Like A Serum In The Veins
During their 1986 tour, the punk band Black Flag opened for a British metal band named Venom. Upon seeing them, the band’s singer, Henry Rollins, wrote in his diary that they were fairly ridiculous with mediocre music, focusing on their look more than anything else. Coming from a punk rocker, one whom has his entire genre is defined by most as thrashing, three chord progressions and spat-screamed vocals, this can seem like a death-blow.
Venom has pressed on from those early days, refining and growing within their own genre, inspiring and touching metal bands and fans alike. Their newest album, From The Very Depths, is a perfect example of them coming into their own.
From the start, the band lures you in with “Eruptus” sounding halfway between worship and a storm on the breeze. Influences in the bands early years were Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motӧrhead, and Kiss, and these roots definitely shine through on this album. Driving, pulse pounding tracks such as “The Death of Rock’n’Roll” and “Mephistopheles” can’t help but to bring to mind Motӧrhead’s fast anthems, while “Rise” and “Smoke” inspire KISS-esque call back singing. However, their guitar and bass guitar work are unfathomably speedy and brilliant, solos that you do not expect blowing your mind at any given second. The drummer, while not overt or fancy in any way, makes excellent use of double kick and keeps everything tight. The band even found time to be a little playful with sarcastic, humorous tracks like “Long Haired Punks”, which also sports an unmistakable bass-line homage to Spybreak! By Propellerheads.
While there are some awkward transitions and times where the guitar solo seems sudden, the album over-all brings a concert arena feel, inspiring mosh pits during and freeway chases after the show. It thrills you and keeps your adrenaline pumping from start to finish.