Hailing from the North East where the icy winds blow across from Scandinavia, newly formed label UK Extreme Metal records (UKEM) is working hard to put the fire back into the British Extreme Metal scene. Owner, founder and general dogsbody Chris Newby’s vision is to help UK bands get a foothold in an industry that comes with competition aplenty, from both across the pond and on the continent. The label offers deals exclusively with UK bands and has a small but solid roster, releasing records in what it describes as “Limited quantities with maximum appeal!” it is a venture that has been turned into a success from its relatively small beginnings, starting life as a simple Facebook page, followed by a blog and now, finally, a label with the real potential of giving UK based extreme musicians a chance to get themselves heard in the deafening cacophony, struck up by their European and American counterparts.
As a man who is clearly passionate about the UK scene, Chris’ motivation on the forming of UKEM was simple. “There is an absolute wealth of talent in the UK extreme metal scene but unfortunately the bigger labels and magazines in the scene seem to prefer European or American bands. So I decided it was time to fight back, raise the profile of UK extreme metal in general. Hence UKEM is solely dedicated to featuring UK extreme metal bands and the label only signs bands from the UK.” Part of that wealth of talent includes Scottish based disciples of brutality Laceration, who recently signed with the label and who are currently scheduled for a spring release, entitled ‘Tortured Inauguration’. Similarly melodic black metal outfit Sacrilegious Throne and melodic death dealers Cryostorm have pledged their allegiance to UKEM. The signing of these bands could quite possibly offer the label its very own flagship artists, an unholy trinity described as “Three definite ‘gems’ in the UK scene.”
Not satisfied with just having some of the best UK extreme talent available, UKEM has released two compilations featuring fifty-two bands, namely, ‘Disciples of Extremity’ Volumes 1 and 2 (the former of which proved so popular in its CD format, that it sold out in just one month!) and more recently, ‘Disciples of Blasphemy’ a black metal compilation record, is being readied for release before the label dedicates its time to band recordings.
With a steady following already and hopefully much better things to come as well for UKEM, owner Chris remains modest about all that the label has achieved in its to-date short lifespan, in what he describes as “quality over quantity”. Personally, for someone to turn something as simple as a page on a social network site into their own business, complete with an ethos dedicated to getting UK bands noticed in the crowd and a roster that could very well go on to make a name for themselves and to do all this in such a small time frame; shows nothing but complete dedication to the cause!
Fear not ye lovers of ear bleeding UK based extremity; the future of your beloved scene is looking quite rosy indeed!