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Venom Inc | ‘Ave’


We live in a fractured world.

No longer are we content with a band trotting the boards with one original member, now we need a rival band made up of former members: witness the rise of Entombed AD, The Accused AD, X-SLF, Flag, I Am Morbid and Venom Inc.

Of course, there are a variety of reasons for this sudden outburst in dissident bands (money, desire to stick two fingers up at ex band leader, nostalgia) and it hasn’t always been the most dignified (witness the Morbid Angel/I Am Morbid debacle).

When it’s come to recording new material, it becomes tricky.

Most haven’t attempted it for obvious reasons, and the ones that have swiftly embarrassed themselves by churning out “old man yelling at cloud” type music (see X-SLF).

And then Venom Inc entered the arena.

Essentially the line up that recorded ‘Prime Evil’, ‘Temples of Ice’ and ‘The Waste Lands’, Venom Inc have been winning plaudits all across the board for being a much better representation of what Venom are about then the Cronos led incarnation that can be found playing festivals.

The main problem here is that singer/bassist Tony Dolan (who replaced Cronos for the above LP’s), was never the most charismatic or deranged front man in the world. And the material from this incarnation wasn’t the strongest either.

So have they made amends?

Moronic Title

‘Ave Satanas’ begins with the obligatory “ascending into heaven” muzak before the (of course) distorted, satanic voice proclaims that seems to reference Kierkegaard.

Then we get a doomy backdrop of guitar, bass and drums which plod along for eight minutes. There’s nothing exciting about it, no sense of urgency when listening. Just a dull, midtempo number that takes forever to make no point.

Then ‘Metal We Bleed’ (what a moronic title) comes along and actually perks you up. Nice speedy riff, Dolan’s building scream is great and the fist pumping chorus is genuinely enjoyable.

Other songs that follow in this vein come in the shape of ‘Time to Die’, ‘Black n Roll’ and ‘The Evil Dead.’ These are the songs that closely resemble the classic Venom formula.

And while they’re obviously not a patch on the classics, they are headbanger friendly and would be better heard in the live arena, as the plastic production hampers them somewhat.

Sterile

This sterile production is a problem, as well as the fact that too much of the record is devoted to slow/midtempo numbers along the lines of ‘Ave Satanas.’

Not only do they lack any sense of power or atmosphere, they also lack any real purpose. With songs that length and of that pace, the listener should be taken on a journey throughout the song.

Take ‘I Kneel to No God’ as an example.

If written with a bit more imagination, the listener could be sucked into a musical tale about a solitary individual and their stance against religion, society and God himself (almost in the vein of Oliver Reed’s Urbain Grandier in The Devils).

Instead, we get a bland soup of nothingness, with repetitive riffing with no sense of urgency, plastic sounding drums that sound tinny as hell without the bass behind it and a chorus that is a complete let down.

So, four half decent songs and seven insipid ones. Not a great result for Venom Inc. The last Venom album had around six good songs.

Dolan, Abaddon and Mantas need to up their game for next time, or risk being the new X-SLF.

1.5 / 5 – Christopher Owens ::: 10/08/17



4 Comments
  1. A 1.5/5 review is beyond harsh in fact its borderline…. “moronic”! Compared to M:Pire Of Evil (Mantas and Tony’s previous incarnation) this release is leaps and bounds an improvement in terms of production and songs/riffs. Of course its early days but to these ears its sounding more than solid enough if you’re a fan of the Prime Evil era Venom line-up.

  2. At this point I am not entirely sure what anyone can expect from a band of this vintage. The live lineup is fierce, one of the best old guard shows I have seen in a while and totally outdone everything at NWOBHM HRH last year. Itll be good to hear some new material but not essential.

  3. Reckon you must’ve been listening to a different album than the one I got. Ferocious riffing throughout, many nods to various ‘classic’ venom tracks from their entire catalogue. Those that featured Mantas of course, which in all fairness is really the only Venom one needs. Don’t get the production issue either to be honest. Sounds as good as I hoped it might. Tony Dolan has never sounded better, Abbadon too. It’s unnecessary to draw comparisons I know…but almost inevitable when talking about Venom/Venom Inc . Well, they may have stuck an Inc. after the name but make no mistake this is Venom. Cronos’ tribute band can stick to festivals, mostly playing the songs that Mantas wrote. In my opinion of course.

  4. thefamilyghost Says:

    That last comment was mine all mine….but hadn’t put in my user name….so here it is again

    Reckon you must’ve been listening to a different album than the one I got. Ferocious riffing throughout, many nods to various ‘classic’ venom tracks from their entire catalogue. Those that featured Mantas of course, which in all fairness is really the only Venom one needs. Don’t get the production issue either to be honest. Sounds as good as I hoped it might. Tony Dolan has never sounded better, Abbadon too. It’s unnecessary to draw comparisons I know…but almost inevitable when talking about Venom/Venom Inc . Well, they may have stuck an Inc. after the name but make no mistake this is Venom. Cronos’ tribute band can stick to festivals, mostly playing the songs that Mantas wrote. In my opinion of course.

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