Michigan’s premier underground record label has been doing vinyl long before most, releasing metal, hardcore, doom, death/black metal, and so much more.

Steve Rarick started Emetic Records in Flint, Michigan in 1998 as a distribution service. Steve says he started the distribution service as a way for he and his friends to obtain music that was hard for them to find. Back then, none of the record stores in the Flint/Detroit area was carrying anything that he and his friends liked, especially on vinyl.

CDs were popular in the late 90s and most stores had an extremely limited vinyl selection if any vinyl at all. According to Steve, nu-metal was still the rage, so to go into a store and ask for Marduk, Immortal or Electric Wizard on vinyl, or any format, would get you funny looks.

Marduk’s Nightwing album is where it all started. Steve had several friends ask him to pick them up a copy of the vinyl LP if he were to come across one so he decided to import it himself. After that, Steve started importing all kinds of albums, CDs and shirts.

He continued this as a hobby for about a year and a half, however, the distribution service kept growing to the point where he kept stock on hand. Around early 2000, Steve decided to quit his short-lived job with Southfield City Cable to put his full effort into his distribution service.

Steve says he came up with the name Emetic Records from the goregrind band Haemorrhage. Based out of Madrid, Spain, Haemorrhage released an album titled Emetic Cult. Steve says he was intrigued by the word Emetic which Merriam-Webster defines as “an agent that induces vomiting.” Steve felt this would be a great name for his distribution service, and Emetic Records was officially born!

There were a couple of local bands, Exploding Zombies and H8 Inc., who built a solid following and were always opening up for national acts. They started getting national notoriety and Steve thought it was odd that these bands were getting zero interest from record labels. He decided to take a chance and released these bands on his Emetic Records imprint, changing from a distribution service to a full-fledged record label.

Released in 2000, Exploding Zombies’ Several Severed Heads was Emetic’s first release followed in 2002 by H8 Inc.’s Fraternal Order of Felons. This gamble paid off for Steve as both bands went on to sell 2,000 CDs each. Emetic Records also runs the official US on-line stores for both EyeHateGod and Church of Misery.

Steve says that vinyl was and has always been the focus point of Emetic Records. Not only has Steve signed bands to his label, but he has also released vinyl versions of some albums which were only previously available on CD and has also released US versions of some CDs which were never properly released here in the United States. These bands include: Afgrund, (The) Bakerton Group, Bathtub Shitter, Beherit, Belzebong, Bongripper, Broken Hope, Brutal Truth, Buzzov•en, Candiria, Captain Cleanoff, Celophys, Cephalic Carnage, Church of Misery, Clutch, Cold as Life, Covenance, Criminal Element, Crowbar, Cryptopsy, Decrepit Birth, Deeds of Flesh, Devourment, Exhale, Exploding Zombies, EyeHateGod, Ghoul, H8 Inc., Haemorrhage, Hawg Jaw, Infanticide, Karma to Burn, Malevolent Creation, Misery Index, Noothgrush, Outlaw Order, Pentagram, Sonic Flower, Sourvein, Speedball, Suplecs, Swarm of the Lotus, Total Fucking Destruction and most recently, Witchthroat Serpent.

Witchthroat Serpent is a doom/stoner band with a classic Black Sabbath sludge vibe that was formed in 2011 by Fredrik Bolzann. Bolzann is the leader of the Avant-garde black metal band Darvulia and former bassist of Malhkebre. He recruited bassist Lo Klav and drummer Niko Lass to help him, as his official bio says, “Realize his doom-laden dreams.” Mining a very similar territory to Witchsorrow or the first Electric Wizard album, Witchthroat Serpent sounds at once refreshingly distinct and instantly familiar.

Emetic Records just released Witchthroat Serpent’s debut on vinyl, in a deluxe gatefold presentation, with 100 pressed on purple haze colored vinyl and 400 on black vinyl.

Emetic Records is also proud to announce that Belzebong has just signed on with them to release their next album, Greenferno. Emetic Records will release Greenferno later this summer as an LP, CD and cassette release.

Steve says he honestly has only released music that he likes. He has been the driving force behind Emetic Records since its inception and has never had any partners or anyone else to please. His love for underground music is what keeps him going.

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About The Author

Erik's interest in music began at an early age. In high school, he was the co-host of the underground metal show the Social Mutilation Hour, on 89.5 WAHS, under the name of Neurotik Erik. During this period of his life, he independently promoted shows under the name of Ding Dong Ditch Productions. Erik would rent out local VFW Halls, use space at Oakland Community College Auburn Hills Campus, or simply throw basement parties around the Detroit area. While at college at Ferris State University, he became head of the student run organization, Entertainment Unlimited, and continued to promote shows, but on a larger scale. He also helped start an underground magazine, 'Outpunk', where he interviewed bands and wrote music reviews. Additionally, Erik joined the staff at the Ferris State University Torch and wrote on a larger scale.

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