A semi-independent label started by former copywriter and RCA marketing/A&R executive Cees (pronounced "Case") Wessels. The first record on the label was a record from Jim Croce, but soon the label began buying international rights to American acts like Metallica and Megadeth and then signing their own metal and hardcore bands. The success of bands on the label attracted the interest of Island Def Jam, who bought half of the company for $33 million. The label has a roster heavily skewed towards metal - and is probably best known for acts like Slipknot and Fear Factory. However, it also releases a great deal of hardcore and crossover records from bands like Killswitch Engage and even released records from the post-Danzig Misfits.