Review Summary: This is a return to form for Venom and their most successful album since 1983's At War With Satan.Background info:
Venom was formed in late 1979 in Newcastle, England. The band is represented many metal styles like Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, early Black Metal and NWOBHM. In 1982 they published one of their best and most influential albums, Black Metal
. There's no end to the list of successful bands that Venom had influenced with that album. Venom had a few good releases after that but the quality diminished and Venom were beginning to slowly fade away by 1992, Venom did try to make a comeback, then with Abaddon
, in 1998 with Cast In Stone
. While it had a better production than before, the songs were just weak and unmemorable. But with Metal Black, that most certainly is not the case.
Cronos: Vocals and bass guitar
The year is 2006. At first I thought that if Venom really wanted to commemorate their 25 year anniversary of Black Metal, then they really should have done it with original line-up but I guess it didn't work out that way. Cronos
and his new line up of Venom, consisting of Mykvs
formerly of the british doomsters Cathedral
, is showing up with an album that is perhaps in top three of 2006 and a fantastic comeback. Venom said that they were going back to their roots with their new release and they kept their promise.
This is a return to form for Venom and their most successful album since 1983's At War With Satan
. So, how good is it? Well, The sound in the fourteen tracks of this album leads us back to the beginning of the eighties when the Black Metal genre was first invented and Venom were at the top where no one could touch them.
Energetic, heavy, fast, overflowing fury in all its notes, "Metal Black" is a great disc. Accompanied by Mykvs (guitar), his brother Antton (drums), Cronos uses wisdom with the experience provided by years of playing metal on the road from the the music made on their earlier classic albums and through past influences (Motörhead) and current influences of his (seen on this album as fine tuned guitars in lower shades and tones) and making it clear to the public that Venom were truly kings of black metal and are back to raise hell again.
At first I hated the fact that both Mantas
were absent, but the musicianship on Metal Black
is so damn tight that it really doesn't matter. Anton
do a fantastic job of filling their predecessor's shoes here, and the production is equally as well fitting. Clear enough to make out all instruments which was not too easy before on a Venom record. "Burn In Hell", "Sleep When I'm Dead", "Death & Dying", "Antechrist"
and the title track are killer metal tracks. Actually there really are no fillers here, even though some songs don't tend to stick out as well as the others.
Metal Black songs:
A great start! Takes me back to "Black Metal"The drums are perfect, Cronos' vocals are really aggressive! Probably the best song on this album.
2)"Burn in Hell":
A really great guitar solo.
3)"House of Pain":
This is not a bad song but a bit repetitive because is all based on the same riff.
4)"Death & Dying":
One of the songs that strikes me at the first listening. Directly from hell!
Another good song. The riffing is heavy as hell itself.
7)"A Good Day to Die":
The guitar work in this song is crazy! Aweosme solo in the middle of the song.
This is not a very original song and it's rather repetitive, Cronos' voice is aggressive & rough. Pretty good.
Another song essentially based on the same riff. this is not one of my favourite songs.
A perfect mix between a "thrash" rhythm and "death" accellerations!
11)"Hours of Darkness":
Nothing Great but a good song.
12)"Sleep When I'm Dead":
It seems a pneumatic hammer. Not fast but really heavy. Maybe the drummer plays with 2 clubs!
Another heavy track!!!!
An ending in grand style! Fast as a shark....evil as satan.....is Metal Black!
If you're a fan of Venom and especially their first three classics, then Metal Black will satisfy your metal needs and the most interesting prospect about Metal Black isn't that they're back, it's what will they do next?
4/5 for Metal Black!