download (1)One of the most controversial and probably one of the most influential bands in metal is none other than England’s most satanic group Venom. The band which was made up of Conrad “Cronos” Lant (Vocals/Bass), Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn (Guitars), and Tony “Abaddon” Bray (Drums) started what could have been one of the most controversial bands at the time with the Satanic imagery and lyrics. In 1981, the band would release what Loudwire ranked 14TH on their 50 Best Metal Albums Of All Time list in the band’s debut record Welcome To Hell via Neat Records at the tail end of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. The album had such a distinct sound to it that it sounded like an demo, but was released as an album. That very sound would be very influential in the beginning days of Black Metal, but let’s not forget that their mix of heavy metal and speed metal would have great influence on Thrash, Black, and Death Metal. I don’t believe that the album ever charted and I am not sure how many albums it has sold, but they definitely have sold enough shirts. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the album 74TH on their The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time list so let’s check it out.

to-hell-and-back-venom1. Sons Of Satan– The track starts right out of the gate with some fury in this track that I think is about Satan’s sons reeking some havoc as they get followers. 4/5

2. Welcome To Hell– a very Motorhead/Saxon like track from the guys in the title track as they talk about raising some hell. The track features some furious playing as you can compare it’s sound to 2 Minutes To Midnight by Iron Maiden. 5/5

3. Schizo-an in your face metal scorcher about a guy who is obviously a schizophrenic that commits murders. 4.5/5

4. Mayhem With Mercy-The band Mayhem took their name from this track that starts with an eerie but melodic intro instrumental track. 4/5

5. Poison-a raucous track that is all about what happens when you have sex with someone that has a dirty little secret. 4/5

6. Live Like an Angel (Die Like a Devil)-This was one of the first Venom songs I had ever heard and it has that in your face speed of Motorhead which is about living one way to those you love, but being an absolute hellraiser around town. 5/5

2013-09-21-18-32-341-e13797936271367. Witching Hour-If you had the vinyl this was the beginning of side B and it’s a very heavy and fast face melting track that is all about that very hour when Satan comes to Earth to take what he wants. 5/5

8. One Thousand Days in Sodom– a hammering track that is all about that city that God destroyed because they were all sinners and some freaky stuff happened there. 4/5

9. Angel Dust-Venom never really put any hidden meanings to their songs and I am pretty sure that this one is pretty self explanatory. 4/5

10. In League With Satan– This was the second ever song I had ever heard from the band with it’s backwards messaging in the beginning before Abaddon’s tribal drum beats come in as the band preaches that they are in league with Satan. 5/5

11. Red Light Fever– The track starts with some fancy classical music before the band comes in sounding like they crashed the party with a riff that sounds like it could be similar to Symptom Of The Universe, but we could say that about a lot of tracks. The track is all about visiting those pleasure palaces. 4/5

My Final Thoughts-I definitely believe that I enjoyed this album a lot more than I did when it came to Black Metal, but even that album had some highlights. The sound of this album doesn’t bother me that much as it sounds pretty decent to me. My favorite tracks on the album are In League With Satan, Witching Hour, Welcome To Hell, and Live Like An Angel…. My least favorite track on the album is probably Red Light Fever and One Thousand Days In Sodom. I am going to give the album 4.4 stars out of five for a final grade.

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