Venom - Metal Black
For some insane, incredibly stupid reason, people who listen to metal, especially black metal, automatically write off Venom. That, despite the fact that they pre-date Metallica and actually fall into the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) movement. They were formed in 1978 and influenced by Motorhead, Judas Priest, KISS, and The Sex Pistols. Think about that. It's 1978, and Iron Maiden doesn't even fucking exist! The fact that they grew up and worshiped those bands describes them perfectly; A group of showmen with incredible musical talent and a knowledge of shock mixed in with talent. The entire Sex Pistols influence is obvious in the fact that they could barley play their instruments. Considering that without Venom there is no Metallica, Slayer, and essentially, no thrash metal or black metal, I think it's safe to say that this is a band worth your time, especially now.
It's been nearly 30 years now that this band has been around, with Cronos being the only remaining original member. But so fucking what? People bitch and moan about this person not being there or it's only one guy. gain, so fucking what? Metal Black is EXACTLY what Venom is; a Damn good Metal Band!
"Antechrist" and "Burn in Hell" open up the album, and also opens up a damn large can of whoop-ass! The thrash-riffs are a welcome introduction to the first significent Venom album in 20 years. "Rege Satanas" reminds me of older Venom tracks off the first two albums, while "A Good Day to Die" echo's that same sentiment, throwing in more of a Motorhead influence. "Maleficarvm" offers up some a very nice offering of metal might, proving to be brutal in it's attacks!
Admittedly, the album suffers at some points from things like odd tempo changes and odd vocal mixing, such as "Death & Dying", "Assassin", and "Lucifer Rising". That, in and of itself, doesn't actually hurt the album overall. Albums, for the most part, are about hills and valley's, and only perfect albums never have a dull moment. This, I think, is something we're actually losing in this era of lame-asses digitally downloading only the "popular" songs by a band; They're missing what may wind up being some great moments to them.
But back to the album, and the overall theme that is Metal Black. "Darkest Realm" is a song that sounds it was just made to be played live, with the line "Deafening Volume In Power and Black / Light up the skies in an aural attack". It offers up as one of the best songs on the album. Mykvs addition as guitarist is absolutely splendid, and his tenure on this album was simply brilliant! The album close, "Metal Black", simply seals this as a damn good album.
This return to form gets a 4.3 out of 5! All in all, this album is a must for any Venom Fan, anyone who likes Thrash Metal, and anyone who just likes metal!
BUY THIS ALBUM!