Great Metal Albums of 1982: Venom- Black Metal

220px-Venomblackmetal

When many people talk about the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBHM,) they usually do so with bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon and Def Leppard in mind. A good number will also include Motorhead in with the above but most will leave black metal thrashers Venom out. One reason for that, according to some British metalheads I met upon my arrival in the UK, is that they couldn’t take Venom seriously. Who’s trying to take them seriously? I’m sure not in the sense of being some kind of music critic. I simply appreciate their loud, aggressive thrash metal sound supplemented by very amusing lyrics about death and Satan. Granted, they’re not the most talented musicians in metal but what they put together is enjoyable for me. This is evidenced the 1982 album, “Black Metal.”

Listening to “Black Metal” makes me regret the fact that I had never heard of Venom until 1984. I can’t even blame being in the service for that. This album would have satisfied the hard edge I was searching for in music and while I wouldn’t hear of the term ‘thrash’ for three more years, “Black Metal” would still have been the answer.

From the get go with the opening title cut, I immediately found myself soaking up the thunderous beat and thrashing guitars from the album. Even when they try to slow down with the introduction of “Buried Alive,” you know that in a second, you’re going to get your ears blasted. You know, I can never make out what they’re trying to do at the beginning of that song, but hey, who cares? Even though, I have to really concentrate to listen for when “Buried Alive” ends and “Raise the Dead” begins, it’s not a major thing to worry about. The album just goes on rocking your socks off.

I think one problem some people might have had with this album is that they couldn’t pigeon hole it. While the music is thrash, the lyrics are definitely black metal. Take “To Hell and Back” for instance.

“I have been to Hell and back – kissed satanic Queen
Traveling at the speed of light – saw thing never seen
Arm in arm with Lucifer – Belial on my back
I have swam the lake of flames – walked forbidden tracks
To Hell – – and back
To Hell – – and back”

True, part of me wants to roll on the floor laughing my ass off when I hear them but it also makes me want to scream them at any religious nuts who happen by. I think that this is something else that makes this album so cool. If you think that those lyrics are amusing, then check out “Teacher’s Pet” which opens with the line “Teacher caught me masturbating underneath my desk.” Then there’s my favourite track, “Sacrifice” where they constantly spell the title throughout the song. With all of this, no wonder it is said that “Black Metal” influenced a generation of metal.

Track Listing:

  1. Black Metal
  2. To Hell and Back
  3. Buried Alive
  4. Raise the Dead
  5. Teacher’s Pet
  6. Leave Me In Hell
  7. Sacrifice
  8. Heaven’s On Fire
  9. Countess Bathory
  10. Don’t Burn the Witch
  11. At War With Satan (preview)
Venom

Venom

Cronos- bass, lead vocals

Mantas- guitar

Abbadon- drums

History has rewarded “Black Metal” by saying that it influenced both the thrash metal and black metal scene. Hearing this album, I can certainly testify to that. It possesses what I have always loved about both sub-genres of metal. It’s just a shame I didn’t get to listen to it back in the day because I think Venom were ahead of their time.

Next post: Triumph- Never Surrender

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

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