VENOM started in 1980 in Newcastle, where three madmen had the idea to play satanic Punk/Metal as it was never seen before… for their names, they chose pseudonyms of demons, that just fitted their concept. Cronos on vocals and bulldozer bass, Mantas on guitars and Abaddon on the drums, that was the original line-up and it’s still the only true VENOM band.
Their debut “Welcome To Hell” was plainly a noise orgy, which even shocked the strongest MOTÖRHEAD fans. It was more Punk than Metal indeed! But it still belongs today to the legendary cult works, whereby the follow-up “Black Metal” could even top that! Apart from that, the three guys created a term, which defined a whole genre: Black Metal! On this album are only hymns, the sound is rough and was rather of a demo level but that developed to a trademark of VENOM. The same goes for the rather amateurish handling of their instruments... The abnormal singing of Cronos was then the absolute highlight. An ingenious kind of primitivity, in that time totally unique and that magical flair made “Black Metal” to one of the most important records in Metal. As Black Metaller, you should know your roots...
I think, I don’t have to say much about the songs, everybody who doesn’t know classics like “Black Metal”, “Buried Alive” or “Countess Bathory” can’t be a Metalhead... their lyrics are not that serious, of course, but they are entertaining.
With “At War With Satan”, they later released the last cult work of VENOM, what then happened should be forgotten... unfortunately, I had never the chance to see VENOM live. Their great shows with many explosions and gimmicks are legendary. (Online April 30, 2004)