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Venom album poisonous to ears

It’s been a long time since the 1981 debut of Welcome to Hell, but black metal pioneers Venom have returned and unsuccessfully attempted a comeback with Metal Black, the band’s latest misfortune of an album.

The differences between Metal Black and Venom’s 1982 landmark release Black Metal span more than just 24 years. Venom plagiarizes their previous work with the album and its title track, and after the infamous marks they left on the black metal scene (the genre is named after one of their songs), what Venom does on the new release is very tame and flat out cheesy.

The title track, “Metal Black,” is the direct antithesis of what 1982’s “Black Metal” was. The latter inspired fans in the metal scene to “lay down our soul to the god’s rock and roll.” This music was new and shocking for the time period, something black metal should embody. Quite simply, Black Metal kicked everyone in the ass.

“Metal Black” cannot make the same claims. A direct rip off of its predecessor, the song has a horrible sense of rhyme and rhythm and is incredibly forced – as is the rest of the album.

“Antechrist,” the album’s opener, is a stereotypical display of boring metal music and lyrics that a chimp could write if given a pen and a few hours. The lyrics are poorly written and repetitive but still pay homage to the dark lord Satan, in typical Venom style.

Track five, “Rege Satanas,” doesn’t move the album forward at all. More uninspiring music fills the speakers, with even more trite lyrics about the dethroning of God and the rise of Satan.

Maybe in an ironic twist, the satanic forces referred to on this album are the direct reasons it’s so horrible. The essence of early black metal was its raw, unbridled passion and production. The only catch is Venom and all of the other pioneers in the early ’80s did it strictly for performance and entertainment. That’s not to say they weren’t passionate about their music; if a band is willing to go through the lengths to record an album with horrible production and release it, its members had at least some passion. Twenty years later, with better production quality, more money and a number of fans that will buy whatever the band releases, it is safe to say that Venom has sold out.

If you are 14 years old, just watched Rosemary’s Baby or The Omen and have no clue about “Satanism” and therefore think it is cool, then you might like this album. If you are intelligent, have any respect for the metal scene, or music for that matter, don’t even bother with this disaster.