The ink has finally dried and Nuclear Blast Records is proud to announce the worldwide signing of the Bay Area’s indomitable thrash metal band Heathen, which was recently covered in our Sunday Old School column.
Founding member & guitarist Lee Altus comments on the new alliance:
“I’m really happy and couldn’t think of a better label for Heathen. I’ve known people at Nuclear Blast, some of whom have been fans of the band going as far back as the early demo days, and have been friends with them for many years. It’s amazing for me to think that throughout this band’s career, every album we recorded has been released on a different label. I can finally say that we have found home. Nuclear Blast has become a mecca for Bay Area thrash bands and we are happy to join our friends and partners in crime Exodus, Death Angel, Testament and Forbidden. Now it’s time to get to work on the new album!”
Lead singer David White adds: “I want to thank all the fans for their amazing support; we do not take any of this lightly! Now we move forward with a true Metal record company that really understands what we’re all about, 2012 and beyond!!!”
Jaap Wagemaker of the A&R Department at Nuclear Blast Germany shares the following: “It is no secret that the staff of Nuclear Blast has a soft spot for thrash metal. We all grew up here with classics such as Breaking The Silence and Victims Of Deception, and who doesn’t remember that legendary tour from 1991 with SEPULTURA, SACRED REICH and HEATHEN destroying the stages night after night! We are totally stoked to announce that these legendary Bay Area Thrashers have inked a deal with us and are now labelmates with EXODUS, DEATH ANGEL,TESTAMENT, FORBIDDEN, ANTHRAX, SEPULTURA, OVERKILL, KREATOR, DESTRUCTION and TANKARD!!! Since HEATHEN’s reunion for Thrash of the Titans, we had been following the band very closely over the last couple of years with first-hand information from Lee Altus – who is also swinging the axe in EXODUS – and what we heard from him made us very curious! After seeing HEATHEN play an amazing show at Rock Hard and their release of another classic album with The Evolution of Chaos, it was very clear to us that the band needed to become part of the Nuclear family as well. Seeing the band play several times at last year’s Thrashfest Classics, we were finally able to make this work!! With the signing of HEATHEN, another thrash dream has came true!! Welcome home guys!!!”
The following press release was also issued about the band:
“Forged in the fertile breeding ground of the Bay Area’s thrash scene in 1984 and debuting onto the worldwide tape-trading scene in 1986 with their six-song ‘Pray For Death’ demo, Heathen went on to create the now classic Breaking The Silence in 1987 (whose opening track ‘Death By Hanging’ quickly became a live staple) and 1991’s Victims Of Deception, which included the nine-and-a-half minute opus ‘Heathen’s Song.’
“Reunited in 2001 for San Francisco’s Thrash of the Titans benefit for Testament’s Chuck Billy and Death’s Chuck Schuldiner, Heathen reemerged in full force after a 19-year absence with stellar reviews for 2010’s The Evolution Of Chaos and will begin recording their fourth studio album later this year.
“Heathen has performed their brand of guitar-driven, fuel-injected thrash metal in Europe at numerous summer festivals, on the Thrash Fest Classics tour with co-headliners Exodus & Sepultura, and the Killfest tour with Overkill, in North America on last year’s spring tour with Destruction, and most recently at the ‘Bonded By Baloff: A Decade Of Remembrance’ memorial in Oakland in February. Their live sets continually test the endurance of headbanging audiences everywhere.
“Heathen 2012 is David White on vocals; Lee Altus on guitar; Kragen Lum on guitar; Jason Viebrooks on bass; and Darren Minter on drums.”