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Venom – Black Metal (1982)

November 6, 2015

intotheblackslate

exemplary artwork by sarca @ caughtmegaming

Into the Black Artist #1: Venom

(Dedicated to HMO!)

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[Album 433/1001]

Future Top 5 list: Top 5 eccentric recurring TV characters.

For such a list, Richmond from the IT Crowd would surely be a contender.

The man whose life changed upon hearing Cradle of Filth:

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Now “The Filth” are not on the 1001 but I gather they were among the countless bands influenced by Venom.

Would Venom be my Cradle of Filth? Would I be similarly transformed upon hearing Black Metal? Am I the new Richmond?

As it turns out, none of the above.

But even if I haven’t undergone a major style/lifestyle transformation à la Richmond, I like Venom!

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To metal fans, the comparison may seem ludicrous, but my Black Metal experience reminded me of my Ace of Spades immersion.220px-Venomblackmetal

Both were power trios featuring a bassist lead singer, growling over fast fretwork & frantic drumming.

Each opened with a terrific, urgent title track and each opener ended abruptly (and terrifically).

Now I can’t say I relate to 100% of the lyrics on either, nor have I led any Black Metal family sing-alongs (yet) at the dinner table.

Family sing-alongs of Ace of Spades did happen growing up however, or at least the chorus when the card in question was played during a card game!

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As I said. metal fans may bristle at the Motörhead/Venom comparison.

After all, Lemmy & friends tend to be classified as ‘speed metal’ and it appears Venom might be more extreme/black/thrash metal.

The wikipedia page on extreme metal is particularly particular regarding genres.  As a visual arts fan I thought, hey, this might make a neat flowchart.  Alas, I found I was exhausted just scrolling through the list.

But as my blogging colleague Bruce sagely reminded me recently, it is the fans & critics that obsess over classifications.  Musicians make music.

Save yourself the exhaustion of trying to figure out what specific categorization of metal Venom produced here.

Stick to enjoying the energizing music instead.

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From → 1980s

32 Comments
  1. Bizarrely, Cradle of Filth are playing near me soon and a work chum and I were discussing going to see them today.

    I’m not a huge fan of this ‘un although I can see its historical importance – I shelved my LP of it off onto the first gullible idiot I came across.

  2. I may have mentioned it before but I have a real thing for Jen from IT Crowd. (sighs)

  3. Zack permalink

    I saw Cradle of Filth at Ozzfest 2003. They were a pretty amazing band. I’m thinking about checking them out in Cleveland when they come around next year.
    I still haven’t ever gotten into Venom.

  4. Venom ….they were a staple at times on the Pepsi Power Hour(Much Music) in the mid 80s. Myself and Tbone used to watch there videos and would comment to the fact that we were watching a version of Thrash Metal Spinal Tap before our eyes! Venom were way Outta our league heavy! But amusing to watch…..

  5. I don’t think anyone would balk at the Motorhead comparison. It’s definitely what they sounded like. Their Black Metal influence really just came down to their extremity, image and the album title. But you don’t really get a black metal sound until Bathory come along. But Venom are awesome and waayyy more influential than just about any metal band you could think of. A big influence on all of extreme metal, not just the black stuff.

    • And thanks for the dedication!

    • It was interesting to read that they seem to be at the top of many evolution of metal flowcharts – I’m pleased to have heard it!

      • I think they were like punk’s ‘Year Zero’ for metal! Nothing was the same after them. And cause they couldn’t play very well that helped too. A lot of people must have heard them and thought “I can do that!”

      • Love this comment – it’s got me thinking about ‘year zero’ for other styles.
        Interesting how some music might inspire people to play, like Eddie Van Halen in ’78, “how does he do that? I’ve gotta try” and others, maybe like Venom, “that sounds do-able, I gotta try!”

      • Good food for thought! I guess you get different types of influence. I guess the EVH influence extends to people that can play already – “I better up my game!” Venom… not so much haha! But I think they had an influence that is more to do with their attitude, approach and ethos than the actual music (much as I love it)

  6. Fact: When JD (John) Roberts used to be the host of the Power Hour (BEFORE it was the Pepsi Power Hour), he claimed his favourite metal band was Venom. And they played Venom for him on his last show.

    This was a cool, unexpected post.

    • It’s funny, he was just before my time on Muchmusic (I started watching in ’92) – so I know him from CNN, neat to see old videos of him on youtube!
      And at one point it was the ‘Coca-Cola countdown’ – looks like they had the oligopoly of soft drinks as corporate sponsors!
      Thanks Mike, the nice thing about the 1001 list is that you can always expect the unexpected. One day Venom, the next Joni Mitchell *spoiler alert*

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