Great Metal Albums of 1984: Venom- At War With Satan

Everybody probably all knows the stereotypes of all heavy metal bands. They can only play four chords, they scream because they can’t sing, etc. Well, when I came upon the third album from British death metalers, Venom, I thought that they had a point. My first thoughts of “At War With Satan” was that it was loud, it was brash and it sounded like the whole album was recorded in somebody’s basement. Yes, the album ticked all the boxes of the opinions many non-metal people have about heavy metal. But guess what? I couldn’t have cared a monkey’s about what they thought. I liked this album on account of all that.

For those who have or listened to “At War With Satan” on either cassette or vinyl will know that the entire first side is comprised by the title track. Therefore, you get nineteen minutes of Venom viciousness in one song. The song itself is meant to tell the story of how Hell revolts against Heaven and God is thrown into hell, all centered around the keeper of the gates of Hell who shares his name with Venom’s drummer. While a very long concept song, it does keep you on your toes with the various changes throughout so you don’t get bored with it. Plus there’s some interesting guitar soloing from Mantas. Back in the day, if I had listened to the track on CD, I might have thought it was different songs as opposed to one long one.

Side two consists of the remaining six songs whose combined length equal that of the title track on the previous side. If anyone had problems with Venom stretching out like they did on side one, then they’d be rest assured that Venom return to their more traditional roots of short, sharp headbangers. “Rip Ride” starts things off well enough but is quickly superseded by “Genocide.” That is a cool track. “Cry Wolf” actually is slower than what was considered traditional Venom but the band pull it off. The joke at the time was that you could actually make out what Cronus was singing here. Maybe it was meant to be a single. Following, “Stand Up (And Be Counted),” another song whose lyrics you can understand after the initial growls, comes my all time favourite Venom song, “Women, Leather and Hell.” This song typifies what I have always liked about Venom. It’s loud, ferocious and about some of my favourite subjects. I was rather disappointed when they didn’t play it at Bloodstock, 2016. That leads to the very amusing closer, “Aaaaarrrghh.”

Track Listing:

  1. At War With Satan
  2. Rip Ride
  3. Genocide
  4. Cry Wolf
  5. Stand Up (And Be Counted)
  6. Women, Leather and Hell
  7. Aaaaaarrrghh

Venom

Cronus- bass, lead vocals

Mantas- guitar

Abaddon- drums

Critics back in 1984 mostly agreed that “At War With Satan” catapulted Venom into the world of mainstream metal. Maybe it did but those of us who liked this album didn’t care about that. What was good was the fact that the band was able to write more mature songs without losing any of their edge.

Next post: Loudness- Disillusion

It is also my displeasure to announce that due to the events of the past month and a half, I will not be going to the full Download Festival. The good news is that I will attend the Sunday where I intend to see, Kreator, Marilyn Manson and headlining will be Ozzy.

To get Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://crreadac.cf/current/ebooks-free-download-rock-and-roll-children-fb2-by-michael-d-lefevre.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1984: Venom- At War With Satan”

  1. I have Welcome to Hell and Black Metal but I don’t have this one. My CD copy of the latter came with a 2’22” bonus track called “At War with Satan (Preview)” consisting of what I imagine is the song’s opening monologue and then just a short taste of the chugging riffage that follows. Your post will have me considering an expansion of my Venom holdings beyond just the first two albums.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the textured LP cover more than I like the contents I’m afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: