Venom, "Metal Black"
Venom is back once again, sort of. Only Cronos is on this album, Mantas and Abbadon are nowhere to be found. This is one of the many reasons that this album shouldn't be measured against Black Metal or Welcome to Hell. In fact part of me wonders if this lineups next album will be called Hell to Welcome, but that's enough of that joke. Overall this isn't a horrible record. It's not a classic like their first three albums. In fact it seems to be a rehashing of those albums. The production is what undoes this album. It sounds like they had a really good studio to work with and they tried to make the album sound like crap. As we all know, having top of the line facilities and then using them to try and simulate a 4-track never works out very well. Instead of sounding raw this is just muddy, and the kick drum sounds a bit, flatulent. Cronos still sounds like his old Venomous self, and the music the mixture of punk of Motorhead that we all know and love from the early albums. The songs themselves are decent, although they sound like they've been done before. To be honest this is a record that only a die-hard Venom completist needs. Other than that this comes off as an attempt to revisit the glory days. It does work on some levels but this is an unnecessary album if you already own Black Metal, Welcome to Hell and At War With Satan.K.Huckins