VENOM’s reputation will always precede them. And although they are one of the most influential bands in the history of Metal, many people have forgotten about them since the 80s, despite the band putting out some great albums in the mean time. But with the dawning of the new millennium, VENOM was out for blood. Thusly, “Resurrection” was released – and it was taking VENOM to a whole new level.
This isn’t the VENOM that many of 80s fans are going to hear. “Resurrection” has the band moving away from their sloppy Blackened Thrash tone and towards a more structured Groovy Thrash style. And it works really well with the dark and foreboding atmosphere of the record. Riff heavy and sinister as ever, VENOM still carry their trademark tongue-in-cheek and very pissed off vibe for this record but a new focus on the structure of the music and overall heaviness pushes the band into modern times.
One aspect that might account for this is arrival of new drummer, Antton (or otherwise known as Antony Lant, the brother of lead singer/bassist Cronos). Antton is not only a more skilled drummer than the classic line-up drummer Abaddon, but he brings a new found energy and ferocity to the band that hasn’t been seen before. Combine his new talents to the ever advancing riffs and solos from Mantas and signature bass and grunting from Cronos and the band feels rejuvenated and at the top of their game.
But it’s not only the music and performances that impressed me with “Resurrection”. For the first time in VENOM’s career they have garnered a sleek and modern production style. And although in the 80s the raw rough and tumble production had its charm, this clean and tight production does them just as much justice for their new style. The production elevates the performances and tightens the fury that this album unfolds.
Many older fans are not going to like this album. It’s sleek, groovy (not missing the Thrash – just check out “Loaded”), and updated. Not something fans of “Welcome To Hell” may necessarily be fond of, but this album is still impressive, epic, and just plain awesome. The best the band has sounded in many years.
Songs to check out: “Vengeance”, “Loaded”, “Man, Myth, And Magic”.
(Online September 1, 2008)