Noise Records was one of the highly influential metal labels during the 80’s. The label was started by Ulrich Walterbach in 1984 and can be seen as a crucial factor in the history of heavy metal. Iconic bands like Kreator, Helloween, Grave Digger and Celtic Frost, but also bands from overseas like Canadian tech-thrashers Voivod have been signed by the label and released their first records; most of them still classics in metal. The most successful release was definitely Helloween’s “Keeper of the Seven Keys” cyclus with part 2 being sold more than 1 million times. In 2001 Noise Records became a part of Sanctuary Records and the brand slowly disappeared.
15 years later there’s a re-vitalisation of Noise Records that takes place, bringing some of the 80’s classic back into the spotlight. Under the banner of “Noise lebt!” compilations of Kreator, Tankard, and some more have been published end of 2016 and there is a comprehensive release of the first three Voivod classic planned for end of April this year.
Next to all that the history of Noise Records was written down in a book named “Systemstörung. Die Geschichte von Noise Records”. I got the German version but there's an English version too - "Damn the Machine. The Story of Noise Records". The book describes the raise and fall of the iconic label. 75 interviews with Walterbach, employees and colleagues have been the base for 504 pages, telling an interesting story, giving insights into one of the important labels in metal. Author and journalist David E. Gehlke did a real deep dive when it comes to the story of Noise Records, enriched with 225 photos.
Last but not least you might recognised the artwork of this book. Indeed, it was Voivod’s Michael ‘Away’ Langevin who did the front cover artwork and no one less than Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kürsch wrote a foreword for this amazing book.
David E. Gehlke
“Systemstörung. Die Geschichte von Noise Records”
Release Date: March 24th, 2017