There are albums in the world that have been released that you can deny the influence and power they can have on a genre or generation. Some albums are so powerful in influence that sometimes they actually start a genre just from an album title. You can definitely say that it certainly was the case when English heavy metal band Venom released their second album Black Metal in November of 1982. If you haven’t guessed what genre it is that the album title influenced then you are absolutely hopeless or just not a fan of metal at all. The band which was made up of the classic lineup in Cronos (Bass/Vocals), Mantas (Guitar), and Abaddon (Drums) self produced the record alongside Keith Nichol. The album was so influential that various tracks from the album have been covered by the likes of Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Mayhem, Vader, Blitzkrieg, Hypocrisy, and to many more to list on here. The album artwork itself was created by Cronos and was an iconic image that has stood the test of time. The album is on the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die book by Robert Dimery and it was voted #68 best British album of all time by Kerrang! readers.
1. Black Metal– The title track kicks off the album and it showcases the band’s brand of speed metal with those guttural vocals from Cronos. This was the track that influenced the genre, but you can hear elements of Thrash in the track. 4/5
2. To Hell and Back– An incredible straight up metal track from the band about a man who has danced with devil and lives to talk about it. 4/5
3. Buried Alive– The track starts off with audio of a man speaking about a body and you hear them digging up the dirt and dumping it on the coffin. Very melodic intro with heavy breathing with sinister talking from Cronos before the band kicks in and things get heavy. 5/5
4. Raise the Dead– This could be considered the continuing of the last track with a heavy Motorhead influence on the track. 4/5
5. Teacher’s Pet– A very funny track that talks about a sexual fantasy with a teacher. Check out the lyrics to the track. There is a huge blues influence in this track especially near the guitar solo. 4/5
6. Leave Me in Hell– This harder than hell thrash masterpiece is a track that talks about the Antichrist. 4/5
7. Sacrifice– The lyrics to this track are pretty self explanatory, but the music is where it’s at with it’s thrash/Motorhead styled madness. 4.5/5
8. Heaven’s on Fire– A speed metal classic that talks about a war between heaven and hell, but it looks like Heaven has been taken over. 4/5
9. Countess Bathory– A pretty kick ass metal track about the world famous and controversial Countess Elizabeth Bathory who was a serial killer. 4.5/5
10. Don’t Burn the Witch– a cool metal track from the band with a bad ass guitar intro that is a fight song for not burning witches. 4/5
11. At War with Satan (preview)– Just an intro track introducing the next album which would come two years later. 4/5
My Final Thoughts– I can definitely see and hear why bands were so influenced by these guys as they were so important to the Thrash Metal and Black Metal genres. Besides most of the subject matter which I could care less for, this was actually a kick ass album that I am glad I gave it a chance. I am going to give the album four stars out of five for a final grade.