2023 will mark the 25th anniversary of Hell’s Tone Records. We started as a zine distro in 1997. The first release Bonded With Blood/Justice Shall Prevail -split 7″ came out in November 1998 with the label name Kidney Records. The idea was to “sign” local or friends’ bands, who were interesting enough and were in need of a label. Over the years we expanded a little from there, beginning with the Anal Thunder/No Redeeming Social Value -split 7″.
In 2002 there was a name change to Hell’s Tone Records, the first release for the new monicker being the Flespress/Bud Junkees -split CDep. The distro grew and we took an active part in organizing shows. Anal Thunder’s Cheap Wine & Quality Time (HTR005) was the closest one can call a breakthrough. The band got a lot of listeners after the record and the ensuing touring in 2004. One of the highlights was their Ilosaarirock gig, where thousands of festival guests roamed from the main stage where Darkness played as a headliner towards the smaller stage where Anal Thunder played.
In November 2008, a 10-year party was held with Callous53, Kellogs Frosters, Antti Tuska & Vähämieliset, and Another One Dead. The ’00s had been busy with around 20 releases, distro, and shows. Finally, at the beginning of the 2010s, we stopped the label and distro mainly because of a lack of enthusiasm. It was about time. Many things had been learned, a lot of friends were made and no regrets, eh, felt. Meanwhile, a couple of fine records were released, that stand the test of time.
While one must not underestimate Kyre & Duunarit’s effort in the release of “PEPO futaa”, a support song for a football club PEPO Lappeenranta in 2016, the resurrection of the label really happened in late 2020 for the debut 7″ of Laki & Järjestys. The distro was opened again soon afterward.