"The noise began 23 years ago.
A music starved kid named Brian Slagel, killing time in suburban LosAngeles, gets sick of watching the local metal scene being ignored by the major labels. Working days at legendary metal emporium Oz Records and nights putting together one of the first metal fanzines, The New Heavy Metal Revue, Slagel asks some distributor friends if they'd be interested in circulating a compilation of unsigned bands if he put it together. The distributors said yes and Metal Blade Records was born. Of course it wasn't quite that simple. Putting in long 17 hour days between Oz and Metal Blade, Slagel pieced together the bands that would grace the label's first release - The New Heavy Metal Revue presents Metal Massacre. Metallica, Ratt and Black 'N' Blue were just a few of the willing locals. Except before Metal Massacre, Metallica didn't exist."
--excerpted from http://www.metalblade.com/about2004.html