Alright – we know that ABADDON, DEMOLITION MAN and MANTAS have kept the Black Flame burning, and have restored and maintained the VENOM legacy with their blistering concerts all over this damned planet since 2015. But performing the VENOM classics live with such V power and precision is one thing – what could this band deliver in the way of a brand-new studio album in 2017??
Well, the obvious answer is: They have delivered a fuckin‘ proper VENOM record! Lay Down Your Soul To The Gods Black 'n' Roll!!
Avé is, in true VENOM tradition, a mix of innovation, revolution and evolution – it has a fantastic variation of songs, but stays true to the spirit of VENOM. A cool and creepy intro brings us onto the first track Avé Satanas, a song that could have been on any classic VENOM album from Black Metal to Resurrection.
Forged In Hell and the anthemic Metal We Bleed follow, both are high energy in-your-face Metal Monsters. Next up is two tunes that could perhaps be considered rather different for a V album, but both work fine. Dein Fleisch starts in a way which reminds me of Sisters Of Mercy, and is a very atmospheric tune. This was released as the first single of the album, and as a stand-alone listen, it probably caught some people off-guard, as it does not sound like what you would expect a typical V track to sound. But it fits in nicely with the overall flow of the album. As does Blood Stained, a heavy track that also expresses some serious melody.
Time To Die is a real snorter, a classic VENOM speedster that perhaps could have been on the Cast In Stone album. The Evil Dead is another real mover. Preacher Man is a very decent tune, but may be the weakest track on the album. War would get everyone in the mood for killing with it’s Venomous aggression.
I Kneel To No God starts with an absolutely sensational riff, dark and heavy and so classic VENOM. The album’s final track is Black ‘n’ Roll, which pays homage to all the great Rock and Metal songs from through the years, and I’m guessing that it is also a nod to classic Motörhead and a tribute to Lemmy.
Avé features strong performances from all. THE DEMOLITION MAN sounds mega on this album, to these ears the best he has ever sounded on any album. MANTAS’ songwriting and solo’s are as spot on as they ever were (as is his backing vocals, which are a constant factor on classic VENOM songs), and ABADDON still proves how crucial he was to the VENOM sound, and offers a hugely varied and enjoyable performance on this album.
The album sounds great, and it looks absolutely superb. An awesome cover, great layout and available in a variety of CD and coloured vinyls. One other thing I should mention here is that after I listened to the album about 20 times, I checked for the first time the album length, and was very surprised to discover it is over 1 hour long. It seems so much shorter when you are listening to it, a hugely enjoyable Venomous listen.
At the time of writing these words, I have only heard one song from the album played live. The track was Avé Satanas, and we witnessed it when VENOM Inc played it at the recent Sylak Festival in France. It sounded fuckin' awesome, and has got us really looking forward to hearing many of these new songs live!
As someone who followed VENOM since the very first moment I picked up Welcome To Hell around 35 years ago, it sure does feel awesome to finally get a proper VENOM record again. All hope had seemed lost this last 10 years, but MANTAS, THE DEMOLITION MAN and ABADDON have stepped up to the Black Alter and delivered onto us an album that we Legions can be proud of. I won’t be so patronising to anyone reading this to write that this is the best album since Black Metal, etc, which certain fangirls seem to remark with every release.... but I will say that this is one awesome VENOM album that deserves to be enjoyed on it’s own merits. THE DEMOLITION MAN, ABADDON and MANTAS have gave us back our VENOM. I’ve said this before, but to close I will say again:
!!! They hAvé returned !!!
Words: JP - August 2017
MANTAS - THE DEMOLITION MAN - ABADDON
!! The Black Metal Gods are BACK !!
The new VENOM Inc album “Avé” - The first singles , entitled “Avé Satanas” and “Dein Fleisch”, can be streamed now via the Nuclear Blast YouTube channel