1. Antechrist 2. Burn In Hell 3. House Of Pain 4. Death & Dying 5. Rege Satanas 6. Darkest Realm 7. A Good Day To Die 8. Assassin 9. Lucifer Rising 10. Blessed Dead 11. Hours Of Darkness 12. Sleep When I'm Dead 13. Maleficarum 14. Metal Black
I am a Venom fan. One of the “legions,” I suppose you could say. Of course, Welcome To Hell, Black Metal, At War With Satan… even Possessed. It’s a mess, granted, but what a glorious mess it is! I also really like the post-Cronos (pre-Cronos return) and much-lamented Prime Evil.
So, Metal Black, then. I’ve heard good stuff about it. I’ve heard bad stuff about it. Personally, I love it. They are hardly batting a thousand on this one, but some of the songs are on the level with anything they have done so far… “Antechrist,” “Burn In Hell,” “House of Pain,” “Death & Dying,” “Good Day To Die,” “Assassin.” They are updated just enough with heavy production, some pinch harmonics and great drums to not sound dated, but are still so damn VENOM. Some songs, like “Regie Satanas” you’d expect to be anthems akin to “Burn In Hell” or “Warhead” (I think Venom, themselves, expected it to be an anthem) but it is a clunker, falling too hard on old tricks and a chorus just a little too Neanderthal to be effective. When Metal Black hits though, it hits like a ton of bricks. Cronos sounds as rugged and pissed off as ever. Metal Black is an album that delivers what you want from Venom in spades, and while it may not quite live up to Black Metal or Welcome to hell, it certainly comes close and is not even close to being a smear on a legacy of a band that has certainly released some forgettable (perhaps even regrettable) stuff in years past.
--Al Kikuras Name 02.14.06
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