Venom - _Resurrection_
(Steamhammer, 2000)
by: Matthias Noll (8 out of 10)
I was on stand-by to rip this record to shreds. "War against Christ", "Black Flame of Satan" -- does that sound like anything else than an obvious attempt at cashing in on the commercial potential black metal has (no, I won't elaborate on the trueness of the cash cows here)? Did anyone expect that Venom were capable of other things than spending their bucks in the local pubs in Newcastle or do the festival thing with loads of pyros, red boots and yesteryear's hits? Thinking about this kind of things I put _Resurrection_ in the CD player, expecting some more ammunition for a below 4 out of 10 review. What I got was the perfect proof that the old law which says that predicted catastrophes do not happen still applies. The openers "Resurrection" and "Vengeance" immediately define what Venom 2000 is all about: simplicity, brutality, drive and the use of massive headbanger-friendly powerchords, with Chronos' trademark nasty snarl on top of that. These old farts have managed no less than fusing a certain amount of Fear Factory style staccato riffing with the old approach of songs like "Warhead", "Countess Bathory", "Seven Gates of Hell" or "Don't Burn the Witch" while miraculously still sounding like classic Venom and not just a bunch of old fuckers who try hard to remain relevant in the year 2000 by ripping off the sounds of modern metal. Among the fourteen(!) tracks on _Resurrection_ there are two or three weaker cuts, like "Pandemonium" or "Man Myth and Magik", with overlong melodic choruses, but whenever the disk seems to lose pace there's a series of killer songs to put it back on track. Surprisingly enough, even the songs with stereotype dumbass black metal titles turn out to be killer tunes. The production work of Charlie Bauernfeind is simply amazing. He's preserved Mantas' shredding guitar sound and Chronos' bulldozer bass in their primitive early '80s form, but made them sound crisp, powerful, huge, huge and huge again! I don't see anyone missing Abaddon (he who sounds as tight as a drum kit falling down the stairs), even if new guy Antton is not doing much more than providing the two old-timers with some solid drumming. This is the best Venom record since _Black Metal_ and definitely worth having in your collection, no matter whether you've joined Venom's Legions in 1982 or are thinking about applying now.

(article published 12/8/2000)

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