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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BLACK METAL GODS ROCK N ROLL!
I will always remember the fateful day when a school friend handed me Venom's very own "Black Metal" opus and suggested I give it a spin. With trepidation I placed the vinyl on my stereo and although the sound was harsh and brutal you knew you were listening to something exciting and new. It was strangely perverse yet deliciously addictive...plus your parents hated it...
Published on March 26, 2002 by Kevin Dobbs "dragonboots"

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Remembered
I had this album when I was 13 or 14, and at the time (1983-4), it was a very rebellious and extreme album. It still is (for the most part), but it's just not as good as I remembered. I still love the "Lay down your soul to the God's Rock and Roll!!" in Black Metal, and "S-A-C-R-I-F-I-C-E" is still cool, as are Countess Bathory, Teachers Pet, etc.
Although it states...
Published on October 23, 2009 by Robert S. Haas


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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BLACK METAL GODS ROCK N ROLL!, March 26, 2002
By 
Kevin Dobbs "dragonboots" (Perth Western Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Metal (Audio CD)
I will always remember the fateful day when a school friend handed me Venom's very own "Black Metal" opus and suggested I give it a spin. With trepidation I placed the vinyl on my stereo and although the sound was harsh and brutal you knew you were listening to something exciting and new. It was strangely perverse yet deliciously addictive...plus your parents hated it which is a huge bonus for any teenager. You will never catch your Mommy singing anything on offer here whilst dusting the Wedgewood figurines. And here it is again repackaged, remastered and beefed up with extra trax looking as resplendant as the day it was spewed from the sooty depths of Hell. Embossed and glossy the horned one invites you to slip back the cover and enter Hades if you dare? After the grating intro of steel on steel (which had you checking your stylus for defects) Cronos invites you to join the band in the worship of "Black Metal". A rip roarer of a song with chainsaw guitars, out of control drums and wolverine vocals its obvious this band means serious harm to your health and general well being. "To Hell and Back" is next which demonstrates the quantum leap the band's songwriting has taken since their delightfully basic debut album. You can imagine yourself a stride some gargoyle demon in flight travelling through the depths of the infernos. "Buried Alive" with its all too realistic soil on coffin lid sound effects and the coffins all too alive inhabitant waking to find his very dark confines are all too real. A true triumph of a song which is still disturbing all these years later. "Raise the Dead" belts out next with great bursts of Mantas guitar work firing from the speakers like sparks from an anvil. Venom always had a sense of humour and it shows on "Teachers Pet" which is the most politically incorrect ditty you will ever hear. Suprising is the fact that it does not contain a Satanic reference at all, and equally suprising that it contains an eyebrow raising blues style passage of guitar work mid way. Side two is as strong containing great concept songs such as "Countess Bathory" and "Don't Burn The Witch" and great slabs of frenzy as "Leave Me In Hell" and "Heaven's On Fire". You may conjur the bearded one himself by playing "Sacrifice" so beware! The outro of "At War With Satan" wets the appetite for more mayhem next time around. The extra trax on offer include an assortment of 12" versions of singles released around the same time the highlight being the classic "Die Hard" with genuine hard man backing vocals. Also we are given a collection of radio sessions that loose some of the greatness of the originals in the translation but are still great to have for the admission cost. I've enjoyed re-aquainting myself with all three of these awesome re-issues so much that I am thinking of buying them again!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing Venom album...classic early black metal at its finest!!!, July 22, 2006
This review is from: Black Metal (Audio CD)
I just bought this cd and i havent stopped listening to it! It is an amazing album...just raw fast riffs and fast drumming! It is a classic metal album, although Venom is not really that well-known by some metalheads. Amazing songs on this album include the title track "Black Metal", my personal favorite "Countess Bathory", "Raise the Dead," "Acid Queen," and "Heaven's On Fire." This is just a raw album full of catchy riffs and Cronos (vocals, bassist) yelling and moaning and acting possessed, ot is just soooo awesome.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most influential metal acts and albums of all time, March 30, 2007
This review is from: Black Metal (Audio CD)
"Black Metal", an album that is just as its' name implies, is in my opinion Venom's finest hour. Just as the rest of Venom's catalog, "Black Metal" goes without hooks or in sync melody, and opts instead for over the top heaviness, pounding drums, ripping guitars, and toungue in cheek lyrics about the man downstairs. Songs like "Black Metal", "To Hell and Back", "Buried Alive", and "Sacrifice" are all great thrashing songs, while the unexpectedly laugh out loud hilarious "Teacher's Pet" shows that the band is more than what they are perceived to be and really do have a sense of humor. I say that this album is important for a very good reason; every thrash band that boomed in the 80's (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Exodus) cited Venom as one of their top influences, and Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo even cited "Black Metal" as one of the most influential albums of his life. All that there alone is reason enough to give Venom a listen. This recent re-issue has a much sharper sound than any of the previously available imports, which makes it all the sweeter for new listeners to check out.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Metal albums Ever!!!, February 16, 2003
By 
Rob Michaels "axe7734" (portage, mi. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Metal (Audio CD)
The first Venom album I ever heard was "At War With Satan". I hated it. It was raw, crude and extremely blasphemous. Now I love it. Venom's music really has to grow on you. You'll probably either love it or think it's total garbage. "Black Metal", their second album, recorded in '82, is one of the best albums of its kind. It's the one that set the tone for all other black metal bands. Many have copied Venom's style, and many have failed. But this is the original. This is a new "remastered" version, but to be honest, the sound quality isn't really that much of an improvement, but that's okay. It still kicks ... Starting with the simplistic, but furious, title track, to the eerie & haunting "Buried Alive", to the raunchy, yet bluesy "Teacher's Pet", to the powerful "Leave Me In Hell", a song about a demonic being who wants to stay unborn and remain in Hell, & which opened side two of the original LP, to the classic "Countess Bathory", to the cool & scary epic, "Don't Burn The Witch" and ending with the "At War With Satan (intro)",which previewed the next album. This CD will either make you sick to your stomach or have you banging your ... head all day & night! Plus it's got NINE bonus tracks, like "Die Hard", 2 versions of "Bursting Out", the previously unreleased "Hounds Of Hell", Radio 1 Sessions and other Satanic goodies. But beware! This ain't for the squeamish.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Venom were different!, November 30, 2005
This review is from: Black Metal (Audio CD)
(My Review scale: 1- Bad, 2- Average, 3- Good, 4- Very Good, 5- Excellent/Classic)

