Nuclear Blast founder Markus Staiger has launched a new company called Atomic Fire GmbH.The label's acts include HELLOWEEN, OPETH, MESHUGGAH, AMORPHIS, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP, PRIMAL FEAR, SONATA ARCTICA, AGNOSTIC FRONT, RISE OF THE NORTHSTAR, SILVER LAKE BY ESA HOLOPAINEN and WHITE STONES.
In addition to the already announced studio albums by SONATA ARCTICA ("Acoustic Adventures - Volume One", to be released January 21) and AMORPHIS ("Halo", due on February 11), the first half of 2022 will see the arrival of new works by MESHUGGAH, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP and RISE OF THE NORTHSTAR.
Staiger is owner and CEO of Atomic Fire GmbH, which has partnered with Warner Music (GAS) and ADA (rest of the world), with the exception of Japan, where the company is licensed to Ward Records.
Two former Nuclear Blast employees, Florian Milz and Markus Wosgien, will share Atomic Fire CEO/label management duties. Additionally, the label will operate its own mailorder shops in Europe, Australia and North America with immediate effect. Furthermore, Atomic Fire will look after the roster of the label Reaper Entertainment, led by Milz and Gregor Rothermel, featuring acts such as TANKARD, MEMORIAM and METAL CHURCH.
The Atomic Fire headquarters are located in the South German town of Donzdorf, where a new record shop and a meeting point for metal fans will also be launched in the spring of 2022.
International offices and representatives are located in England (director: Dan Tobin), the USA (director: Liz Ciavarella-Brenner), Sweden (director: Darren Edwards), France (director: Olivier Garnier), Italy (director: Barbara Francone) and Spain (director: Sergi Ramos).
The new company's staff includes: Ute Linhart (sales and merchandise), Patrick Walch and Sarah Wohlfahrt (digital), Philipp Adelsberger (press promotion and publicity), Gregor Rothermel (graphic design and product management), Timo Beisel (publishing), Thomas "Zwini" Zwirner (mailorder and wholesale), Markus Wielandt (IT and new media), Siggi Popp (accounting) and Heiko Heike/Zimmermann & Decker (legal affairs). Mat Sinner (senior consultant), Achim Köhler (A&R) and Iris Bernotat (product management & promotion) are providing consulting support.
Atomic Fire also announced its first signings today: Icelandic power metal force POWER PALADIN, whose anthemic debut album, "With The Magic Of Windfyre Steel", has already taken the media by storm, as well as the Scandinavian all-star formation AT THE MOVIES, featuring musicians from PRETTY MAIDS, HAMMERFALL, KING DIAMOND, THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA and THERION performing hard rock versions of well-known film hits of the 1980s and 1990s.
Three years ago, Believe Digital acquired a majority stake in Nuclear Blast for what at the time was believed to be an eight-figure sum. Staiger reportedly remained a shareholder in the company, which he founded in 1987.