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Venom Inc. - 'Avé' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 19, 2018    
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Old-school Metal heads and Power Metal aficionados will love this album because it is, quite simply, magnificent.

There are two bands called Venom, much as there were two versions of Queensrÿche, Great White or Ratt, and both have claimed, or claim, to be the definitive version.
Venom Inc. actually features two of the founding members of Venom in guitarist Jeff "Mantas" Dunn and drummer Anthony "Abaddon" Bray. Alongside Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan it reunites the classic Mk III line-up that recorded 'Prime Evil' and subsequent albums (along with rhythm guitarist Al Barnes). Venom itself now only features bassist/vocalist Conrad "Cronos" Lant from the classic 1981-86 line-up.

Although Dunn and Dolan had their band Mpire Of Evil, they were getting requests to perform Venom material at their gigs, so it seemed inevitable to resurrect their version of the band in some capacity, and in 2015, after getting back in touch with Bray, Venom Inc. was formed.

Forget any preconceptions as this is many years removed from the raw, simplistic, messy cacophony of 'Welcome To Hell'. The album opens with 'Ave Satanas' ('Hail Satan') by way of a distant and subtle female-led version of 'Ave Maria' ('Hail Mary', natch) before a suitably evil spoken intro segues into powerful riffing and deep-throated vocals from Dolan. Played very loud, it's complete head-banging mayhem and absolutely terrific, complete with a Dunn melodic solo and is, quite rightly, the second single.

Intensity is the key word here with the fast and furious Metal anthem 'Metal We Bleed' and the black Satanic dark riffs of 'Blood Stained'. Equally intense and exciting is the rapid-fire Metal head-banger 'Time To Die' and the heavy, powerful riffing of 'I Kneel To No God'. In fact, I only found one song ('Forged In Hell') less than inspiring on this album such is the high standard of writing and playing, as Dunn has channelled his inner-Tony Iommi as well as writing the lyrics, with every other song having its merits, including the hard and fast 'Black 'N' Roll' that namechecks a number of Venom's peers and classics.

The pièce-de-résistance though is 'Dein Fleisch' ('Your Flesh') – not a typical Venom number but it's so good that Nuclear Blast insisted on it being the first single. Moody and intense, it's like an Eli Roth movie set to music and has enough of a head-banging anthemic nature to become a classic!

Old-school Metal heads and Power Metal aficionados will love this album because it is, quite simply, magnificent!

Carl Buxton

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