VENOM – Metal Black

VENOM - Metal Black


Sanctuary Records
Release date: March 20, 2006

User Review
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This is the first full length release by the legendary band Venom since 2000 when Resurrection saw the light of day. The latter album also saw the band breaking up after a while due to the long running Cronos and Abaddon conflict. From this fight, Cronos was the winner and tried to keep the fire burning even though he had to recover from a serious climbing accident. Fortunately, Cronos has returned stronger than ever and after getting involved in the release of the very good compilation MMV (read the review by clicking here), he revived Venom, getting his brother Antton and Mykvs into the band. None of them are new to the band since they had worked with Venom in Resurrection and Calm Before the Storm, respectively.

So, the question is more than obvious; can Metal Black be considered to be the return of the “worst band of the world” that made such an impact back in the 80s, creating total musical chaos? Well, the Metal scene should be happy with Venom up and running again, because this release can definitely stand beside the last two albums and look in the eyes of both Black Metal and Welcome to Hell. Of course, comparisons to the aforementioned albums are completely pointless, since they were released at a completely different time period when Black and Thrash Metal were unknown music genres.

The opener, “Antechrist,” is an in-your-face thrasher, that draws the listener into Venom’s atmosphere. The sound production is raw, the bass guitar sounds great, and the guitar riffs and leads keep the tempo fast. “Burn in Hell” is going to be a classic, comprised of a catchy chorus and a very good guitar solo … something rare for a Venom album. Cronos’s distinct voice sounds better than ever in the mid-tempo “House of Pain,” which has a ton heavy guitar rhythm section.

Venom takes their music back to the basics via the thrashers “Death and Dying” and “Regé Satanas,” with classic lyrical clichés like “Satan calls you” and Cronos’s growls. The overwhelming bass guitar that was kept loud in the mix, and the unpolished sound of the drums create a solid-as-hell rhythm section, allowing Antton to really shine during “Darkest Realm,” with his guitar leads and licks.

The fact that Venom was a major influence for the Thrash Metal scene, is proven with the up-tempo songs “A Good Day To Die” and “Assassin,” causing bands like Exodus and Slayer come to mind. The low-tuned guitars and the raw drum sound may mislead some to think Venom are trying to establish a sound like that found in Metallica’s St. Anger, forgetting that two decades before it was completely the other way around.

The album continues in the same Thrash sound pattern with “Lucifer Rising,” the full of attitude “Blessed Dead,” “Hours of Darkness” with continued impressive guitar work, and the driving “Sleep When I’m Dead,” reminding the old and teaching the new some forgotten chapters from the History of Heavy Metal.

The Sabbath–esque rhythm guitars take you to the best album track entitled “Maleficarvm.” This was originally going to be the title of the album, but the record label said that it would be difficult to pronounce it so they choose Metal Black instead. The song is slow and heavy, creating an evil atmosphere in an epic way, with Cronos’s trademark voice to top things off. The album closes with the homonymous track that is fast and heavy; perfect for crowd-moshing and headbanging, while the classic Venom pyro-show creates its own form of hell on stage!

The album has the Venom logo in the cover that goes along with the music, stating that the beast is back from the “very depths of hell” in full force. Everyone should keep their eyes and ears open to learn about Venom’s arrival in town, because the Tour From Hell is about to commence!


  • Dr. Dimitris Kontogeorgakos

    Dimitris was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has a diploma in Physics, a Masters in Medical Physics and a doctorate dimploma in Nuclear Medicine (this is the reason for his Dr. title). He was given his first Heavy Metal tape at the age of 12 which was a compilation entitled Scandinavian Metal Attack. The music immediately drew his attention and there he was listening to the first Iron Maiden album, trying to memorize the names of the band members. That was it! After some years, he stopped recording tapes and started buying vinyl records, spending every penny in the local record shop. The first live concert he attended was Rage co-headlining with Running Wild.

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