Nuclear Blast was formed in 1987 after founder Markus Staiger travelled throughout the United States for four weeks and saw a gig of his favorite band BL’AST!. The label’s first release was a vinyl compilation called Senseless Death (NB 001) featuring US hardcore bands like Attitude, Sacred Denial, Impulse Manslaughter and others.
Swedish band Meshuggah became the first band in the history of Nuclear Blast Records to crack the Billboard 200, landing at number 165 with their 2002 album, Nothing. Meshuggah also became the first Nuclear Blast band to be reviewed in Rolling Stone magazine.
In 2004, Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish released Once on Nuclear Blast, which rocketed to the top of the charts in multiple countries, including Finland, Germany, Norway, Greece, Sweden, Austria, and more. It became the first release in the company’s history to reach number 1 on the German charts. Slayer released the album Repentless in 2015 which went to number 4 on the Billboard 200 making it the highest charting Nuclear Blast release in the USA.