"Ave" By Venom Inc.
Thrash Metal/Released Aug 11, 2017
Venom vs Venom Inc. Cronos vs Demolition Man. Debate over which incarnation of Venom is the "true" or better version has raged on ever since former Venom members Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan, Anthony "Abaddon" Brayand Jeffrey "Mantas" Dunn formed Venom Inc. for a live festival set in 2015. What was meant to be a one off performance turned into show offers from all over making Venom Inc. a more serious project that eventually took to touring the world. After signing to the infamous Nuclear Blast label the band released their debut album Ave on August 11th, 2017.
A goal for the album was to capture the same fury and energy the band displays in their live performances. With that guitarist Mantas stated that in writing the record the band went "right back to basics" to create a pure, old school rock and roll record. Preferring to look ahead rather than behind, Venom Inc stated that they feel no need to try and write another classic style hit like "Welcome To Hell" or "Countless Bathory" and instead will simply write what they feel in the present.
As for Venom Inc's goal of making a raw, old school rock record the band has largely succeeded. Clocking in at just over an hour spread across eleven tracks, Ave definitely contains vibes of an 80's traditional heavy metal record. There's a number of anthemic songs like "Ave Satanas" and "Metal We Bleed" along with the aptly titled "Black And Roll" that makes reference to the black metal genre the original Venom had a large influence on. There's a good balance of mid tempo headbangers and pulse pounding speed metal tracks. All the while maintaining the Satanic lyrics and imagery Venom is known for. Vocalist/bassist Demolition Man Dolan delivers his lyrics with sinister grit that highlights the imagery put forth by the music.
While the songs do have an old school vibe to them the modern production keeps the tracks from feeling dated and Mantas' guitar work along with Abaddon's pulsing percussion can stand up to any modern thrasher very easily. Opening track "Ave Satanas", Latin for "Hail Satan", sets the lyrical tone for the rest of the album. Opening with a spoken word monologue given by a haunting, demonic voice the track kicks into a mid tempo rocker with lyrics about Satanists and a rousing chorus that's sure to be a powerful chant for live shows. "Dein Fleisch", German for "your flesh", fittingly features a chugging, Rammstein-esque main riff and a dark haunting vibe. Dolan sings to the listener lyrics encouraging surrender to carnal desires. The track is different from most of the album with its focus on atmosphere instead of shred and stands out as a highlight. Late album track "War" is likely the heaviest track of the record with its fast tempo, a bass heavy main riff, and thrash leaning solos and guitar work.
With Ave Venom Inc. embraces a more classic metal sound than the modernized, extreme metal direction their counterpart, Cronos lead band has been going in. With this the band displays a wider variety in sound than the all speed, all the time ethos that originally made the Venom name famous. This makes Ave a well balanced effort that makes for a fun, entertaining listen all the way through. Each song stands as a pure thrashy banger that is well paced in its variations in sound through the record. Venom Inc. is doing the Venom name justice with this first release and has upped the ante for the Cronos-lead Venom to distinguish themselves as the "true" Venom.