Venom's second album stands as a huge jump from their debut, Welcome To Hell. On Black Metal, Venom managed to maintain the sonic pounding of the debut, while improving their musicianship.

The sound is still pretty muddy, but Cronos delivers some pretty good vocals. Compared with most of the tuneless shouters who are prevalent in this type of metal, Cronos is freaking Pavarotti!

Mantas really is advanced here as his guitar shreds anything that came before it! Songs like "Black Metal", "Buried Alive", "Blood Lust" and "Sacrifice" all are relentless in their sonic pounding.

Venom's lyrics I can take or leave. I'm not really into the satanic thing. But for those into that sort of stuff, Black Metal is far more satanic than the debut. And, in terms of lyrics, they are pretty inventive. They don't seem hokey even after all these years, which is more than I can say for a lot of Mercyful Fate/King Diamond's lyrics. (I like Fate/King, by the way)

Venom invented the black metal genre, and no one ever did it better. I can't decide if I like this effort or At War With Satan more, but they are both 5 stars, simply for their adventurous nature, and the way they developed a whole new form of metal. There are really no bad songs on Black Metal...and like most Venom albums, you kind of feel proud to be able to sit and listen to them from beggining to end, because that's how relentless they are. Too bad this Nu Metal sludge we are presented with in 2005 can't be this cool!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 3-part review on Venom, October 22, 2011
This review is from: Black Metal (MP3 Music)
Part I.

It was the summer of 1983, and I was building a collection of those poorly-produced import albums slowly filtering across the pond. Already I had worn the groove on Manowar's Battle Hymns (1982), Satan's Court in the Act (`83) and Raven's Wiped Out (`82). That summer I embarked an unfulfilled quest to find a T-shirt declaring my undying adoration of the most underrated and under-appreciated speed metal slab of all time, Jaguar's Power Games (`83).

