Oh no, not them again. That was my first thought as I heard from the upcoming comeback record (yawn...) Their last records "Cast In Stone" and "Resurrection" were without doubt good stuff, but if we are honest: Is that VENOM how we want to hear them??? Where is the crazy, chaotic triplet Cronos, Mantas und Abaddon? The guitar-tormentor, which never hit a right note and the drummer, whose timing problems are legendary. Okay Cronos is still on board, VENOM wouldn't work without his proletic voice. Also on board are the guitarist Mike Hickey (alias Mykvs), who has been with the band since 1986 and after this he belongs to CRONOS solo band and on the drums Cronos’ brother Antton. Mantas is now doing Techno (he was on stage with SCOOTER last) und Abaddon was never a songwriter.
What should I say, the old sound is back again. It sounds like it's trimmed too old, the production sounds more lo-tech than hi-tech. The British guys have turned an uncounted number of crosses, pentagrams and he-goats upside down, so at this time they only turned around the title of their legendary band-classic "Black Metal". So the new record is called "Metal Black". And it catapults you right back to the time were VENOM still ruled. Songs like "Antechrist" or "Burn In Hell" should give every Metalhead around 35 a long lasting smile in his face. Most of the songs on this record truly belong to the best stuff, which VENOM fabricated since "At War With Satan".
Unfortunately there are 3 songs on "Metal Black", which are absolute bullshit. I don't need songs like "Death & Dying" (the title is program!) or the boring Nu-Metal sound like "House Of Pain" and the "lullaby" “Darkest Realm". But the rest has a high hit potential. The title track, for example, sounds like a heavy version of "Black Metal" from 1981 with more power and blastbeats. "Blessed Dead" is a stomping meanie or "Rege Satanas" is a vicious beast directly from hell. They haven't forgotten how it works. It’s great to have you back, guys. Now you need to come to Germany and let the old show live on again. Cuult......! (Online May 22, 2006)