It’s hard to believe it has been over 30 years since black metal masters Conrad “Cronos” Lant bass, Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn guitar and Anthony “Abaddon” Bray drums- collectively known as Venom released their seminal groundbreaking masterpiece Welcome to Hell in 1981. It, along with their black metal classics At War With Satan and the aptly titled Black Metal literally defined a whole new genre of music unlike anything heard before it.
To this day those albums are still held in the absolute highest regard in the annuals of metal history, essentially opening the floodgates for the wave of bands following in their trailblazing footsteps. Their newest blackened offering- From the Very Depths is the band’s fourteenth studio effort overall and is a stark reminder why.
Cronos says “The new album is perfect!” which in itself is enough, but if you need further reasons to buy it tracks like “Stigmata Satanas” and “Rise” are a trip through time to the old school values and sound of 2006’s Metal Black and their 80’s classic contemporaries that fans just can’t get enough of. Whereas title track “From the Very Depths,” “Grinding Teeth” and “Wings of Valkyrie” follow the musical direction of 2008’s Hell and 2011’s Fallen Angels.
The Motorhead-esque “Long Haired Punks” and the Static X tinged “Temptation” find the band exploring ever new facets of ever evolving sound, while “The Death of Rock N Roll” and “Mephistopheles” are driven by Cronos’ patented bulldozer bass and his unmistakable one of a kind vocals.
From resonating slow burners like “Smoke” and “Evil Law,” to the massive guitar hooks in “Crucified” there is something for fans of every era of this band to sink their venomous teeth into.
Here’s the bottom line- Buy it or your soul will be sent back From the Very Depths which it came where it will burn in hell for all eternity.
Rating: 8 out of 10