Venom (band)

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Venom Logo.jpg

Cronos and La Rage at Party.San 2013
Cronos and La Rage at Party.San 2013
General information
Genre (s) Black Metal , New Wave of British Heavy Metal , Thrash Metal , Speed ​​Metal
founding 1979
Founding members
Guitar (1979) , bass (1979–1987, since 1995) , vocals (1980–1987, since 1995)
Conrad "Cronos" Lant (1979–1987, since 1995)
Jeffrey "Mantas" Dunn (1979–1985, 1989–2002; with Venom Inc. since 2015 )
Anthony "Abaddon" Bray (1979–1999; with Venom Inc. since 2015)
Clive "Jesus Christ" Archer (1979–1980)
Alan Winston (1979)
Current occupation
Vocals (1980–1987, since 1995) , bass (1979–1987, since 1995) , guitar (1979)
Conrad "Cronos" Lant
La Rage (since 2007)
Danny "Danté" Needham (since 2009)
former members
Guitar, keyboard
James "Jimi" Clare (1987–1988)
Mike "Mykvs" Hickey (1987–1988, 2005–2007)
Guitar, bass
Alastair "Big Al" Barnes (1989–1991)
Vocals, bass
Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan (1989–1992; with Venom Inc. since 2015)
VXS (1991-1992)
Steve "War Maniac" White (1992)
Anton "Antton" Lant (2000–2009)

Venom ( English for ' Gift ') is a metal band from Newcastle , United Kingdom . It was founded in 1979 by Mantas (real Jeffrey Dunn, guitar ) and Abaddon (real Anthony Bray, drums ).


Origin and the early years (1979–1987)

Mantas and Abaddon met at a Judas Priest concert and shortly afterwards formed Venom as a quartet. Singer and bass player soon left the band and Cronos (civil Conrad Lant) was added, which was the first long-term line-up. Venom's musical role models were not the bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that appeared at the same time , from which they always distanced themselves, but rock and metal groups such as Deep Purple , Rolling Stones , Black Sabbath , Led Zeppelin , Kiss , Judas Priest and punk music such as that of the Sex Pistols , from whose style they also alienated themselves in order to pursue their own musical paths. Venom signed a deal with Neat Records and released the single In League with Satan / Live Like an Angel and the album Welcome to Hell . In the British music magazine Sounds it was described as "heavy with diabolism" and "brutal speed metal ". It aroused media attention through the anti-Christian lyrics and the striking satanic image of the band, but also the strongly punk- influenced, technically relatively simple and by the standards of the time extremely aggressive music was groundbreaking for 1981. Their second album Black Metal gave their name to the music of the same name , and the band reached their creative climax on At War with Satan with its 20-minute theme song. The band founders admitted a few years later that they basically had no idea about philosophical Satanism, which underlines the self-deprecating approach.

In 1984 and 1985 Venom gave concerts at the Hammersmith Odeon in London , cementing the band's legendary status. With Metallica as the opening act, the trio went on the Seven Gates of Hell tour in 1984 , which began in Switzerland and led through Germany (Nuremberg), Belgium and the Netherlands, where both bands on February 11, 1984 at Aardschokdag in Zwolle played. On September 14, 1985 Venom (again together with Metallica) headlined the first Metal Hammer Festival on the Loreley in front of around 12,000 visitors. However, Possessed , released this year, could no longer stand up to the comparison with albums such as Reign in Blood by Slayer , Melissa by Mercyful Fate or Master of Puppets by Metallica - complex, virtuoso metal was now in demand. A commercial downward trend set in, shortly afterwards Mantas dropped out of the band.

The Return (1987-1996)

Mantas' seat was taken over by guitarists Jim Clare and Mike Hickey. With this line-up, Venom recorded the album Calm Before the Storm , which Cronos later claimed should have been released under his own name. Under the band name “Cronos” the whole band moved to the USA with the exception of Abaddon, who was now also a tour manager for the NWOBHM band Atomkraft . With Chris Patterson, "Cronos" found a new drummer who could also be heard on the following solo albums Dancing In the Fire and Rock 'n' Roll Disease . As a result, Abaddon reactivated the band together with Mantas and Tony Dolan, whom he knew as the front man of Atomkraft. Mantas also brought his colleague Al Barnes alias "War Machine" with him from his solo project. The following album Prime Evil , however, no longer came close to the success of the old days. With Dolan on the microphone, Venom also recorded the albums Temples of Ice and The Waste Lands that followed in 1991 and 1992 , the latter with Steve "War Maniac" White (also a former nuclear power member) instead of Al Barnes. The new sound of the quartet became particularly clear on the album Temples of Ice : it now resembled that of the Slayer titles and had many sound effects from keyboards. On The Waste Lands , where they worked with VXS as their permanent keyboard player, these effects were expanded even further. All three albums with Tony Dolan, however, received little press coverage, and over time the band became quiet. Cronos, on the other hand, worked on new songs until 1994 and also played the songs of old Venom releases on his albums. The release of the third Cronos album called Triumvirate , however, did not happen.

