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www.therockpit.net Venom-Fallen-Angels-CD-review-Dec-2011

VENOM
Fallen Angels
November 2011, Universal

 

 

By Shane Pinnegar

 

Once upon a time, Venom were THE undisputed Most Extreme Metal Band Around, but such is the nature of influence, those they have had a profound effect upon have become louder, more aggressive, more controversial and far more extreme.

 

“Fallen Angels” sees last original member and the torn voice and thundering bass of the outfit, Cronos (aka Conrad Lant), leading a revived charge for these Black Metal innovators.

 

The production nowadays is far cleaner than on those 80’s releases that created a genre and influenced those who created speed and thrash and death metal, and lyrically Cronos isn’t just banging on about Satan and Hell any more (with a few obvious exceptions like ‘Hail Satanas’) – both of which are strong positives to an old school fan like myself – like the band, I’m in my forties, and my teenage fascination with the “naughtiness” of singing about the Lord of Darkness has long since expired. Well… mostly!

 

In fact the band sound more classic metal than anything resembling Extreme Metal nowadays – more like the Probot collaboration between Cronos and Dave Grohl than anything off “Welcome To Hell” or “Black Metal”. Thankfully, raw like shredded steak though his vocals may be, Cronos knows that we Classic Metallers, born and bred of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, prefer vocals that we can understand rather than the pointless death growls so enamoured of many younger bands of today - all bonuses in my book!

 

It’s the catchier songs that marry a memorable melody with the basic, bludgeoning charm of those first three classic Venom albums, that work best on “Fallen Angels” – ‘Pedal To The Metal’, ‘Lap Of The Gods’, ‘Beggarman’, ‘Punks Not Dead’, ‘Sin’ and ‘Valley Of The Kings’ all reference the spirit of classic Venom, and are all memorable tunes with heavy as hell riffs and frenetic soloing.

 

The very best Venom release since “At War With Satan”, “Fallen Angels” sees Venom in rude form. Put that in your Christmas stocking!