Constantly twisting the dial stem to stern, I yearned for music heavier than the mainstream. Others must have been doing it too, because shows dedicated to metal began appearing on fuzzy, all-too-distant pirate-radio stations. Then I heard there was going to be a show called "Metal Shop" broadcast by the bigger, more mainstream Philadelphia radio station, WYSP. They played a teaser and I practically wept with joy. Camping out in front of the stereo Saturday night--two hours before broadcast, I occupied myself by unwrapping the extra TDK tapes purchased for recording, and confirming with a few well-placed knocks my "high fidelity" system was not on the fritz.

When the show began, there I sat mesmerized, never daring to leave my place, despite the possibility my bladder would burst. Midway through, the second in a block of three songs caught my attention, sounding very different than the rest. Who's this, I asked? When the DJ came on after the block, she named each song, but only named the first and third bands. "How do I know who that was?" I screamed. What a rip off! Slut!

When the show ended, I pressed STOP and played back the track she had called "Teacher's Pet." I played it over and over and over again. The song had lewd, nearly pornographic lyrics set to the speed of a dragster and the thunder of a bulldozer. The singer growled the words with such insistent urgency that I wondered what kind of school this band attended, and was there room for me? But still my dilemma: what band, what album?

The next weekend my parents and I went to the mall. I sprinted to Sam Goody, and thumbed through the imports I knew all-too-well. Armed only with a song title, "Teacher's Pet," I flipped over every single import album, scanned the song titles, and replaced them one-by-one, discontent mounting with each successive failure. In the T-Z section I found an album new to the imports section by some group named Venom. The album was sealed in a loose cellophane bag. That had to mean something, right? I studied the song titles and my heart stopped. "Teacher's Pet!" Venom!

Part II.

This was my introduction to the legendary progenitors of black metal. Originally released as a Jem import by Neat Records, I knew it was a banger, because Raven's Wiped Out, Jaguar's Power Games, and several other NWOBHM classics had been cut by Neat. But this album's cover promised something different. Mantas' fan-induced flowing blond mane; the leather-bedecked Abaddon and Cronos; the head (presumably) of Ole Scratch himself on the cover; the one-word names the band members employed; the titles of the songs--all of it signified something was different about this album called Black Metal. Even the "feel" of the album somehow was different than all the others I owned, as if some subtle, indefinable weight had been added to it. I didn't realize it then, but now I know: Venom had "it," the "look" of heavy metal.

I pleaded; I begged; I fell to my knees. I had to have this album. And as occurred every time I begged, pleaded, and fell to my knees--meaning every time we went to the mall, my Dad asked how I could listen to such unintelligible rubbish. His look suggested not only was he concerned about my mental state, but that I might attend my studies with such fervent application. I couldn't rightfully explain to him: "Dad, "Teacher's Pet" is on this album, and it's practically pornography. A boy with my hormonal activity requires this kind of carnal stimulation." So I merely thrust the cover at him. He furled his lips, shook his head, and reluctantly reached for his wallet.

If the simplicity of Venom's album presentation exemplified "heavy metal," then, like so many other bands with great album covers, the songs contained on Black Metal had to fall short of expectation. But the songs didn't fall short; they exceeded. Opening cut to final fade, Venom's Black Metal is one of the all-time classics, truly a Hall of Fame LP. Turns out "Teacher's Pet" was one of the weaker tracks on Black Metal. Standout cuts include Countess Bathory, Heaven's On Fire, and Sacrifice (my favorite). Is the production poor? Yup. Are some vocals off-key? Yup. Are there missed guitar notes? Yup. Does it matter? Nope.

Dad, I want you to know I still have that disc; it's pristine, with its lyric sheet perfectly intact, and contained in its original, 28-year old cellophane bag. I'm sure it's worth a few shekels more than the $7.99 on the original sticker. I went over the lyrics sheet recently, and arrived at an understanding not arrived at till now: Venom had a sense of humor. They give "thanx" to "Inge - The Devil's Daughter" and beneath that they thank "Harm - The Daughter's Devil." That one took me a moment, but I laughed at its cleverness. They also offer "continued thanx to VENOM for without their help this album would not have been possible." They thanked themselves.

