Love them or hate them, Venom turned a lot of heads and eardrums around with their debut 1981 release of Welcome To Hell and it’s follow up Black Metal in 1982. Although they were tagged in the NWOBHM genre they heavily influenced many thrash and black metal bands. Original guitarist Tony ‘Mantas’ Dolan now fronts the furious M-Pire Of Evil whereas frontman and bassist Conrad ‘Cronos’ Lant is still flying the Venom flag high and with their current release From The Very Depths it will not be at half mast!
Fourteen blistering tracks at a running time of fifty minutes prove that Cronos has lost none of his venom, excuse the obvious pun there. Their current sound is a lot more clean than their early incarnation but still as heavy as a ton of bricks. Aided by Danny ‘Dante’ Needham on drums and Stuart ‘Rage’ Dixon on guitar, Cronos’ inimitable vocal roar dominates From The Very Depths proven by the title track which follows the demonic instrumental opener ‘Eruptus’. The main riff is similar to Exodus’ ‘Metal Command’ as Cronos barks and growls the lyrics over Rage’s furious guitar solos.
Other bruisers are ‘The Death Of Rock N Roll’ with some great tongue in cheek lyrics including “Line up the Marshall stacks, we’re killing Kid Creole, with devastating thrash, the death of rock n roll”. The song hurtles along like the bastard son of ‘Overkill’. ‘Smoke’ dips it’s toes in the pond of nu metal with a vibe of ‘My Own Summer’ by the Deftones albeit a lot heavier rumbling along like a true slow burner. ‘Long Haired Punks’ is a bass heavy roller coaster ride of gnarly thrash whereas following track ‘Stigmata Satanas’ is a fist clenching three minutes of grating riffs backed by a guttural vocal.
‘Crucified’ is an industrial fused monster and that vibe strays into ‘Evil Law’. The heavily sustained riffs almost suffocate the pained vocals as it shifts gear into mid paced thrash with touches of Slayer. ‘Grinding Teeth’ has a riff that hits the head banging mark immediately with loads of guitar fills to keep the most ardent of air guitarists busy. The Exodus comparisons raise their thrashing heads once more during the tempos in ‘Wings Of Valyrie’ as it crashes and smashes like the 1985 classic ‘And Then There Were None’.
Album closer ‘Rise’ sounds like it was recorded live with the lyrics paying homage to Venom fans or as Cronos calls them, legions. The hammer blow tempos finish From The Very Depths on a high! Venom’s fourteenth studio album is currently available via Spinefarm Records.
Venom band line up:-
Conrad ‘Cronos’ Lant – Vocals/bass guitar.
Danny ‘Dante’ Needham – Drums.
Stuart ‘Rage’ Dixon – Guitar.
Album track listing :-
From The Very Depths.
The Death Of Rock N Roll.
Long Haired Punks.
Wings Of Valyrie.