Around 2003, while a handful of record labels were reporting losses and increasingly suffered under the “trend“ of illegal song downloading, NUCLEAR BLAST surprisingly multiplied its turnover threefold over that of previous years.
Chart entries, such as in 2003's Elements Pt.1 from STRATOVARIUS at no. 27 in Germany and at no. 2 in Finland and gold awards such as HAMMERFALL
’s Crimson Thunder
and MANOWAR’s Warriors Of The World United are in the meantime no longer unusual, even though they naturally remain something very special. “I still get a thrill every time an album gets into the charts or gets a gold award. You can never count on it,“ says Markus Staiger, nodding his head. Then, when it happens once again, it gives you an unbelievable feeling and shows just how wide and constant the basis of extreme music is.“
In 2004, the USA office also manages to open a new, big portal for extreme music. DIMMU BORGIR
gets the chance to play at the legendary Ozzfest tour, as the first black Metal band to ever play the festival, in support of the legendary album, Death Cult Armageddon
, drawing many thousands of people from all over the country. “That was an enormous, important step,“ described Gerardo Martinez, label manager of NB USA. “It didn’t only bring DIMMU BORGIR
to the forefront in America, but in the end it also brought the whole firm.”
The NUCLEAR BLAST mail order also continued to enjoy an upswing. Within just a few years the number of customers had doubled and the catalogue increased in thickness. The number of pages increased at the same rate as the products offered together with the interviews and reviews.
It is also thanks to NUCLEAR BLAST that Heavy Metal in its most aggressive form is no longer an ‘exotic’ commodity traded through the underground, but has become a strongly-selling genre, one that can be felt even in the world of commercial television. Following MANOWAR’s appearance on shows with Stefan Raab and Oliver Pocher, the newly signed EDGUY
managed it into the world-wide TV landscape in 2004 through the “Pro 7 Chartshow.“ The single King of Fools
climbs the hit lists in many different countries, basking in success almost simultaneously with another significant new signing for the NB family: NIGHTWISH