Metal Blade News – Chris Santos, Blacklight Media, Good Tiger, Criminal, The Black Dahlia Murder, Rivers of Nihil.

Chef Chris Santos partners with Metal Blade Records to launch Blacklight Media label!

Chris Santos, executive chef and managing partner of the New York City restaurants VANDAL, The Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex, together with Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records, today announced the launch of Blacklight Media, a label focusing on hard rock and heavy metal. Blacklight Media’s debut band, Good Tiger, led by guitarists Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles, will help launch the label as they head on tour this March.

In addition to his status as one of New York’s most well known chefs, Santos is a lifelong fan of hard rock and metal music. A longtime friend of Slagel’s, Santos has worked to launch bands with Metal Blade Records in the past, preparing him to break into the industry and create an entity of his own.

Blacklight Media, a name created to expose talent that has been concealed and deserve the recognition of a larger audience, will work with high energy bands with a progressive unique sound. Blacklight will release music that possesses an extensive amount of melody, mixed with heavy ebbs and flow to catch the attention of its listeners.

“Starting a label of my own is truly a dream come true,” said Santos. “Music has always spoken to me in a visceral, instinctive way, and I’m hoping to curate a blend of hard rock and heavy metal that is unique in every way. Similar to my cooking, I hope the music our artists create will be engaging, well rounded, and sometimes whimsical.”

Partnering with Santos in the project is metal industry heavyweight Brian Slagel, who founded Metal Blade Records in 1982. The label is currently the oldest metal label in the industry at 34 years old and one of the largest independent labels in the world. Notably, Metal Blade is credited for launching the careers of bands such as Metallica, Slayer, GWAR, Cannibal Corpse, Amon Amarth, among others. Slagel brings this invaluable experience to the launch of Blacklight, a culmination of his long friendship with Santos.

“Chris Santos has been a good friend of mine for quite some time and his taste in music, as in food, is tremendous. He has turned me onto four bands who eventually signed to Metal Blade – the whole Metal Blade family is so excited to be working with him on this new venture,” said Brian Slagel, CEO of Metal Blade Records.

The label’s first signing, Good Tiger, will release their debut, A Head Full of Moonlight, on CD and LP via Blacklight Media on April 22nd. Featuring former members of Tesseract, The Safety Fire, and Architects UK, Good Tiger previously released the album digitally, with the first single, “Where are the Birds”, being heard on BBC Radio 1; the music video (directed by Kim Taylor, produced by Compulsory) was seen on Kerrang TV, Scuzz TV, MTV Rocks and more throughout Europe. With a new label partner – and upcoming USA tour with Between the Buried and Me andAugust Burns Red in March/April – the band is poised to earn even more buzz in the music community worldwide. To view the “Where are the Birds” video and to pre-order A Head Full of Moonlight in various formats, please visit:

In regards to the signing, Good Tiger‘s Derya “Dez” Nagle comments: “It’s very exciting to be working with such a driven and forward-thinking group of people. Chris and the rest of the team behind Blacklight Media are simply amazing. To be involved with the label from the offset, and chosen as their first signing is humbling. As a band we set out to create energetic, fun and interesting music, and I think those same qualities are reflected in the team we are working with.”

To learn more about Blacklight Media, please visit Follow @BlacklightMediaOfficial on Facebook and Instagram and @BlacklightRecs on Twitter using #BlacklightMedia.

About Blacklight Media
Blacklight Media is a hard rock and heavy metal label founded in February 2016 by Chris Santos, executive chef and managing partner of New York City restaurants VANDAL, The Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex, in partnership with Brian Slagel, founder of Metal Blade Records. They launched the label with breakout band Good Tiger, led by guitarists Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles. Blacklight has a distinct focus on releasing music that possesses an extensive amount of melody, mixed with heavy ebbs and flow.

About Chef Chris Santos
Chef Chris Santos has over twenty years of experience as an executive chef in New York City’s hottest restaurants. In January 2016, Santos opened VANDAL alongside TAO Group at 199 Bowery, his biggest and most ambitious to date with a focus in street art and street fare from around the world. He is also currently the managing partner of The Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex in the Lower East Side, where he oversees the menu development and culinary operations of both properties. In addition to his presence at the restaurants, Santos is a resident judge on the Food Network’s most popular hit series Chopped. Later this year, he looks forward to debuting two additional restaurant projects, which will finally expand his unique brand to a West Coast audience in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Santos will debut his first cookbook with Grand Central Life & Style in February 2017.

