained ownership until Sanctuary was sold to Universal Music in 2007. After several years of laying largely dormant, BMG – who acquired Sanctuary in 2013 – will now relaunch the label, beginning with a reissue campaign starting in May. Planned releases include a series of best of compilations and reissued albums from Celtic Frost, Helloween and Voivod.
“The Noise label made an invaluable contribution to metal music as home to a long list of artists who helped define the genre as we know it today,” said Peter Stack, BMG executive vice president global catalogue recordings, announcing the label’s return. “I’m really excited about giving Noise’s rich heritage a new lease of life in 2016 and beyond.”