Review Summary: I was impressed, to say the least.
What are Venom known for? Well, they coined the phrase "Black Metal", they're one of the godfathers of the genre, not to mention the godfathers of extreme metal. So Venom are pretty famous right? They must be up there with some of the greats! Right? Wrong
. Venom may not be Iron Maiden, Opeth, or even Celtic Frost, but they are a great band.
At War With Satan, one of their early releases, is a great album, mainly because of the twenty minute title track epic. Now, I first heard this on tape in a van that my dad was driving while his car was in the shop getting repaired. He grabbed a bunch of tapes(Slayer's Reign In Blood, Suicidal Tendencies' self-titled, and others) that basically changed my life. If not for cassette tapes, I'd be listening to Zeppelin everyday. One of these tapes was Venom's At War With Satan, a heavy and epic heavy metal roller-coaster that I greatly enjoyed.
This album begins with the twenty minute title track, an epic roller-coaster ride of pure metal with almost no dull moments. While listening to this, I kept waiting for the next track, but it's hard to tell when the track changes with a car tape player that doesn't tell you the info. After sitting for about twelve minutes, I had no idea that all of this was one song. The vocals were good and not too growly. The track was fast and thrashy with no stopping points whatsoever. The musicianship was not spectacular at all, but it was still all very impressive. The guitars were loud and thrashy, and the drums were fast. The bass, however, simply just blended in with the guitars and drums. The song kept going on and on, and when the track was over, I had been blown away. I was sure that there would be another great epic next, but I was wrong. The next songs aren't too long at all, but are still impressive and fast metal songs, carrying all of the good elements of the title track. The song titles, however, are mildly stupid. "Woman" and "Women, Leather and Hell" are retarded song titles to say the least, but they fit with the content of the songs themselves. "Genocide" is a great track, with elements of the epic "At War With Satan", but it has a short length. However, the track is still impressive and heavy. While I was listening to this, I noticed something: This is a fun album. With song titles such as "Aaaaargghh", we know that these guys must not be afraid to be mildly stupid. The musicianship isn't overly complex, and it's not so dark and heavy to the point of annoying me.
One of my main complaints though, is that all of the songs, except the title track of course, have very small lengths. But, that does not stop this from being a great metal album. Slayer's Reign In Blood is a classic, and the longest track on that masterpiece(Perhaps "classic" would be more appropriate?) is five minutes long. This is short, fast, thrash metal, and that is all it is meant to be.
So, all in all, Venom's third album, 1983's At War With Satan, is not a classic, but it is still a fun and fast thrash metal album fused with speed metal and black metal. The vocals are impressive and not too growly and screaming(like early Trivium). The guitar and drums are fast and loud, and they go right along with the song and fit perfectly. The twenty minute "At War With Satan" is a classic track that will simply blow you away. This is an insanely enjoyable album, and a good album to start with if you're interested in thrash metal I suppose. I don't exactly know if this is very accessible, but if you can find it, buy it, because how much could it be? Six dollars?
+ Fast musicianship that flows
+ Vocals aren't too screaming or dinosaur-ish(RAWR!)
+ Title track is classic
- Song titles
- Short length of songs, besides the title track
- Bass isn't spectacular