‘From the Very Depths’
(Spinefarm Records)

By now, you’ve no doubt heard of Venom (if not, where in the hell have you been???). This band has been around since its formation in 1979 and their influences in Black and Death metal can be seen all around us today. Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth have all cited Venom as an influence at one time or another.

‘From the Very Depths’ is their fourteenth album, which incidentally, features 14 tracks. Coincidence? Who knows?

The album opens in fine form with “Eruptus”, a spooky lead in that invokes visions of a descent into hell itself and makes it perfectly clear that band leader, and only constant member, Cronos, is keeping with the tried and true sound Venom has become known for. “From The Very Depths” follows with a ferocity that proves age hasn’t slowed the band down one bit. In fact, I had to turn the volume up at this point. It is a PURE FUCKING ADRENALINE RUSH.

“The Death of Rock N Roll” continues with the pedal to the metal. An homage to Marshall stacks if ever there were one. “Smoke” brings in a trademarked wah induced psychedelic laced guitar intro and breaks right into some real nice heavy grooves and later, a really good guitar solo from Stuart “Rage” Dixon. “Temptation” is blast beat thrash nirvana. It’s at this point I discover that, unfortunately, I have no more volume to increase. Any further attempts would result in a broken dial and maybe some permanent hearing loss. “Long Haired Punks” continues with the blast beats and brings Cronos out from behind the mix with some Bass bad assery. This song is a fresh anthem for long hairs everywhere!

“Stigmata Satanas” and “Crucified” bring a real Punk meets Thrash vibe together. Getting a nice Motorhead meets Sabbath vibe off these tracks. “Evil Law” comes out with some watery sound effects and pounding bass and then breaks out into headbanging grooves. “Grinding Teeth” picks the pace back up with a frantic guitar intro. Cronos’ opening salvo sounds a bit like Testament’s Chuck Billy here. “Ouverture” is an instrumental track that showcases a mellower side of the band and seems a bit out of place. “Mephistopheles” is reminiscent of White Zombie’s “Feed the Gods”, however, these kind of thrash riffs have been around a long time and they always seem to work with good bands. “Wings of Valkyrie” and “Rise” close out a very strong collection of tracks on this album.

The hokey “tongue in cheek” satanic lyrics are all still here. Of course, what would anyone think if they strayed off what always works right? Cronos voice is as strong as ever and his bass playing is more solid than ever. The guitar solos throughout this collection are outstanding. I really could not point out my favorites as they are all pretty damn good. The drumming from Danny “Danté” Needham is as solid as it can get. If you are looking for something reminiscent of ‘At War With Satan’ or any of the classic albums, you won’t find it here. They sound more like modern day Testament with some Sabbath and Motorhead thrown in for good measure than the Venom of old actually. However, if you just want to mosh with the best, this is the disc you need in your collection. An outstanding album from the death / thrash masters themselves.

“From The Very Depths”, “The Death of Rock N Roll” and “Long Haired Punks” are the standouts on the album.


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