It should go without saying, but metal would likely be very different without Metal Blade Records. For four decades, the independent label has forged a path in metal that has not only given us some unforgettable tunes, but has given some of metal’s most influential bands their start.

Bands like Metallica, Slayer, Armored Saint, GWAR, Cannibal Corpse, Amon Amarth, The Black Dahlia Murder, and more either got their start or blew up on the label.

To celebrate the label’s longevity and its importance to the genre, Metal Blade has been curating its own playlists featuring bands and releases from certain decades. Those playlists, embedded below, include things like Vader, Mercyful Fate, and Corrosion of Conformity and showcases the label’s push to supporting killer bands.

In addition to the playlists, Metal Blade commissioned heavy metal artist Travis Smith to design a special edition Metal Blade shirt commemorating the 40 year anniversary. You can find that shirt, along with their playlists, at the Metal Blade site.

In a bid to keep the party going even longer, Slagel and some special guest artists have been hosting a special Metal Blade radio show this weekend. You can check that out today on Gimme Radio’s Metal 2 channel. Buy any merch from select Metal Blade artists on Gimme Metal and you can use the code ‘blade’ for free shipping.

Finally, the label has set up two special Las Vegas shows to commemorate its 40th anniversary. The first one coming up is a Sacred Reich gig at The Space on September 17, while Killswitch Engage and special guest Fit for an Autopsy and labelmates Visigoth support to take over the House of Blues on October 5.

It’s all one long, loud party to celebrate one of metal’s most influential record labels. It’s all deserving, so grab some Metal Blade tunes and crank it up. Don’t let your weekend go quietly into the night.