VENOM INC. - Avé
August 18, 2017, a month ago
Seems like Venom's legions are split as to which version of the band currently treading the boards deserves attention. One listen to this release from the Mantas/Abaddon/Demolition Man Venom Inc. should settle the dispute but quick, pissing all over the recent recorded works of the Cronos-led version ... including the halfway decent From The Very Depths Of Hell from 2015. That said, things don't start out well on this new release, as the “Ave Satanas” opener proves to be a thoroughly unremarkable, plodding track over an elongated eight minutes. Get rid of this track, as well as the other two duff tracks (“Blood Stained” and “Preacher Man”) though and you're left with 40 minutes of prime evil Venom. “Forged In Hell”, “Metal We Bleed”, “Time To Die” and “The Evil Dead” will take you back to the Welcome To Hell and Black Metal hey days, where Venom birthed a new genre through sheer intensity, audacity and attitude. Meanwhile, “War” and “I Kneel To No God” at the tail end garner special attention, both propelled by great vocals of the Demolition Man, especially on the latter where his contempt for religion is palpable. Ave then ends off on a high note with the speedy “Black N Roll” referencing R'N'R Gods from Chuck Berry, to Led Zeppelin, to UFO, to AC/DC, to the mighty Sabbath.
Some may correctly point out that this doesn't meet the sheer violence of the new breed of black metallers like Tsjuder, Marduk or Merrimack, but that would be missing the point. This is unrepentantly old school blackness from which the genre was birthed by two members of this very band. If any band has the right to spew out this type of malevolence it is Venom Inc. Verdict - a damn fine album on par with this unit's Prime Evil release from way back in 1989. Welcome (back) to hell.