Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Review: Venom - Fallen Angels

  As someone who has never really managed to experience the birth of a musical genre firsthand, it seems strange when looking back at Venom's Black Metal and believe that it's left an incredible legacy and been influential on the majority of extreme metal, death metal and... black metal artists around today. I mean, it's a fucking great album and I'm really glad I took the time to listen to it but there's a considerable amount of silliness around it that I couldn't imagine any of the less-than-chirpy musicians of these genres to look at and be inspired by. However, the extreme and dark thrash metal stylings are simply fantastic. So, it's pretty awesome to see the group are sounding as solid as they did in 1980 on their thirteenth release Fallen Angels.

 Along with these evil punk riot, Fallen Angels brings with it also a storming run through of the modern heavy metal that they have helped to shape and doing it flawlessly and this is seen in no better place than in the relentless slabs of monumental riffing that makes up opener Hammerhead. Needless to say, the thrash and speed metal sound which they are loved so much for as as rhythmically intense as it's been from day one. The mad thrashing on Pedal to the Metal and Lap of the Gods proves this sense of power being maintained without much need for an argument. The crushing bass is crucial to this heaviness and really stands out on the likes of Beggarman and Punk's Not Dead.
 Damnation of Souls manages to show that even a band as traditional as Venom manage to seek out influences. I say this mainly because it's where the band sounds most like a more evil Motörhead, if such a thing is possible.
 Of course, the feeling of delightful evil that Fallen Angels wishes to stir up would never be complete without the madcap deluded growling of frontman Cronos. Sounding like the missing link between Lemmy and Rob Zombie, his battle-calls to all metal fans and talks of various satanic issues are emphasized and made so much more realistic as he screams with the voice of one possessed. Though these vocals are still being put to some fairly silly lyrics, it's actually made all the more delightful. It's more like an enchanting silliness to unite people plus none of the songs deal with anything like Black Metal's infamous Teacher's Pet.
 As albums go Fallen Angels is one of the stronger metal albums I've heard as of late. The band combine a wide range of metal to create an album that is a pure rush of intensity. This album makes Venom's apparent rise back to popularity a cause more worthy as it's up there with some of their finest pieces of work.

 Venom's Fallen Angels is out now via Spinefarm.

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