In retrospect I'm certain Venom knew exactly what they were doing. Black Metal created a stir. As amazing as it sounds, it appears Venom knew they had something, and developed a strategy toward it--a plan for success. Witness: the lyrics of Black Metal's final cut, "At War With Satan" (which merely is a one minute fade-out tease of the song), are in a substantially larger font, and take up almost an entire side of the lyrics sheet. Venom was preparing for their next album, the one that would become most controversial album in history at the time.

Part III.

Stories through the import rag Kerrang exposed Venom's excess and indulgence; this only added an exclamation to the word "metal!" And then came the vortex of rumors Venom's next album was forthcoming--the most vile, reprehensible, blatant Satan-worshipping album ever released. I remember hearing At War With Satan was banned in several countries before its release date, being called "too blasphemous," though I cannot substantiate that with factual information. I do know two large record chains did in fact withdraw the album from shelves due to its "controversial content." This only poured rocket-fuel into the band's popularity tank.

Looking back, I think Venom themselves helped spread these rumors--and they were more "metal" for it, because the controversy directed the spotlight they so desired square upon them. For a period, Venom was wildly successful. Hundreds of thousands of teens saw them perform live, and subsequently adjusted their daily wear to mimic Venom's stage accoutrements. In short order, new branches of heavy metal burst forth throughout the erupting world of heavy metal. Venom created a shockwave, a ripple-effect many future bands benefited from, but few remember as being so important.

When I listened to At War With Satan the first time, it frightened me in the same way the movie The Exorcist did. The lyrics matched the hype. The shock-value of At War With Satan has eroded through time and exposure. But even today, the lyrics still hold the ability to surprise listeners. And frankly they reveal Venom's intelligence and maturity. The album presentation was carefully thought through, appearing as an ancient tome. Open it, and there's hellfire inside; a sentence hovers in front of the fire. Again, Venom was not without humor. On the back cover they quote Shakespeare; beneath this quote are Venom's amendments. That is perhaps as blasphemous as the celebration of evil "At War With Satan" so colorfully describes. That's way too much bravado to not be funny, and to not have been planned.

During the height of their popularity, Venom received heavy criticism. Perhaps people were jealous of their success. Perhaps people were angered by the way they flaunted it. Perhaps Venom took their excess beyond acceptable boundaries, and people grew tired of it. Whatever the cause, harsh criticisms about Venom's musical abilities started appearing.

While Henry Rollins, of Black Flag and Rollins Band musical fame, granted Venom were hilarious on tour, he opined Venom were more concerned about their stage antics than their music, and were at best mediocre musicians. I guess it depends which definition of "musician" one chooses. True, they weren't the most technically adept band of all-time, but that doesn't detract from their influence, nor from the fact they made some great songs--which is the definition of "musician" I employ. By the way, no one would ever accuse Black Flag or The Ramones of having the technical proficiency of say, Rush, but I think most would agree all three made some great, highly-influential songs. I'm guessing, in true Venom form, the black metal boys merely grinned at Rollins' comments, and set up another round of pyrotechnics.

Black Metal is an all-time classic, an album with a story and a history. At War With Satan was considered the most evil, most blasphemous, and most banned album at the time, and perhaps still holds those one or two of those "honors." Even though they did it with tongues firmly in cheeks, and perhaps were not the most technically-gifted musicians, Venom released two classic LPs, which is much more than can be said about most bands. Due to their influence in shaping the future of heavy metal, employing controversy to successfully release two important albums, and epitomizing the "look" and "feel" of "metal," Abaddon, Cronos, and Mantas, collectively known as Venom, should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!, November 1, 2002
By 
This review is from: Black Metal (Audio CD)
Though some have voiced their dislike of this re-released import, Venom's "Black Metal" is undoubtedly a complete, intriguing compilation of tight metal. I don't know what the original version offered, hence, I don't have the frame of reference or discerning capabilities some of these veteran metalheads possess. Nevertheless, tunes like "Black Metal," "Raise the Dead," "Teacher's Pet," and some of the outtakes like "Bursting Out," "Acid Queen," "Too Loud for the Crowd," and "Hounds of Hell" simply rage! This is classic stuff, and is likely the Venom catalog's finest offering.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to my S-A-C-R-I-F-I-C-E., June 30, 2004
By 
Ezra Claverie (Saint Louis, Missouri, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Black Metal (Audio CD)
"Plunge the dagger in her breast--I insist," snarls Cronos in the second verse of "Sacrifice." It's a moment when the B-horror-movie imagery and pulp satanica almost get the better of him--he's in the borderland between earnestness and parody. But somehow Cronos sounds just serious enough to make us ask, "Is this on the level?" and that is what makes this album so much fun. That and the music, which has enough evil riffs and speed to keep fans of Motorhead, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden happy.

