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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Venom

Resurrection

Review by Mike Korn

Not many bands can say they started a whole sub-genre of music but Venom is one. Almost 20 years ago, they were the darkest and heaviest metal band ever. They were black metal! But in the year 2000, the sound they have created has become even more evil and extreme, as practiced by bands like Deicide, Marduk and Krisiun. Where does that leave the originators? It leaves them with "Resurrection", an album that shows a different Venom than of old. It shows a Venom that is still very heavy, but definitely not as raw as the band that bashed out "Sons of Satan" and "Sacrifice". This is a Venom that has really musically advanced and that's not afraid of incorporating a few new tricks into their attack. Unfortunately, it also is a Venom that is not going to make anybody forget their glory days or the new guys on the block like those mentioned above. "Resurrection" is polished yet aggressive. The Mantas guitar solos are better than ever, and he has really come into his own. Cronos is still pretty gruff, but he does try to sing a little more...sometimes with unsuccessful results. New drummer Antton is a great replacement for the beloved (but lame) Abaddon. He really adds a lot of kick.

All in all, this is a good, but not great, LP. A mixed bag, really, but you can't accuse them of trying to relive their past. Even if that's really what their fans would prefer. The Venom lineup on this disc is: Cronos...bass guitar and lead vocals Mantas...guitars Antton...drums and percussion.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Resurrection
This is a slow, almost industrial sounding dirge that is really different. I didn't like it that much. It is too simple and too strange.
Vengeance
Now, this is more like it. It is good, aggressive metal with mid-paced power and Mantas shining on the mid-section.
War Against Christ
Another fast-paced track with a majestic mid-section that really kicks, the band really excel at this type of track.
All There Is Fear
Ugh! This is way too commercial sounding for these guys, with almost Ozzy type riffs and a more "normal" vocal from Cronos. Delete this one.
Pain
This makes up for the above track. It has loads of good double bass from Antton and a thrashy pace. Cool medium-paced riffs end the track with some spoken word vocals over them.
Pandemonium:
This has a galloping, very Black Sabbathish feel to it. The simple chorus is lame, (a common failing on the record), but there's yet another good solo section.
Loaded
Short and sweet, this one is fast yet almost commercial with catchy riffs. Simple-minded chorus again on this one.
Firelight
"Firelight" is very catchy and, again, bordering on almost too commercial. Still, that main riff is hooky and the lyrics are interesting.
Black Flame (of Satan):
A real good one, this has a very 80's thrash metal feel with an ominous tone to it. This one is most likely to appeal to their old fans.
Control Freak
The industrial influences return with sound effects and a stop-start style that almost conjured up Fear Factory. This is pretty heavy stuff.
Disbeliever
A good fast paced track with catchy riffs, unfortunately it has an infantile chorus.
Man, Myth And Magic
This one is not too different from "Disbeliever", but not as effective. Monotony begins to set in.
Thirteen
"Thirteen" sounds like yet another variation on "Disbeliever". The song is fast and heavy, but just yelling "Thirteeeeeen!" over and over is about the dumbest chorus I can think of.
Leviathan
More melodic than anything else on the record, this track shows their musical maturation, but is that what Venom fans really want to hear? I doubt it.
 
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