Published Sep 11, 2012After nearly 20 years of issuing underground punk, metal, hardcore and noise records, the esteemed Hydra Head imprint has announced its about to call it quits.
A blog post from label founder and former Isis vocalist Aaron Turner explains that the decision has been a longtime coming, and that the operation will slowly wind down over the course of the next several months.
"The decision to pull the plug has not been an easy one, and in some ways is a not a choice at all. The simple fact of the matter is we've been running on empty for a while now and cannot afford to keep our doors open for much longer," Turner wrote. "Years of imbalance between creative ideals and financial realities, personal problems amongst the label operators, an unwillingness to compromise our aesthetic standards, a tendency towards releasing challenging (i.e. unmarketable) artists, and the steady decline of the music industry in general, are amongst the chief reasons for our inability to continue."
Since its founding in 1993, the label has issued iconic material from a varied roster of acts, including metalcore heroes Cave In and Converge, the Melvins, Turner's doomy supergroup Old Man Gloom, emo dudes Piebald, one-man black metal band Xasthur, Justin Broadrick's beloved Jesu project, and harsh industrial dude Prurient, among countless others. Turner also ran the side-label Hydra Head Noise Industries to issue extreme outings from Sunn 0))), Merzbow and more.
Turner noted that he will officially stop releasing new records in December. Up next for the label is Black Curtain, the second full-length from Turner's Jodis project, which arrives October 2. You can stream spacey album track "Silent Temple" in the player below.
The official end of Hydra Head is still a ways off, with Turner explaining that the imprint will continue to repress certain titles and sell off remaining stock through their web store for the next six to 12 months. The label will apparently offer up "discounted bundles of CDs/LPs/posters/etc, represses of certain titles for which we still have parts, test pressings, and whatever worthwhile items we can pull together."
"Though it is highly unlikely we'll be able to resuscitate the label, we do wish to follow through on the final round of releases to which we're committed and pay off our debts to our artists and manufacturers."
You can read Turner's full statement over here.