The New Era (1995-2000)

In 1995, Venom played for the first time after the reunification in the line-up of Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon in the Dutch town of Bergum at the Waldrock Festival. In 1996 the band appeared again as a trio with Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon. Venom played with Slayer as co-headliner in front of around 90,000 spectators at the Dynamo Open Air in Eindhoven , Netherlands earlier this year . The live album The Second Coming was recorded for this concert , which also contained a VHS of the performance. The band completed an extensive tour of America and released the EP Venom '96 , which included four new recordings of older tracks and a new song called The Evil One . Immediately afterwards, in 1997, the album Cast in Stone was released . When Abaddon left the band, he was replaced by Cronos' brother Antony "Antton" Lant. Resurrection was released in 2000 with the new line-up .

Venom in the 21st Century (from 2001)

Venom Inc. with Mantas (right) and Tony Dolan live in London 2015

Mantas left the band in 2002. In 2005 the box set MMV was released. This set contained four CDs, which contain a total of 70 songs, demos, live excerpts, interviews and outtakes and a 60-page booklet with the entire history of the band and their roots and many unseen pictures from Cronos' collection.

In 2006, with the help of former band member Mykvs, the studio album Metal Black was released , with which the band went on tour. But then Mykvs left the band and was replaced in 2007 by La Rage. The studio album Hell was created with this line-up .

The successor to Hell should be published in early autumn 2011. In an interview, Cronos revealed that the material should go more towards Metal Black and older works by the band. In fact, the album was only released under the name Fallen Angels on November 28, 2011. The cover artwork for the record came from József Tari, who also designed the cover for The Wastelands . This is something special because both records were recorded with completely different musicians. On January 26, 2015, the follow-up From The Very Depths was released, the first album since Temples of Ice (and the first since 1985 under Cronos' direction), which was recorded with the same line-up as the previous album.

Mantas and Tony Dolan started during a presentation of their former band M-Pire of Evil at Keep It True on April 24, 2015 along with Abaddon a comeback under the band name Venom Inc. has been in this line-up on 11 August 2017, the album Avé on the Brought to market.


While Venom's members were viewed as technically poor musicians and ridiculed by the press, many of today's bands pay respect to the musical work of the band on various tribute albums.

Venom influenced numerous metal bands in the 1980s and with their debut album Welcome to Hell "really got the search for more brutality rolling". Mille Petrozza from Kreator describes Venom as an important factor in the early stages of his band: “Our first attempts were still to re- enact BRITISH STEEL by Priest . Bands like Venom then brought in a completely different pace, a different attitude, which convinced with their aggressiveness. [...] These were values ​​that were close to us. We were maybe a bad heavy metal band, but compared to Venom or Bathory it was okay . ”Venom contributed to the emergence of the styles of speed metal , thrash metal and death metal . The band was particularly influential for Black Metal and its subgenres; it is considered to be one of the first black metal bands. This also gave the band a certain cult status in the scene. The former Sodom guitarist Grave Violator reported the following about the fanaticism of their followers : “There were times when everything but Venom was filth in our eyes. Since we have even once the HOLY DIVER of Dio smashed. "Andreas" Stoney "Stone, a friend of Kreator, reported the scene had" talked about months that it was supposed to give Venom videos. But at that time we couldn't just go on the Internet and look. ”When they had the opportunity to do so at a Grave Digger concert , they“ would have kneeled for hours in front of a television that was locked with a tape recorder and watched them over and over again. But it wasn't possible to take it home with you. "


Chart positions
Explanation of the data
At War with Satan
  UK 64 04/21/1984 (1 week)
  UK 99 April 13, 1985 (1 week)
In nomine santanas - The Neat Anthology
  DE 44 07.06.2019 (1 week)
  CH 90 06/09/2019 (1 week)

Demo recordings

  • 1980: Demon
  • 1982: To Hell and Back
  • 1983: At War with Satan
  • 2005: Antichrist

Studio albums

Venom Inc.

