Venom - Metal City (DVD)
Cherry Red
12 songs (58:00)
Release year: 2008
Official Venom Website
Reviewed by Jeff

Does anyone ever recall the saying, "never judge a book by it's cover"? Well, I'd like to change that to "never assume what you see on the front of something is what you will actually get on the inside"!

By the above I mean this. The DVD title Venom Metal City is quite misleading. If you were to go to a store and see this DVD on the shelf without looking on the back of it, you would rightfully assume that you were buying a Venom DVD. Some online sites include the following information regarding this DVD:

"This Venom collection features selections from the early years - and early incarnations - (1979 - 1985) of one of the best black/thrash/speed metal bands of all time. In the first half of the Eighties, Venom cut their three most influential ... Full Descriptionalbums - Welcome To Hell, Black Metal and At War With Satan - as a power trio in the Motorhead mould. Both as a part of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement and as precursors of thrash metal, Venom were as influential as any British metal band of their era. The DVD not only contains backstage and pastiche pieces of the band at home in and around Newcastle, it also contains the full 'Making Of' film produced when the video for Nightmare was being shot. A selection of live concert shoots and video clips makes this a must for any collector of a genre, pioneered by Venom and very few others".

The truth of the matter is that Venom Metal City only contains twenty five percent of Venom material. Venom Metal City is a split DVD between Venom as well as other NWOBHM bands like Saracen, Avenger and Warfare. My "assumption" is that the distributor of this DVD decided to title it with Venom on the front because they are the biggest band of the four and would use that as a tool to sell more of these DVD's.. The other three did not have the kind of following or success that Venom had, are lesser known and were riding the coattails of many of the premier NWOBHM bands like Venom as well as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Motorhead.

Venom Metal City is about an hour long and contains twelve videos, (three by each band and presented in no particular order), mixed in with some behind the scenes footage material. Most of this material I found to be quite boring and unnecessary. Some of it includes Neat records employees working, footage shots of the city, bands on their way to shoot the videos, discussions between band members, directors, road crew, etc. before the videos were actually shot, etc.. It's also difficult to understand what some of the people are saying as their British accents are very thick. There are no subtitles by which to follow along with the dialogue.

Out of the four bands, Venom seems to have the best production values as far as the videos. It seems the record label treated them pretty well and supported them the most. You see Mantas and Abaddon travelling in some pretty expensive cars to a nice mansion and Cronos riding a horse. They also have a pretty impressive stage set up for their videos; stacks of Marshall amps, big drum set, nice guitars, lasers, explosions, etc. The Seven Gates of Hell and Witching Hour are just videos of Venom playing on stage with the music from their albums over dubbed into the performance. I would consider Nightmare more of a video. It mixes in the band performing on a stage while some actors perform a storyline that is tied to the lyrics within the song. The quality of the videos is ok. It looks as if they were cleaned up a bit.

Then we go from one extreme to the next. The band Warfare has the lamest videos on this DVD to compliment their horrible musicianship. Some of videos were filmed in a small room. The footage switches off between group shots of the band playing their instruments and shots of the drummer just by himself, standing with a black background behind him while singing into a mic. You never see the drummer singing while all three are playing together. Their sound is pretty raw and can best be described as a poor man's Motorhead.

I actually found the inclusion of Saracen on this DVD to be quite a odd. I never heard this band's music until I watched this DVD. Their sound is much more melodic and poppier than the other three bands. They actually use keyboards. I have to compare them to an 80's styled Jefferson Starship. I found their music to be quite enjoyable to the point that I searched for some of their albums online. While the quality and production values of their music is very good, their videos were very low budget. All of them were shot in what looks like a very small room in a club or something with some people in the crowd. Once again, the music is overdubbed to a lip synched performance. In the video, We Have Arrived, Saracen includes some hot scantily clad half naked chicks dancing and running around.

Avenger is the fourth band and their music is similar to Iron Maiden, but nowhere near as good or memorable. One of their videos shows the band in a junkyard with someone smashing widows and stuff while the band headbangs on. As with all the videos, the band lip syncs to an album track.

Overall, Venom Metal City is a waste of time and money. The videos really don't offer much other than a good laugh and a chance to catch a piece of early eighties NWOBHM memorabilia, which ironically is mostly forgettable.


Killing Songs :
The Seven Gates of Hell, Witching Hour, Nightmare, We Have Arrived
Jeff quoted no quote
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 - Hell reviewed by Jeff and quoted 66 / 100
Venom - Metal Black reviewed by Jeff and quoted 84 / 100
Venom - MMV reviewed by Jeff and quoted no quote
To see all 9 reviews click here
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