Venom - Metal Black
Heavy Thrash Metal
14 songs (57:06)
Release year: 2006
Official Venom Website, Sanctuary
Reviewed by Jeff
Major event

Ladies and gentleman....They have finally returned! From the very depths of Hell.........VENOM!

Yes! After a six year hiatus, (no thanks to the near fatal rock climbing accident Cronos suffered), the long awaited follow up to 2000's "Resurrection" album is now here!.Venom is back with "Metal Black"!

The unholy trinity of Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon is no more. Cronos felt that the musical direction Mantas and Abaddon were heading in was different from the one he intended for Venom. Cronos wanted to recapture the feeling of early albums like "Welcome To Hell", "Black Metal", "At War With Satan" and "Possessed". Cronos decided it was time for him to take the goat by the horns and reinvent Venom's own original style; a style that he believes was lost on the last few albums. In order for him to accomplish this, he recruited axe shredder Mike Hickey, aka Mykvs. Mykvs played on all three Cronos solo albums as well as Venom's "Calm Before The Storm" album. In addition, Cronos once again called upon the drumming services of his brother Antton, who made his Venom debut on the "Resurrection" album. The end result is an album that harkens back to the writing style of the '80s Venom with a powerful production to incinerate any sound system. The music is truly demonic in every sense of the word and is delivered with the likes of a charging beast! When you hear the opening notes of "Antechirst", you know that this line up is serious and means business!

"Metal Black" was mixed at the Townhouse Studios in London and contains fourteen new songs. From a production standpoint, this album is much rawer when compared to that on "Resurrection". The intensity of the songs on "Metal Black" is incredible! "Metal Black" was recorded as a live band and is a testament that Venom keeps getting stronger. The drums are not as heavy sounding but the playing is still very pummeling. The double bass drum kicks have a mean stab to them and the snare is tight! Antton's drumming provides a ferocious edge to the songs. His style of playing gives Venom's music some diversity as well because of his ability to mix and execute various drum patterns effortlessly ("Death and Dying"). I feel the bass guitar of Cronos is a bit loud and slightly over powers the rhythm guitar of Mykvs. Then again, the tone of the rhythm guitar is not much higher than that of the bass guitar. The rhythm guitar seems layered, similar to the way Zakk Wylde's would sound. Mykvs is a very talented lead guitar player who has alot of flashy guitar solos ("Hours of Darkness"), helping expand Venom's abilities where they were once limited. Cronos's vocals are not as high as they used to be. He is singing in a much lower octave these days, sounding gruff and slow at times ("House of Pain", "Darkest Realm"), almost like later day Gene Simmons. However, the songs are very aggressive, angry and as heavy as ever. Also, what would a Venom album be without songs that contain Satanic references like "Antechrist", "Burn In Hell", "Rege Satanas" and "Lucifer Rising"?

I must admit that my expectations for "Metal Black" were very high. However, this album falls a tad short of what I expected and will take several listens in order to be fully appreciated. I still feel this album was well worth the wait and has managed to bring back some feelings of the early 80's styled Venom. Even though this is one of the best Venom line ups from the musician standpoint, their is a certain magic that is still missing because of the absence of members like Mantas and Abaddon.

"Metal Black" is sure to be a contender for a spot on my top 15 of 2006. "Metal Black" will be released by Sanctuary Records in Germany on 3/24/06, in Europe on 3/27/06 and in the US on 4/4/06 .



Killing Songs :
Burn In Hell, Rege Satanas, A Good Day To Die, Assassin, Lucifer Rising, Blessed Dead, Hours of Darkness, Sleep When I'm Dead, Malevicarvm
Jeff quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Venom that we have reviewed:
Venom - From the Very Depths reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Venom - Black Metal reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
Venom - Metal City (DVD) reviewed by Jeff and quoted no quote
Venom - Hell reviewed by Jeff and quoted 66 / 100
Venom - MMV reviewed by Jeff and quoted no quote
To see all 9 reviews click here
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