Venom release their strongest album in a long time
Venom in the year 2014, is that really necessary, some might ask. The relevance and greatness of ‘Welcome To Hell’, ‘Black Metal’ and ‘At War With Satan’ has never been disputed. However, there are a few/some (maybe more than that) of the opinion that there has never been a good Venom album after these classics. Although the last album ‘Fallen Angels’ was a quite decent one. So what does Venom’s latest effort ‘From The Very Depths’ bring to the party?
After the 60-second intro ‘Eruptus’ the trio goes straight into the title track. ‘From The Very Depths’ is a song in true Venom style and tradition. The same can be said about the following song ‘The Death Of Rock’n’Roll’. The biggest difference to older Venom albums is the pretty powerful and clearly differentiated production. The album probably has the heaviest sound Venom have unleashed so far. This is cool, this is fun and this makes you wanna hear more of that. It seems that Venom finally arrived in the new century.
Despite the more polished and heavier production the trademarks of the Venom’s sound are still there. The trio is still on a tightrope walk between classic NWOBHM, their version of black metal and punk. The music is still raw and pure. The whole attitude of the band remains between cheeky comments, passages of social criticism and – first and foremost – the playful use of black metal clichés. In other words, this is exactly what you expect from a Venom album.
The power and enthusiasm of the first two songs wanes a little bit over the remaining 10 songs. There are a few songs though that fit right into the same category. There is for example ‘Long Haired Punks’ that should work well live with its up-tempo groove, interesting bass line and Cronos’ gnarly vocals. Another one of the higher-speed songs is ‘Grinding Teeth’. This is a tempo at which Venom are at their best. On the other hand there a number of mid-tempo songs like ‘Crucified’ and ‘Evil Law’ that complement the faster and stronger songs and give the album some structure that keeps it fresh and interesting.
Venom has released a decent album. It might even go so far to say that it is the best effort since the 1980ies. If there weren’t a couple of rather poor songs like ‘Stigmata Satanas’ with its annoying refrain and the somewhat incoherent ‘Rise’ (sounds more like a concept rather than a finished song) Venom would have released surprisingly strong album. I focus on the better songs on the record, hit the repeat button and look forward to the upcoming shows.
8 of 10