Metal Blade is an independent heavy metal label that was founded in Los Angeles, CA on February 1, 1982 by Brian Slagel. Over the years, Metal Blade has gained a reputation for launching the careers of numerous popular metal bands including Metallica, Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, and many others.
The label has gone through various changes in its label codes and variants throughout the years. From 1982 to 1983, they used "tan labels and axe with blood stains" for most releases. However, there were exceptions such as "black labels" available only on the Metal Massacre compilation and "custom tan labels" for certain releases like Bitch's Damnation Alley.
In 1984, Metal Blade switched to using "silver labels and axe with blood stains," which were actually used only in that year. Some pressings from this period with earlier dates are actually from 1984. These silver labels were also reused in the 2016 reissues of Slayer's Show No Mercy album. Additionally, some releases sold in 1987 featured these silver labels but were likely old stock distributed in new sleeves.