Album Review: Venom Inc – Ave

By Francisco Zamudio

In a time where the easily-bored or ungrateful metal fan wouldn’t be content with a band who stayed true to form, never surrendered or conformed to this “progressive” state of mind – you have a band like Venom Inc who gives a giant middle finger to all those who oppose. Adding the “Inc” to their name, just as the ink on the new deal with Nuclear Blast dried, the line-up that first took hold back in 1989 with the well-received ‘Prime Evil’, Anthony “Abaddon” Bray, Jeff “Mantas” Dunn and the return of Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan, is set to release the first Venom Inc album, ‘Ave’.

For nearly 40 years, Abaddon and Mantas (along with the honorably mentioned, Conrad “Cronos” Thomas Lant) have helped wave the flag for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. And to some Black Metal “cvtilsts” or elitists, they were a bit of a thorn on their side since around the time of the 1982 release ‘Black Metal’. This will mark their 15th full length release between the two since the inception of Venom back in 1980. Fast forward to 2017, as Venom Inc they bulldoze their way back into conversations of meaningful music and metal once again.

The track order on ‘Ave’ is very well organized in clever fashion and builds up the tempos and the thrashing good time you’ll have for the full hour of 11 tracks. That’s right, 11 tracks! Not 9 or 10 with a pointless intro. ‘Ave’ is 60 minutes of hearty metal that Venom is so well known and respected for. These are not short in length at all either. You hear the many familiar traits they helped carve not just NWOBHM but metal in general. Traits that have been carried on through numerous other great and worthwhile bands over the decades, you hear the positively modernized influence make its way back to this power trio.

These true pioneers display their trademark songwriting throughout the album that subconsciously provokes you to think back to their sound throughout their years. And having recently caught them live at Danzig’s Blackest of the Black Festival, it’s undoubtedly clear that the crowd took great pleasure in the chokehold that Venom Inc possesses. Despite ups and downs, the cult following still welcomes new Venom and this album serves as a reward to those who’ve stayed “trve”.

There’s no shortage of crowd-engaging songs on this one. Right from the get-go, you have ‘Ave Satanas’, ‘I Kneel to No God’, and the ripper ‘Time to Die’ is exactly what the listener craves as it demonstrates intense speed metal whipping the pit into a frenzy. ‘The Evil Dead’, a likely nod to the Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell film, is another sure crowd favorite.

You’ll have a good time with ‘Ave’, with the solos spread throughout and hammering in-the-pocket drums with plenty of double-bass action, a pure metal album that is needed right now by veterans who everyone should know. No over-playing of parts or over compensating. They achieved what they set out to do, bringing Blood-Stained axes and war-hammers, Forged in Hell to a battle of True Metal elites versus false leaders and idols in today’s metal music scene.

Rating: 10/10

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Record Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: August 11th 2017

Track Listing:
01. Ave Satanas (8:33)
02. Forged In Hell (4:59)
03. Metal We Bleed (5:17)
04. Dein Fleisch (7:11)
05. Blood Stained (5:22)
06. Time To Die (4:05)
07. The Evil Dead (4:18)
08. Preacher Man (6:37)
09. War (4:30)
10. I Kneel To No God (6:19)
11. Black N Roll (4:45)

Total Duration: 61:56

Venom Inc links: website | facebook | twitter | instagram