About Metal Blade Records
Founded upon owner Brian Slagel’s enduring drive to find great bands and get their music out to as many people as possible, since 1982 Metal Blade Records has brought wave after wave of powerful, innovative, and often genre-defining music to the ever-hungry metal masses, includingCannibal Corpse, GWAR, Amon Amarth, and many more. It is this ethos that has seen Metal Blade build up a stunning and diverse catalogue, weather the various storms facing any independent label, and in an age of declining record sales boast the most successful years of its existence as it strides into its fourth decade. “How important is Metal Blade to our career? They’re only the reason we are enjoying the worldwide success we have today,” states Metallica‘s James Hetfield. For more information, visit

About Good Tiger
Good Tiger was formed in 2015 by guitarists Derya “Dez” Nagle and Joaquin “Jo” Ardiles. Dez enlisted some of the pair’s most talented friends to complete the lineup: vocalist Elliot Coleman, drummer Alex Rudinger, and bassist Morgan Sinclair. The group was intent on recording this album on their own, and announced the band to the world through a crowdfunding campaign. For a brand new band, this was a fairly risky move, but in less than 24 hours, they had raised over $18,000. By the end of their campaign this figure rose to a staggering $45,980. That sum served as a resounding endorsement from fans that, yes, they were just as excited for this new project as the band themselves. Since the digital release of the album, the debut single “Where are the Birds” has been heard on BBC Radio 1, featured on iTunes/Apple Music, and the music video (directed by Kim Taylor, produced by Compulsory) has been seen on Kerrang TV, Scuzz TV, MTV Rocks and more throughout Europe. An exclamation point on the band’s successful introduction to the world happened in early 2016, with the announcement of their first North American tour withBetween the Buried and Me, and their signing with Blacklight Media, the brand new imprint from Metal Blade Records.

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER launches new video for “Threat Level No. 3” online!

Ready to kick off their USA headlining tour this April, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER is now launching a new video for the track, ‘Threat Level No. 3‘, taken from their recently released album, ‘Abysmal‘. Written, directed, and animated by Adam Avilla (, the ‘Threat Level No. 3‘ video can be viewed here:

Adam Avilla comments: “It isn’t often that a band that you have listened to for fifteen years approaches you and wants you to draw four minutes of sheer madness for their new record. It’s insane. Such a great honor. And the song rips!

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER‘s Trevor Strnad (vocals) comments: “Adam has done an amazing job of bringing the fiendish character behind ‘Threat Level No. 3’ to life in all his despicable glory. This is by far the best video we’ve ever brought forth and the best part of all…You don’t have to look at our ugly faces once!

Brandon Ellis will join THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER on the road as the band’s touring guitarist and replacement for Ryan Knight, who amicably parted ways with the group. In regards to his departure, Ryan Knight comments: “After nearly 7 years with The Black Dahlia Murder, I feel the time has come for me to step down and focus on other aspects of my life. The decision to leave was very difficult, yet necessary I feel for me to ultimately be happy and keep moving forward. I feel very lucky to have had the best band-mates/crew (past and present) to traverse the world, guzzle beers, and bring the rock with every night…Thank you guys, I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to all our fans for being so cool to me over the years, and all the hardworking people over at Metal Blade Records for their support, and general badassery. In the meantime, I’ll still be teaching guitar, working on new music, and just getting pretty domestic in general. Thanks again!

Trevor Strnad (vocals) adds: “When Ryan first joined the band, he drove from the hospital where his first child had just been born to begin practicing and writing with us, on the eve of the recording of our ‘Deflorate’ album. In his years with the band, he made a lot of sacrifices to be with us and uphold our insanely demanding touring and recording schedule…He always gave us 100 percent, and for that I thank him. He is an incredible musician and creative force…It was exciting to make new material with him, and his wealth of knowledge has left its stamp on the band’s music forever. I always knew that his time in the band would be limited, and it has now come time for him to go home and be with his family. Ryan, being the stand-up dude that he is, told us of his plans to leave the band more than a year ago, and with heavy hearts we began to plan for The Black Dahlia Murder’s future. We admire that Ryan went to such lengths to make his departure as easy on the band as possible, even going as far as to help us find a talented leadsman in Brandon Ellis – who has been lending us his tremendous guitar skills on the current TBDM tour…Knight is one of my best friends and I wish him the best in everything he does. He will always have a place here in the TBDM family. I look back at our time together with nothing but gratitude.

