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WLM Reviews: Venom Inc. – Avé

August 13, 2017
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What could be better than one Venom? How about two? To my ears, it now sounds like, with Venom Inc., we have a similar version of the band led by Cronos, only with the other two original Venom-ists, Abaddon and Mantas, along with Cronos’ replacement some years ago of Tony Dolan. Confusing? Maybe a bit, but it’s worth it.

It seems that the two bands can co-exist, as Venom Inc. has co-opted the original Venom logo without dispute from Cronos, though there is apparently no love lost between the two. With Avé on Nuclear Blast Records, Venom Inc. comes across as one might expect – a dirty, heavy delivery of evil Thrash Metal and no pretense of subtlety. The hammering title track kicks off the album, pounding with a ferocious sense of foreboding. This is some dark stuff and just what I thought it would be. Dolan’s vocals are in the spirit of Venom, maybe not as unique as Cronos’, but they certainly work for the music presented here.

I like the variety of stuff they’ve put together. There are some slower, pounding tracks, some speedier songs, and perhaps the fastest song either Venom has ever done. Mantas proves to be a far better guitarist than he was at the beginning of his career. His solos are attention grabbing and well put together. Riff-wise, there are some memorable ones here as well. Abaddon plugs away churning out the double bass fueled rhythms as well as some decent fills and other playing. Lyrically, it’s your basic Venom Inc. subjects – evil, rock ‘n’ roll, war, earthly pleasures – nothing unexpected really. Cliched? Yes, but who cares?

Although the songs are well constructed and undoubtedly heavy, there is still a dirtiness about Avé that should appeal to long time fans. Maybe a couple of weaker songs on the album, but I’ve found a few to be absolutely compelling. Dein Fleisch is certainly one of the highlights. It slowly builds from a foreboding atmosphere (repeating in the verses) to a fantastic foot stomper with a killer riff in the chorus. The first half of Time to Die is a blast of speed and Thrash in the vein of Slayer, but better than anything that band has done in several albums. It might be the fastest the trio has played together. The doom-like mid-section and mid-paced ending resembles other more classic Thrash songs and makes for a nice contrast to the speedier section.

The Evil Dead turns out to be a compelling track – decent riffing, a stellar solo, general all around good Metal. Definitely one to be heard. War is in the same category. Lots of good stuff going on here from the vocals to the soloing to the massive riffs. Black N Roll is a nod to some of the originals in Metal and Rock, including Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, Rainbow, AC/DC, Chuck Berry, Kiss, Rush, Metallica, and even Motley Crue among others. Of course Lemmy gets his props as well. This is one of the better done songs of this type. Nice closing to Avé.

Check out Dein Fleisch:

I really don’t care if there is competition or tension between Venom Inc. and Venom. In my book they both recently put out pretty good albums and Metalheads should just enjoy the music. Avé will find its place in the Venom/Venom Inc. catalog. Might not be up there with Black Metal, but it’s certainly better than some of the mid-era albums.



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