No virgins were harmed in the making of BLACK METAL. That the album's two best songs--"Sacrifice" and "Raise the Dead"--are paeans to pseudo-medieval necromancy tells us how seriously we should take the lyrics. Unlike the psychopaths, white supremacists, and mildly retarded Norwegian pyromaniacs who later gravitated to Black Metal, Venom understands that Satan is just pretend. But they never step out of character. They don't wink at the audience, and they don't let on that they are anything other than blood-chugging demi-demons who party in the eleventh circle of Hell. Satan may not have actually recorded the first note--as the band claims--but BLACK METAL is as devilish as it gets.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars influential slab of offensive metal, December 2, 2010
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This review is from: Black Metal (Audio CD)
So why should anybody care about Venom in this day and age almost thirty years after they released their first two albums? Attitude, for one thing. This demonic bunch from Newcastle were not taking no for an answer and refused to be anything less than headlining mavens, a strategy that paid off, even if their musical ability, especially on the debut "Welcome To Hell" was suspect, to put it mildly. That debut and this sophomore effort stirred up the old cow pie like never before. Where Black Sabbath and KISS hinted at the dark side, Venom embraced it for the obvious shock value and blatantly proclaimed their love for all things Satanic, even on the first album's liner notes.
Not only would this band rile the preachers, even some of the kids were understandably gun shy at this overt approach, which was uncomfortable to say the least. However, for those who didn't mind the lyrics which now are as camp as any foolish trend, they got in return a band that sounded like Motorhead's little brother who had yet to master a steady beat and play in sync with his band members. It was good enough though for the punkers and those who dug the rawness and fearless manner in which they attacked. "Welcome To Hell" is a great tune, simply played but full of energy.
So Venom followed up with "Black Metal", a much better sounding CD and much improved music ability. Cronos' bass stands out this time, Abbadon's drums have real kick, and Mantas' guitar playing has grown since the debut. Of course, the requisite Satanic imagery is all over the place, but this reviewer recommends that one listen for the music and consider the lyrics as shock value and little else. Observing this type of lyric doesn't mean embracing. "Black Metal" is simply rock and roll with attitude and fire. It bears little resemblance to the black metal scene that would soon follow, but for its day was pretty ballsy stuff indeed. It's important historically for the heaviness at the time it was released, much like early Kreator or Bathory. Other than that, it's just a snotty rude record that sounds good when you've had a lousy day at work and don't want to be bothered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Remembered, October 23, 2009
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This review is from: Black Metal (Audio CD)
I had this album when I was 13 or 14, and at the time (1983-4), it was a very rebellious and extreme album. It still is (for the most part), but it's just not as good as I remembered. I still love the "Lay down your soul to the God's Rock and Roll!!" in Black Metal, and "S-A-C-R-I-F-I-C-E" is still cool, as are Countess Bathory, Teachers Pet, etc.
Although it states that it is "remastered," I remember the guitar being more prevalent on the original. On this copy, you can barely hear it. It seems as if the drums (particularly the bass drum) are entirely too loud. Whomever remixed this did a poor job. But there again, it may have always sounded this way, as 1983 didn't have the crisp, crunchy guitar sound yet (Metallica had just put out Kill Em All that year) that we all sort of take for granted today.
Anyways, it's still cool to have this album to pull out when I take a trip down memory lane, it's just not as pleasant as I remembered. I recommend buying a used copy.
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Black Metal by Venom (Audio CD - 2002)
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