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
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. These moves
firmly cemented the company's foothold as a legitimate label on both sides of the
Atlantic and made any band from anywhere feel like they could get their music properly
promoted and distributed in the world's key markets, as well as touring opportunities
in both continents. Despite their efforts, the early- to mid-Nineties proved tough
for metal, as the pendulum swung back with people turning coat with the advent of
grunge and alternative and "metal" became a bad word too many with most of the traditional
supportive avenues expired.
Century Media continued to staunchly support heavy music and diversified further
but aside from the signing of the reformed Cro-Mags and the underrated Only Living
Witness, on top of the continuance of the above key artists, not much was worth
noting. Nonetheless, the label continued its firm belief and worked against the
tides staunchly supporting metal and in its varied styles building the brand of
"diversity in extremes" and securing relationships with cutting-edge acts like Nevermore,
Eyehategod, Stuck Mojo, Strapping Young Lad alongside the development of Iced Earth
on the US side while fostering a new sound and style overseas with the more gothic
leaning metal signings of Moonspell and The Gathering. This European sound was already
championed in large to the continuous progression of the aforementioned Tiamat,
as well as Switzerland's Samael and Finland's Sentenced, who all continued to trade
in their more extreme black/death past into a more avant-garde and/or melodic style.
These developing bands and new signings revolutionized the company and the metal
scene overall. Century Media's insight also proved fortunate in making available
burgeoning European bands to American audiences and CM was key in introducing and
developing licensed acts like Mayhem, Emperor, Satyricon, Opeth, Marduk, Nightwish,
Blind Guardian and Katatonia.
Century Media were again at the forefront of stylistic shifts, in these cases releasing
black metal as well as more orchestrated, bombastic strains. Century Media always
reinvested in not only new signings and better promotion and touring but also in
staff and in opening new offices around the world in such spots as England, Holland,
France, Italy, Sweden, Australia, and Brazil as well as securing more and more licensing
and distribution opportunities so that virtually no area of the globe was unrepresented.
Always aiming to learn from their mistakes and repeat their successes CM's forward
thinking, aggressive development, key relationships, and stellar reputation continued
securing important signings and the company nurtured some of these bands to their
biggest sales successes to date, namely Lacuna Coil, Shadows Fall, and Arch Enemy.
In the past 20 years Century Media has not only revolutionized Heavy Metal by working
with some of the scene's greatest musicians but also in the way that labels operate.
CM has stood firmly by the ups and downs of continually changing economic and political
market places and more directly shifting tides in consumer tastes and always standing
strong and holding the banner for a valuable art form and means of expression. Always
at the forefront with an active role in emerging stylistic nuances CM has truly
shattered the barriers and exemplified diversity in extremes while remaining rooted
in the underground but giving bands opportunities outside of the normal means with
major league international touring, commercial radio play, and music placement in
high-profile films, TV and commercials. Despite all of the years and breakthroughs
the company maintains their organic, family feel and business is still being conducted
by fans of the music for fans of the music.
If you'd like to send us a demo of your band, or the band you're representing, please
follow the instructions listed below.
The Demo Policy: We do listen to every submission that comes to Century Media although
it can take some time for us to get to listen to them all. If we like the demo we
will contact you. On the other hand if we don't like it, we will not contact you.
This policy is the result of both a heavy workload and severe time restraint.
Suggestions and Requirements: Please send either a Compact Disc, Vinyl (7” or LP)
or a Cassette (only if you are really old school and want to prove your good taste
in 80s attitude). Do not send any other formats like Video Cassettes, Mini-Discs,
DATs, or MP3s as they are not accepted for submitting music. Also, send all the
contact information possible along with your package (phone, fax, address, e-mail,
etc.) so that if we like it, we'll be able to contact you quickly and easily.
DO NOT send oversized packaging to increase our attention and try to impress us
– it’s a waste of postage and you should better save the money for touring! A good
cover artwork and band photo is helpful to give us a visual impression on your vision.
Please ad a one page bio with basic info on your band and touring history.
Where to send your submission: If you live in the U.K., Europe, Africa and Asia,
send your demo to...
Century Media Records
If you live in North America, South America or Australia, send your demo to...
Century Media Records
2323 W. El Segundo Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250
We thank you in advance for your time and for thinking of us here at Century Media
Records. Your interest and support of the label is greatly appreciated.