  • 2017: Avé

Live albums

  • 1985: Official Bootleg
  • 1986: A little night music
  • 1997: The Second Coming
  • 2002: requests
  • 2003: Witching Hour

Compilations and box sets

  • 1986: The Singles 1980–1986 ( compilation )
  • 1988: Here Lies Venom (compilation)
  • 1991: Acid Queen (compilation)
  • 1991: In Memorium ( Best of )
  • 1992: The Book of Armageddon (Best Of)
  • 1993: Skeletons in the Closet (compilation)
  • 1994: Old, New, Borrowed and Blue (compilation)
  • 1993: Kissing the Beast (compilation)
  • 1996: Black Reign (compilation)
  • 1997: From Heaven to the Unknown (compilation)
  • 2000: The Court of Death (compilation)
  • 2003: In League with Satan (compilation)
  • 2005: MMV (box set)

Singles and EPs

  • 1981: In League with Satan
  • 1983: Bloodlust
  • 1983: Die Hard
  • 1984: Warhead
  • 1985: Hell at Hammersmith ( EP )
  • 1985: American Assault (EP)
  • 1985: Canadian Assault (EP)
  • 1985: French Assault (EP)
  • 1985: Japanese Assault (EP)
  • 1985: Scandinavian Assault (EP)
  • 1985: Manitou
  • 1985: Nightmare
  • 1987: German Assault (EP)
  • 1990: Tear Your Soul Apart (EP)
  • 1996: Venom '96 (EP)
  • 2006: Anti Christ

Web links

Commons : Venom  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Joel McIver: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath . 2009 (Google Book Search)
  2. ^ Joel McIver: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath . 2009 (Google Book Search)
  3. Interview with Cronos from Venom
  4. ^ Joel McIver: Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult , by Dayal Patterson, p. 8
  5. ^ Paul Elliott: Venom history. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on April 29, 2008 ; accessed on October 16, 2015 .
  6. ^ A b “Besides pioneering a dirtier sound than any other extant Punk or Metal band in Europe, Venom's notoriety was doubly assured with their elaborate endorsement of Satanism to a degree which would have caused wet dreams for medieval inquisitors. Given the level of blasphemy they made their trademark, it is not surprising the band could be embraced as panacea for the soul by kids brought up in stifling Christian environments, and looking for any possible way out. "Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind: Lords of Chaos , First Edition, Feral House 1998, ISBN 0-922915-48-2 , p. 12.
  7. a b "Venom took the stripped-down, punk-influenced metal of Motörhead, distorted it even further, and added Satanic themes and imagery. Sharing Kiss' love of over-the-top stage shows and irate parents, Venom crafted an image for themselves as leather clad, heavy metal devil worshipers. This image was an inspiration to later black metal insofar as it attempted to become the embodiment of everything frightened parents groups erroneously accused Led Zeppelin and Kiss of being. They rightly assumed that if vague rumors of Satanism could sell records, unapologetic celebration of Satanism could sell even more. Venom's Satanism was largely a promotional technique and, in spite of how they would be interpreted by certain excitable young Norwegians, they never pretended to adhere to any literal type of Satanism. "Benjamin Hedge Olson: I Am The Black Wizards: Multiplicity, Mysticism And Identity In Black Metal Music And Culture. (PDF) Bowling Green State University, May 2008, p. 14.
  8. a b “Our music was born on the back of the punk explosion in England,” states Abaddon, “if you drew back Venom's influences I guess you'd find bands like Deep Purple and the Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath . ” Thus it was not surprising that an array of their early fans were drawn from areas beyond the standard Metal crowd (many of whom considered Venom pointlessly offensive and untalented noise-makers). " Michael Moynihan , Didrik Søderlind: Lords of Chaos , First Edition, Feral House 1998, ISBN 0-922915-48-2 , pp. 10f.
  9. Dave Reynolds: VENOM - Venomous Reptiles . In: Metal Forces , No. 3, 1984, accessed December 13, 2012.
  10. ^ Metal Mike: Metallica . Rock history part II . In: Metal Hammer / Crash , January 1988, p. 138.
  11. ^ Wilfried F. Rimensberger: Loreley Festival - a look behind it. In: Metal Hammer , November 1985, pp. 12-13.
  12. Martin Loga: VENOM announce tracklist .; Retrieved July 26, 2011.
  13. VENOM frontman Says New Songs Are 'Tremendous' .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.; Retrieved January 14, 2010.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  14. Primitive Art Records reviews. (No longer available online.) Primitive Art Records, archived from the original on August 20, 2004 ; accessed on January 28, 2015 .
  15. a b Jan Fleckhaus, Christof Leim: The origin of hardness . In: Metal Hammer , March 2008, p. 34.
  16. a b Tom Küppers: Metal in the pot . Ruhr-Thrash part 2 . In: Metal Hammer , July 2010, p. 46, accessed February 1, 2013.
  17. Tom Küppers: Metal in the pot . Ruhr-Thrash part 2 . In: Metal Hammer , July 2010, p. 47 f., Accessed on February 1, 2013.
  18. Chart sources: DE CH UK