LIVE: VENOM INC., Perth – 3 Mar, 2018

LIVE: VENOM INC., Perth – 3 Mar, 2018
VENOM INC. with Desecrator and Psychonaut
Amplifier Bar, Perth; Saturday, 3 March, 2018
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Outback Bob

While 60+ thousand people inexplicably battle travel woes and sound problems across town to see one bloke sing a bunch of soundalike songs, our journey to see Venom Inc., the splintered offshoot of forerunners/originators of extreme metal Venom, and featuring two thirds of their classic line-up and one latter member, started with precarious negotiations with the gatekeepers of the inner sanctum… in this case, three door girls barely out of school who successfully juggled three important tasks: a) wordlessly sharing the tasks of one person; b) avoiding making eye contact, listening, or talking; and c) cracking the Guinness world record for being the rudest possible in the least amount of syllables. If door staff are the face of your business, Amplifier is rude, up themselves, bored and obnoxious.

Overlooking the pretentiousness of youth, once inside the venue our woes were over, but we’re immediately struck by how slim the turnout is. Not literally – the mostly-middle-aged crowd are, like this writer, carrying a few extra kilos – but the turnout, even for a long weekend, is shameful when the influence and impact of this band is considered.


Thankfully, if the bands felt dispirited at all, they didn’t show it. Local demi-legends Psychonaut played their usual killer set of thrashy, trippy, psyched out metal to a few handfuls of those who know a good thing when they hear it, before Melbourne’s Desecrator melted faces with their speedy thrash onslaught. Their last show with guitarist Anthony J Finch, they rocked hard, singer/guitarist Riley Strong’s super-mullet barely settling from its arc as it whipped this way and that from its master’s headbanging attack. Both bands deserved a bigger crowd, but those present thoroughly enjoyed what they heard.

There are effectively two versions of Venom recording and touring the world. One – Venom – fronted by bass player/vocalist Cronos, or Conrad Lant to his Mum. This Venom – Venom Inc. – features classic era guitarist and drummer Jeff ‘Mantas’ Dunn and Tony ‘Abaddon’ Bray, with Tony ‘Demolition Man’ Dolan, who held the bass/singing duties in Venom from 1989 – 1992 and has played with Mantas in various other acts since.

Venom Inc took no prisoners, playing a world class set of classic black metal, interspersed with tracks from last year’s pummelling new album Avé, and it’s easy to see why they were so influential back in the day, inspiring the likes of Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, Megadeth – basically every major thrash player – as well as giving naughty thoughts to an uncountable legion of Scandinavians with a penchant for growling about Satan and burning churches.

With classics Die Hard, Live Like An Angel (Die Like A Devil), Buried Alive, Warhead, Poison, Black Metal and Countess Bathory, Venom Inc proved they are as relentless now as they were in their early ‘80s heyday. The only downside from this writer’s standpoint was the lack of the sense of tongue in cheek humour so redolent in their music in those days – though that could equally be the fact that aged 16, I just thought it was funnier than it was.

The band were committed too, playing hard and fast (and, it must be said, far more competently than in their early days, when they were basically self-taught punks with longer hair and better leathers), Abaddon swigging from a Jack Daniels bottle, Demolition Man making us wonder “Cronos who?” and Mantas shredding up a storm.

An encore of Sons Of Satan and Witching Hour proved the icing on the cake for the trio, allowing the sweat-caked, sore-necked headbangers the respite to head home safe in the knowledge that they had just experienced metal royalty, and were not let down in the slightest.

Set List:
Ave Satanas
Welcome to Hell
Metal We Bleed
Die Hard
Live Like an Angel (Die Like a Devil)
Blackened Are the Priests
Buried Alive
Raise the Dead
Don’t Burn the Witch
Leave Me in Hell
Black Metal
Countess Bathory

Sons of Satan
Witching Hour

LIVE: VENOM INC., Perth – 3 Mar, 2018

Filed Under: Live ReviewsPhoto Galleries

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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