The beginning of this story is equally common and exciting, as they frequently are. What we know as Venerate Industries was born right after the millennium arrived.
Markos Panikidis and a group of friends used to gather and socialize, share their love of urban sports (BMX, Skateboarding) and also their affection for hardcore, punk rock and extreme metal music. A music student from a very young age, Markos got involved in various bands with friends and the talk about introducing music and bands they liked and where still unknown in Greece was getting increasingly serious. Soon it was clear that an operation had to be set up to include the efforts and ambitions of this pack of misfits.
The year was now 2002 the name of choice was Damaged Productions and it came to life in collaboration with Nikos Giagoudakis along with the guidance and help of their mentor Panos Agoros (editor of Metal Hammer GR and founder of the critical acclaimed Blast Beat mailmurder).
The goal was to start a breakthrough operation that would make available various music genres that emerged in the late 2000’s. The focus was on post metal, mathcore, sludge and bands like Neurosis, Dillinger Escape Plan, Isis, Cave In, Botch, Converge, Knut, Sunn O))), Pelican, Today is the Day, Discordance Axis etc., which at the time had no representation in Greece.
Starting as a distribution hub and a mailorder, the venture established connections with more labels and artists, so very soon the activities moved on to releasing records of local bands and booking live shows.
For the next 3 years, a number of albums were released and a series of important shows took place, providing a solid base for operations. Among the highlights of that period were the release of Sun of Nothing’s debut album “…In The Weak And The Wounded” and the live shows with bands such as Darkest Hour, Keelhaul, Burst, Cursed, Isis, Jesu, Cephalic Carnage and 27.
By 2005, the Damaged Productions partnership discontinued, Markos took over the name Venerate Industries and carried on to release albums, expand the distribution catalogue and organize shows all over Greece.
In the following 6 years, Venerate Industries with the help of Chris Papagiannis who came on board in 2008 accelerated in operations, established a reputation in the European underground and became a destination for artists and fans that kept an eye on contemporary extreme music with a groundbreaking attitude.
2012 was the year that everything came down to a halt. With the exception of a few, selected live shows all other activities paused, due to a combination of reasons and events that put the label in ice up until 2019, leaving a gap in the local underground music scene.
Time had to pass for the proper conditions to get in place and by early 2020, the process of rejuvenation was on. A minor detour in planning was necessary in order to bypass the troubling first year of the pandemic and all this brings us here, today.
In the first months of 2021, Venerate Industries is coming back to life, with a specifically designed action plan for some top-notch releases. The attitude is the same, the priorities are always artist-focused and the vibe could not be anything but enthusiastic.