This version of Venom is not Venom, geddit? This is Venom Inc.
Yes, the three men playing on this album did have a few releases in the late 80s and early 90s as Venom, most notably the Prime Evil album, but due to the usual legal wrangling, here we are.
Mantas, Abaddon and Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan previously released a taster in the shape of album opener ‘Ave Satanas’, a dark and ominous tune as you should expect from this group although it does feel it goes on a little too long, with a run time just over eight minutes.
The band show a willingness to experiment almost straight away. ‘Forged in Hell’ is more of a traditional metal song with guitar harmonics made to hum along to, while ‘Metal We Bleed’ goes even harder and ramps up into thrash metal territory with Demolition Man sounding he’s lost the plot all the while holding the surrounding chaos down with a thudding bass tone.
The opening half of the album keeps on this upward trajectory with ‘Dein Fleisch’ and ‘Blood Stained’ bringing back a more modern metal feel ahead of the inevitable slow down. ‘Preacher Man’ is a hard rock ballad that feels slightly out of place with all the chaos either side of it, although it must be said that Mantas smashes the solo, lifting the song a little bit.
From here, Avé plays out the way it began, with Venom Inc. showing how they think it should be done, and doing a damn fine job of it, winding up with the brilliant ‘Black N’ Roll’ that purposefully owes a bit too much to Motorhead but feels like slipping on your favourite boots. Even under another moniker, this album would make the metal masses stand up and take notice. Ball’s in your court Mr. Cronos…
1. Ave Satanas
2. Forged In Hell
3. Metal We Bleed
4. Dein Fleisch
5. Blood Stained
6. Time To Die
7. The Evil Dead
8. Preacher Man
10. I Kneel To No God
11. Black N’ Roll