CRIMINAL launches making-of-video!New album “Fear Itself” out March, 11th!Anglo-Chileans Thrashers CRIMINAL have announced their new album “Fear Itself” for release March, 11th through Metal Blade Records.Today CRIMINAL launches a making of video for “Fear Itself“. Go ahead and to find out more about the upcoming album of CRIMINAL!At the same location you can stream the first single “Down Driven” and surf the pre-order section. “Fear Itself” will be released on CD, vinyl and all digital outlets.The 2nd single taken off “Fear Itself“, the relentless up-tempo-banger ‘Shock Doctrine‘ is still available to stream on at THIS location!Recorded at CRIMINAL bassist Danny Biggin’s HVR Studios in Suffolk, UK, with a “no bullshit” approach to recording, the band purposely avoided the vices of modern metal production such as samples, quantizing and amp simulators.The striking artwork by renowned Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu (At The Gates, Arch Enemy, Mayhem, etc.) perfectly represents the bleak, dystopian atmosphere of the lyrics, which denounce warmongering, misinformation, exploitation and other ills of modern society.A metal band with a hardcore attitude, CRIMINAL‘s longevity is a testament to their honesty and passion. In it for all the right reasons.”Fear Itself” track listing:
1. Intro
2. Down Driven
3. False Flag Attack
4. Shock Doctrine
5. The Needle And Knife
6. Scream Of Consciousness
7. Summoning The Apocalypse
8. The One Who Speaks At Night
9. Animals To Gods
10. Deep In The Rot
11. Wasted Youth
12. Carne MolidaCRIMINAL:
Anton Reisenegger – vocals/guitars
Sergio Klein – guitars
Dan Biggin – bass
Zac O’Neil – drums

Rivers of Nihil launch live video for “Monarchy”; kick off USA tour with Black Fast and Dark Sermon

Having just kicked off their USA with Black Fast and Dark Sermon, Rivers of Nihil have now launched a live video for the track “Monarchy”, taken from their new album of the same name. Shot at a Los Angeles show this past November, the video can be viewed at:

Rivers of Nihil will be touring in support of their recently released, sophomore album, Monarchy. Hailed as “the gold standard for extreme, technical, progressive, and passionate death metal right now”(, Monarchy continues the seasonal concept that began with spring on Rivers of Nihil‘s acclaimed debut, The Conscious Seed of Light – this time, welcoming the oppressive summer heat. Adam Biggs, who also serves as the band’s primary lyricist, explains: “The Earth has been transformed into a vast desert wasteland, where after aeons of lifelessness, new beings begin to take shape and begin their journey as shepherds of the planet. But after a while, a class system forms from a sun-worshiping religious dictatorship, and these beings start to lose their way. Only the guidance of an ancient earthly force can help them save themselves as well the planet.” 

To preview and purchase this conceptual masterpiece, please visit:

Rivers of Nihil tour dates
w/ Black Fast, Dark Sermon

Feb. 17 – Niagara Falls, NY – The Evening Star
Feb. 18 – Amityville, NY – Amityville Music Hall
Feb. 19 – New York, NY – Saint Vitus
Feb. 20 – Long Branch, NJ – The Brighton Bar
Feb. 21 – Frederick, MD – Club 611
Feb. 22 – Fayetteville, NC – The DHP
Feb. 23 – Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern
Feb. 24 – Orlando, FL – The Haven
Feb. 25 – Ybor City, FL – Crowbar
Feb. 26 – Pensacola, FL – The Handlebar
Feb. 27 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Feb. 28 – Nashville, TN – The End *
Mar. 1 – Indianapolis, IN – The Hoosier Dome *
Mar. 2 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s *
Mar. 3 – Dayton, OH – Rockstar Pro Arena *
Mar. 4 – Lakewood, OH – The Foundry *
Mar. 5 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Smiling Moose *
Mar. 6 – Washington D.C. – The Pinch *
*=Rivers of Nihil, Dark Sermon only

Rivers of Nihil online:

About David Farrell

General Manager and 'THE' competition guy at Manager of The Goddanm Electric, Tour manager for Serpentine, and ex-general Dogsbody at Media partner to numerous bands. Also takes photos, writes reviews and likes classic rock, with a touch of thrash to get the blood flowing.