Friday, December 29, 2017

Venom-100 Miles To Hell

Spinefarm Records

Venom is a band that needs no introduction. Having released their debut album "Welcome To Hell" in late December of 1981, England's Venom was not only a part of the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement, but early pioneers of the black metal scene. Active on and off since first appearing under their current moniker in 1979, Venom last appeared on these pages with "From the Very Depths" (link). This three-track EP is the follow-up to Venom's 2017 box set, "Assault!". Line up-wise you have Cronos (vocals/bass) along with guitarist Rage and drummer Danté. Released on 12" vinyl, cassette, and digital format, "100 Miles To Hell" includes the title track as well the songs "We the Loud" and "Beaten to a Pulp". The EP runs a little over 11 minutes and the recording sports a production job that is perfectly suited to Venom's fast, furious, and frenzied sound. At almost 55 years old, front-man Cronos still sounds as good/sinister as ever on this EP. His bass playing remains solid and the same can be said of guitarist Rage and drummer Danté. From a production standpoint each and every instrument comes across crystal clear. Credit goes to founder and front-man Cronos for that. Everything is where it should be and that makes "100 Miles to Hell" all the more essential for all of the Venom fans out there. Opener "100 Miles to Hell" sounds like classic Venom (fuck yeah!) with a devilish groove. It's a great way to start off this new piece of metal from the guys in Venom. Up next we have "We the Loud". Sure, "We the Loud" might not win the clever song title of the year, but it is a thrashed-up slab of metal that occasionally sounds like Motörhead crossed with vintage Sodom. The guitar playing of Rage on this cut is unreal and the same can be said of the amped-up & highly-aggressive "Beaten to a Pulp". This vicious track closes things out and it certainly lives up to it's title! With Cronos working his bass like a madman on "100 Miles To Hell" and the pair Rage & Danté at the top of their game, Venom's latest release is absolutely killer and a great way to end out the year in metal!

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