Today Century Media Records is recognized around the globe as a dominating force within their specialized market and one of the world’s premier labels for metal, hard rock and hardcore. Despite all this the legend of Century Media Records began quite humbly, like so many, when in 1988 the singer of German thrash/crossover band Despair opted to take the higher road and self-release his band’s debut album. In hindsight the ironically titled History of Hate started a legacy that saw vocalist Robert Kampf give fellow scenesters and countrymen a vehicle to release their music to the then unsuspecting European population. While names like Liar, Crows, Poltergeist and Rumble Militia may have never become household these early efforts allowed the then fledgling Century Media to find its legs and begin working with other of the continent’s leading underground acts. Most notably Holland’s Asphyx, Germany’s Morgoth and especially the Swedish triumvirate of Unleashed, Grave and Tiamat. These five bands began to define Century Media, as well as a new sound and scene that was developing, thus Century Media was instrumental in fostering the death metal sound of the early Nineties. This success and identity went hand-in-hand with the label opening a US office and the signing of domestic acts like New York’s Demolition Hammer and then Florida’s Iced Earth. Iced Earth were unlike what was perceived happening at the time but European audiences ate up the band’s more traditional sound and the group’s fanbase quietly grew helping persuade a stylistic shift in scenes years later.
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