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Venom – Metal Black

Label: Sanctuary Records
Format: CD
Released: 2006
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Ok, I know these guys are getting their balls busted for this attempt at recapturing "classic" Venom. One question is, and I agree, why name it "Metal Black" as you are obviously trying really hard to re live the magic found on "Black Metal". Another way Venom have tried to go back to their early days was the production of "Metal Black" as it is not as polished as "Resurrection" (although I do like that discs fullness). This album definitely has a rawer production with very brashy drums and choppy guitars while Cronos maintains his voice and bass tones and the guitar solos aren’t half bad given Venom were never known for their fretwork to begin with. The discs artwork also is part of the overall presentation of "Metal Black" as the pentagram and goats head adorn the cover although lyrically its not as blasphemous on say their debut "Welcome to Hell".


All these qualities are very noteable for the band’s efforts but a bit too forced, especially with the discs title. I think Venom would have gotten their points across if they were more subtle in their approach.

Anyway, aside from those comparisons musically they have relatively done a good job of retaining all their trademark qualities as Venom is known for sounding. Moments that bring me back to "Black Metal" (ex; 'Antechrist') are scattered amongst the songs but I hear more of "At War with Satan" and even "Resurrection" (ie; 'House of Pain') with 'Darkest Realm', 'A Good Day to Die'. What they did for 'Hours of Darkness' and 'Sleep When I’m Dead' to be pretty creative for a Venom arrangement.

Is this a return to "classic" Venom, maybe in some ways but how hard must it be to write and sound just as you did over 20 years ago.

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