Venom
Black Metal


3.5
great

Review

by Priestmetal USER (20 Reviews)
September 21st, 2005 | 64 replies


Release Date: 1982 | Tracklist


Venom was formed in 1979 when drummer Abbadon and guitarist Mantas met at a Judas Priest concert (Hell ya!!!). Eventually, their initial singer and bassist left the band and Cronos joined. This album, Black Metal, was the album that initiated the black metal movement. From my understanding, black metal is simply heavy metal but with a slightly darker sound and with lyrics that pertain to evil and Satanism (someone correct me if there is more to it than that). This sub genre is still relatively popular today and this album is still talked about. Why would such an album still be remembered after 20+ years? Well, I donít listen to black metal but Iím assuming that this is like THE definitive album of the genre. After all, the genre was named after this album. Putting the whole influence of the album aside, I must add that Black Metal, the album, is way ahead of its time. Although released in 1982, before any thrash band had released an LP, many songs on the album are extremely fast paced. In addition, the general sound is very raw and slightly reminiscent of early punk. I would describe it as evil sounding Motorhead. The songs are relatively short (most under 4 minutes) and there is little variety in the song writing. Yet, the raw aggression, the satanic and evil lyrics and pretty poor production seem to charm the listener and make him or her say, ďHey, this is catchy".

The band:

Cronos: Vocals, bass
Mantas: Guitars
Abbadon: Drums

Despite the mysterious appeal that this album possesses, I have to make some quick negative points. First of all, the production is poor. As the tracks play, you can almost hear someone screaming over the unclean sound, ďThis was recorded on a low budget". To make matters worse, the instruments are out of tune on some tracks. The cheap sound, plus the sound of dissonant chords being blasted is a dirty mixture. Also, Cronos canít sing at all. Iím not saying that his growling half singing half talking sounds bad, (It fits the music perfectly) but it might turn down some listeners. In addition, fans of technical music will probably dislike this because no band member displays particularly good musicianship at any moment. They simply do exactly what they are meant to, which is to rock out and make us headbang. Yet, the songs themselves are mostly quite excellent. They are simple, heavy, fast, and lyrically provocative. As I mentioned, not technically brilliant, but excellent in their own ways. For example, To Hell and Back consists mainly of one riff and a few fills. But, the song is awesome!!! The simple heavy triplets, along with Cronosí raspy growls make an excellent combination. Also, the chorus to Sacrifice is brilliant with Cronos repeating ďSACRIFICE". In addition, Cronosí lyrics are quite entertaining and well thought of and are not just ď Satan rules hell, die by his hand and drink the virgins blood", or any stereotypical Satan loving metal band. They are just evil enough to make you think that itís cool but not extreme enough to make you laugh and say itís cheesy. I would go far enough to say that some of his lines are quite anthem like and memorable such as, ďLay down your soul to the gods rock N roll" or ďWeÖ WillÖ Raise the Dead". The guitar riffs are all pretty basic but are heavy enough to make you bang your head and play air guitar. The drumming, although not astounding, does its job well. Abbadon delivers some quite fast double pedal beats. All in all, my description of this albumís sound would be a mixture of NWOBHM with a foreshadowing of thrash, a small hint of punk, and an almost indescribable darkness that probably echoes through every black metal album that follows this one.

In conclusion, this album entertains me. I like every song, and donít find that there are any boring moments. The songs are short and do not drag on too long. Moreover, despite the similarity in song structure, no two songs really sound alike. Itís a rockiní good time through and through. For the influential side, I am sort of blocked because I am not an avid listener of black metal. I can only judge its importance by what Iíve heard people say and what Iíve read. Even though I can clearly see that it is ahead of itís time, it is hard for me to speak of its true importance to black metal music (besides the fact that they named the sub genre after this album).

Recommended tracks: Black Metal, To Hell and Back, Buried Alive, Sacrifice, Blood Lust.

Final rating: 3.5/5. Iím sure black metal listeners would give it more though.



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user ratings (467)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
sonictheplumber STAFF (4)
...

somberlain (4)
Quite simply one of the most important and influential albums in the history of metal....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Atticus 69320
September 21st 2005


49 Comments


I wouldn't call black metal "catchy." What kind of statement is that?

Priestmetal
September 22nd 2005


542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well I don't listen to other black metal like I said in my review but trust me some songs on this album are very catchy.

Aakon_Keetreh
September 23rd 2005


448 Comments


this cd is pretty awsome and flawless

Atticus 69320
October 20th 2005


49 Comments


how can black metal be catchy if its raw?

catchy and raw contradict each other; you dont hum a tune to a song without a tune.

innerdark
October 20th 2005


749 Comments


///

he does have a point

masada
October 20th 2005


2733 Comments


[quote=Atticus]how can black metal be catchy if its raw?[/quote] A lot of music can be raw and catchy (especially punk), so I don't really see your point at all.


innerdark
October 20th 2005


749 Comments


///

then again so does he

Priestmetal
October 20th 2005


542 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes it is raw and it IS catchy. And as Eliminator Jr said so is some punk.

NuMetalMania
January 17th 2006


325 Comments


Ive heard of thier drummer, apparently he is good. Apart from that this stuff goes back to far so i havnt heard any of it.

Jondur
January 18th 2006


92 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The drummer good? Well to be honest, he's rubbish. Sloppy and uncreative. But how does that affect whether its a good album or not.
This one gets 4.5 from me with At War With Satan getting 5.

Apocalyptic Raids
March 4th 2006


810 Comments


LAY DOWN YOUR SOUL TO THE GODS ROCK & ROLL

Eakflanderyof
March 16th 2007


2143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is definitive of first wave black metal, but it doesn't so much like second wave.This Message Edited On 08.31.08

Tyler
Emeritus
March 16th 2007


7926 Comments


A lot of the reason BM is associated with Satanism is because a lot of them claim to be satanists. That and a lot of bands come from the Mercyful Fate camp and well, you can figure out the rest.

Eakflanderyof
March 16th 2007


2143 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^ Yeah, that's true but even the black metal bands that simply claim to Paganism get lumped into the Satanism category.This Message Edited On 08.31.08

Hawks
March 26th 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is pretty bad. The only reason people like it is because its "the first Black Metal album." This is basically NWOBHM mixed with some Thrash Metal. If you're coming into this album expecting a full on Black Metal assault you're going to be dissapointed. This is just NWOBHM with satanic lyrics and imagery.

Eliminator
March 26th 2008


2067 Comments


The only reason people like it is because its "the first Black Metal album."
lol

Hawks
March 26th 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Do you agree with that?

combustion07
March 26th 2008


5420 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The vocals are bad on this.

Hawks
March 26th 2008


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just think this is bad as a whole. I only got this because Black Metal is my favorite genre and i wanted to check out where it supposedly got started. Very dissapointing.

masscows
March 26th 2008


2236 Comments


fuck off



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