CD REVIEW – VENOM – From The Very Depths
25 January, 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Let’s face it – indelibly influential they may be, but the first generation Venom albums all suffered from bad to appalling production, sometimes sounding like they’d been recorded on the wrong side of the S-bend. Well, the inventors of Black Metal are back from, well, from the very depths of hell – and they’re sounding better than ever, with a production worthy of their importance.
It has been noted that their bloody, muddy early productions were essential to the influence they inflicted upon the world of metal, and in the clarity of From The Very Depths the simplicity of some of the material is exposed more. Smoke especially plods along far longer than it should do, and Temptation isn’t much better.
Even the Death Of Rock n’ Roll – one of the best tracks here – bewilderingly name checks Kid Creole… who we haven’t heard of in twenty or more years… maybe he lives near Cronos now? Apart from that lyrical gaffe it’s a catchy thrashy number.
Luckily they’re over with early in the piece so we can get into the real headbanging of Long Haired Punks, Stigmata Satanas, Mephistopheles and the in-your-face Grinding Teeth – all frenetic moments which deliver the tense energy and chaotic playing we hope for from a Venom track.
Venom’s leader, bass player & growler-in-chief Cronos wisely recognises that the bands days as genre-creator and influence-to-thousands have pretty much passed – there’s no grand reinvention here, other than the fact that Cronos and new boys Dante and LaRage can play their instruments somewhat better than original ground-breakers Mantas and Abaddon. Consequently they focus on ripping a hole in the mortal realm with a one-way staircase heading south – and very nearly succeed at times.
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