Long Live Wock 'n' Woll
- Jan 29, 2011
- Reaction score
- Reading, UK
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Venom Official Website
Welcome to Hell (1981)
Black Metal (1982)
At War with Satan (1983)
Calm Before the Storm (1987)
Prime Evil (1989)
Tear Your Soul Apart (EP) (1990)
Temples of Ice (1991)
The Waste Lands (1992)
Venom '96 (EP) (1996)
Cast in Stone (1997)
Metal Black (2006)
Fallen Angels (2011)
Taken from last.fm
Venom is a heavy metal band formed in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK in 1979.
Coming to prominence towards the end of the ‘New Wave of British Heavy Metal’, Venom’s first two albums – Welcome to Hell (1981) and Black Metal (1982) – are considered a major influence on thrash metal and extreme metal in general. Venom’s second album proved influential enough that its title was used as the name of an extreme metal subgenre: black metal.
Venom’s original personnel came from three different bands: Guillotine, Oberon and DwarfStar. The original Guillotine featured Jeffrey Dunn and Dave Rutherford on guitars, Dean Hewitt on bass guitar, Dave Blackman on vocals and Chris Mercaters on drums. Blackman and Mercater were replaced by drummer Anthony Bray and vocalist Clive Archer of Oberon and soon after, Dean Hewitt was replaced by Alan Winston on bass. Around the summer of 1979, Conrad “Cronos” Lant from the bands DwarfStar and Album Graecum replaced Rutherford. Around this time, the band adopted the Venom moniker.
Prime influences of the formative band were Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motörhead and KISS. Other bands cited by Venom as an inspiration are Queen, The Who, Deep Purple, Sex Pistols, Van Halen, The Tubes and The Rolling Stones.
A few days before a show at a local church hall, Winston left the band. To fill in, Lant borrowed a bass guitar from Steve Thompson (later to become Venom’s first producer). Playing the show with the borrowed bass plugged into his Marshall guitar amp and effects pedals, he created an unnerving racket and the ‘Bulldozer Bass’ was born.
Venom’s lyrics often featured Satanic references, and the band members took on new stage names. Archer became ‘Jesus Christ’, Lant ‘Mr. Cronos’, Bray ‘Tony Abaddon’, and Dunn ‘Jeff Mantas’.
In April 1980, the band recorded a three song disc, featuring “Angel Dust”, “Raise the Dead”, and “Red Light Fever”. Soon afterward, six more tracks were recorded for just £50, with Lant taking vocal duties on the song “Live Like an Angel”. Archer soon left the band, and Venom’s line-up became a trio.
Venom’s recording debut was the 1981 single “In League with Satan”/”Live Like an Angel” which was released by Neat Records. Later that year they released their full-length debut, “Welcome to Hell”.
Though crudely recorded with sometimes dubious musicianship, “Welcome to Hell” was still a remarkable tour de force for the era. Venom’s music was faster and harsher than most heavy metal contemporaries and while Satanism and other dark topics had been featured in metal before, the subject had rarely been more prominent. Lant was quoted as saying that this celebration of evil subjects was inspired by the perceived need to out-do musicians like Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath, who would ‘sing about evil things and dark figures, and then spoil it all by going “Oh No, No Please God help me!”’
Their second album, 1982’s “Black Metal” is cited as perhaps the most important influence in the development of black metal, thrash metal, death metal, and other related styles that are often grouped under the extreme metal umbrella. Many defining elements of these genres are first found in the lyrics and song titles created by Lant and his unique singing style as well as the guitar work and solos performed by Dunn. Though they would later be cited as important, neither of Venom’s first two albums sold well upon their original release. And while many of their British metal peers had found measures of popular success or critical acclaim (or, like Def Leppard, were moving away from metal towards hard rock), Venom were still regarded by critics as “a trio of buffoons”.
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My favourite blackened thrash metal band... how about you?
I've got their 3 first albums, At War With Satan was the first album I bought without listening to it before and it's brilliant!
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