The “Venom” name is a guarantee that this will be a heavy and gnarly listen..
It may not be the classic Abaddon/Cronos/Mantas lineup of the original incarnation, but it stays true to the musical values of old. We do have Jeff “Mantas” Dunn here, along with Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan, who was a member of Venom for a good period of time too. With Jeramie “War Machine” Kling completing the trio, we have a good pedigree of metal musicians here to box our ears for us!
Lead track “How Many Can Die” was also the taster for this album, and it starts us off with a good kick up the arse riff, pounding drums, and Dolan’s gruff snarl. This gallops along like a phalanx of T-34 tanks on the Eastern Front, taking no prisoners and laying waste to all.
Thrash is the order of the day for “Infinitum” which kicks off at a fair old lick, and doesn’t seem as if it will let up at all. Well maybe the Venom of old would have stayed this path, but for the chorus parts, it slows down some, and adds a great injection of melody to proceedings.
Now if you want a typical old school Venom track, then “Come To Me” shouldn’t disappoint. It’s brash, in your face, and doesn’t give a fuck! There is a let up for a fine solo from Mantas, before it settles back down to stamp on your balls and faces.
How black is the title track then?!
Well, it ain’t “Black Metal” that’s for sure. What it is, is a ripping track that offers a good punch to the gut riff, and just sounds angry as hell. This song is the hard man who comes into a pub purely to look for a good scrap! Great solo work again from Mr Dunn can be heard on this one to, giving it a level of sophistication far above that of the aforementioned track!
One thing I like to do when reviewing albums is to imagine how the songs will go down in the live setting. “Tyrant” is the one that for me would see a steady banging of heads to its mid-paced chug. For some reason, I see PlanetMosh’s own Dennis Jarman in my mind’s eye, resplendent in his infamous denim battle jacket, showing the kids how it’s done! All this whilst the band show their prowess in writing a bloody good tune!
I don’t think the next track is written as a protest to our present “Government”, but it’s title is very apt! “Don’t Feed Me Your Lies” starts with an eerie bit of chorused guitar, punctuated by bass and drum stabs before building up to some technical guitar noodling, which lets rip to a chopping fast paced riff. Tony sounds particularly pissed off on this one too, which adds to overall theme.
Wot no Satan?!! No Blasphemy?!!
Well “Man As God” is pretty damned blasphemous, but in a subtle way. What is not subtle though is the bludgeoning force of the music. Everything about this one is furious and nasty, made all the more effective by its short duration. My favourite track thus far, and it didn’t need obvious references to old Sidney Satan to be so!
“Burn Liar Burn” has half of its length building up to what one would expect is going to be an epic-style traditional heavy metal track. But this is Venom Inc., right? And this is a song of two halves – one the bait, the other the gimp-masked killer waiting behind it ready to lop your head off with an axe… It’s fast, it’s frenetic, and it is bloody marvellous!
Our ninth track here is aptly titled “Nine“. This does not refer to the number of times that variations on the word “Fuck” are said (Though that is the count!). It is indeed a Sweary Mary of a track, yet the forceful language could not be better suited to this litany of hate!
A title that aptly describes the whole album…
What can I be referring to? Well, the word and title is “Rampant” – a perfect word to describe what has gone before, and to what is still to come. This is a heavy old beast with that timeless classic late 80’s thrash sound to it. Double kicks are definitely the meat on the bones of it!
Next dear readers, Venom Inc. invite you to “The Dance Macabre“. Don’t panic, they’ve not snuck a bloody Cha Cha Cha or Argentinian Tango into proceedings! No, this to quote the mighty Exodus, is a Toxic Waltz! Definitely, one that live will see circle pits, slamming your partners up the wall, and other good violent friendly fun! As you’ve now guessed, this is another fast as fuck thrasher, and is absolutely splendid!
So after all that, have you got any energy left? one would hope so, as the “Inferno” awaits you all! Starting off with a relatively slow pace compared to previous tracks, this is a great one to finish the album off with. It’s also the most overtly satanic track on here – classic Venom-style lyrics! After the intense workout of the eleven preceding tracks, this is the perfect wind-down!
For some folk, it’s not Venom in any incarnation, unless it’s the original trio. However, Venom Inc. has kept that spirit, whilst adding far superior musicianship, production values, and enjoyment factor to the mix. It may not be all “In League With Satan” lyrically, it may not be the two fingers to the established norm. But these three fine gents have crafted a bloody heavy and entertaining album that has certainly put a smile on my ugly mug!
HORNS UP FOR THE LADS!!!
The album is out now – Go buy a copy!
01 – How Many Can Die
02 – Infinitum
03 – Come To Me
04 – There’s Only Black
05 – Tyrant
06 – Don’t Feed Me Your Lies
07 – Man As God
08 – Burn Liar Burn
09 – Nine
10 – Rampant
11 – The Dance Macabre
12 – Inferno
- CD 17.99 Euros