Rise Above Records
Rise Above Records.jpg
Record label information
Founded 1988
Distributors RED Distribution (USA)
Genre(s) Hardcore Punk (Early), Grindcore (Early), Doom Metal, Stoner Metal, Stoner Rock, Occult Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Psychedelic Folk
Country of Origin England
Based in London, England
Website Rise Above's Official Page

Rise Above Records is an independent label formed in England by Lee Dorrian and Will Palmer in 1988. Rooted in hardcore punk and traditional doom, the label would eventually grow to be an important label in the makings of modern doom metal and stoner metal, showcasing many major names in the scene.

Background[edit | edit source]

Formation[edit | edit source]

Rise Above Records was founded in 1988 by then Napalm Death vocalist Lee Dorrian. It was started as part of the Enterprise Allowance Scheme and its initial aim was to release a few very limited edition hardcore punk 7"s. The first release by the label was a Live 7" by Napalm Death, a band Dorrian was still in at the time. Releases by Japanese hardcore band S.O.B. and UK Hardcore band Long Cold Stare followed.

Shift to Doom Metal[edit | edit source]

Dorrian was a fan of bands such as Candlemass, Saint Vitus and Trouble but stated there "wasn't really a 'doom scene' as such" and that "doom became an obsession" for him. Finding that there were a scattered amount of doom metal groups in the United States (specifically Maryland), Dorrian attempted to "give the scene a boost" and released a compilation titled Dark Passages, a compilation stating that "if people asked what doom was you could point to that record and there was something tangible to grab hold of." Dorrian found that the release "didn't get as many bands as we'd have liked, hence the reason why there are two Cathedral tracks on there." Salvation's Answer by Revelation would also follow in 1991 and the label would shift to more of a doom metal sound.

Dorrian admitted later that it took until 1997 "that a new wave of doom bands started to appear. Ever [sic] since then it's become really strong." Dorrian specifically noted Electric Wizard's Come My Fanatics... as being "the turning point of everything.".

Expansion on Genres and Anniversaries[edit | edit source]

The label's sound would expand beyond traditional doom going into the 2000s, offering up bands in stoner rock/metal (Sally, Hangnail, Sleep), drone (Sunn O))), Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine), psychedelic folk (Circulus, Purson) and even brief returns to hardcore punk (Debris Inc., Septic Tank). The rise of occult rock from the late 2000s well into the next decade also benefit the label heavily as several acts in that scene would sign to the label. The Swedish metal band Ghost would also attain major success and for the label, lead to them having their own distribution in the United States rather than working in coalition with other labels in the past such as The Music Cartel, Candlelight Records and Metal Blade Records.

Currently, Rise Above is independent in the USA and has an exclusive distribution deal through RED Distribution. Rise Above Records is also distributed in the UK and most of Europe via PHD. Most titles are licensed in Japan to Trooper Entertainment.

Rise Above Records would host a special show for the label's twentieth anniversary on 13 December 2008 at ULU in London, England. This showcase, among featuring exclusive vinyl releases, would feature the likes of Electric Wizard, Grand Magus, Taint, Diagonal, Moss, Litmus, Serpentcult and Gentlemans Pistols among others.[1]

Rise Above Records would host a 25th anniversary showcase in 2013, spanning two nights at the Garage in London on 27 and 28th December 2013. The lineup would span old and new acts, featuring the likes of The Sharon Tate Experience, Iron Man, Age of Taurus, Purson, Horisont, Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell, The Oath, Death Penalty, Troubled Horse and Death Penalty.[2]

For the label's thirtieth anniversary in 2018, Rise Above would re-issue several albums from their extensive catalog in gold vinyl to commemorate the milestone.[3]

Rise Above Relics[edit | edit source]

Rise Above Relics specializes in detailed reissues and unreleased recordings from the golden days of underground rock and folk music (late 60s/early 70s). Releases so far, have included artists such as Comus, Necromandus, Bang, Horse, Steel Mill, Incredible Hog, Rog & Pip, Brân, Luv Machine, Possessed, and (The Original) Iron Maiden.

Distributors[edit | edit source]

  • The Music Cartel (USA, 1998 - 2004)
  • Candlelight Records USA (USA, 2005 - 2009)
  • Metal Blade Records (USA, 2010 - 2014)
  • JVC Victor (Japan, 1997 - 2010)
  • Leaf Hound Records (Japan, 2007 - 2008)

Roster[edit | edit source]

Selected Current Roster[edit | edit source]

Selected Past Roster[edit | edit source]

One-Offs[edit | edit source]

Rise Above Relics[edit | edit source]

  • Luv Machine
  • Necromandus
  • Ax
  • Possessed
  • Bang
  • Comus
  • Steel Mill
  • Mellow Candle
  • (The Original) Iron Maiden
  • Incredible Hog
  • Rog + Pip

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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