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Metal - Released December 14, 2018 | Spinefarm Records UK

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Metal - Released May 31, 2019 | Sanctuary Records

Arriving on the 40th anniversary of the stalwart black metallers' formation in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1979, In Nomine Satanas is a lavish box set featuring deluxe versions of their first four studio albums -- with the classic lineup of Cronos, Mantas, and Abaddon -- and 1986 concert LP Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Released in both vinyl and digital formats, the albums have been remastered from the original tapes, and arrive with all of the usual collectible accouterments (extensive booklet, artwork, etc.) -- longtime Venom devotees will find the Songs of Satan double LP, which includes a bevy of long sought-after demos and live cuts, of particular note. Welcome to Hell (1981), Black Metal (1982), At War with Satan (1984), and Possessed (1985) may not have achieved commercial success upon their initial releases, but all four -- black metal was hardly a viable subgenre before the release of the LP of the same name -- have since become canonical in the heavy metal community. 2005's career-spanning MMV covered some of the same territory, but without the laser-like focus on the band's early days. In Nomine Satanas caters to hardcore fans looking for that kind of precise time line, but also works well as an introduction, albeit a pricey one, for casual listeners looking for a more detailed dissertation on the influential group's most coveted works. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Rock - Released January 7, 2008 | Noise Records

Although they were looked down upon during their first go-round, the mark that Venom left on all things metal has loomed large for quite some time. Without Venom, there's a fair chance that we wouldn't have thrash metal or death metal, while the group's early work served as an obvious blueprint for Metallica (just go back to the manic riffing of Kill 'Em All for the proof). And with their classic early releases only available as pricey imports in the late '90s and early- 21st century, an avalanche of compilations appeared, including 2003's The Seven Gates of Hell: Singles 1980-1985. As the title states, the focus here are Venom's singles, but as longtime fans know, most of the group's strongest material was never issued in single form (namely "Black Metal," "Raise the Dead," "Genocide," etc.). So if you're looking for Venom's best cuts, this isn't the place, as rarities take precedence -- several 12" versions ("Die Hard," "Warhead," and "Nightmare"), as well as tracks from the rare Hell at Hammersmith EP ("Witching Hour" and "Teacher's Pet Medley"). A worthy purchase for longtime fans, but newcomers may be better off sticking with Venom's early work or one of their many 'best -of' sets. ~ Greg Prato
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Metal - Released January 31, 2011 | Noise Records

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Metal - Released July 7, 2008 | Noise Records

Long credited with inventing black metal, veteran Newcastle trio Venom can pretty much do whatever it wants and get away with it, but the group's surprising return to form in 2006 with the comeback album Metal Black proved that they (bassist/singer Cronos is the only remaining original member) still had something evil to say. 2008's Hell (calling a Venom record Hell is like naming your dog "barky") may not be clever, forward thinking, or subtle, but it's certainly reliable. The production is a notch up from Metal Black's deliberately lo-fi celebration of its former glories, and the songs are expertly played, dutifully sparse and legitimately cruel, boasting typical Venom-esque titles like "Stab U in the Back," "Evilution Devilution," and "USA for Satan." At this point in its career, Venom need not fall prey to the dangers of growth, especially when the genre that it helped birth continues to breed both new bands and new fans. Like Motörhead, who also continue to release the same album every couple of years, it's more about staying in the game than changing the rules. ~ James Christopher Monger

Alternative & Indie - Released May 8, 2017 | TIC

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Rock - Released January 7, 2008 | Noise Records

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Metal - Released January 26, 2015 | Spinefarm Records UK

The 14th studio long-player from the black metal royals, From the Very Depths opens with the wordless, cacophonous "Eruptus," which not-so-subtly charts (sonically) the ascension of some sort of demonic entity from the bowels of the earth, eventually giving way to the explosive title cut, a four-minute blast of thrash/groove malevolence that sounds more or less like the opening salvo of any of the last seven or eight Venom offerings, right down to sole original member Cronos' welcoming the listener to some new (old) version of Hell with his gruff, cinder-charred voice. To say that, outside of the presence of Cronos, the 2015 version of Venom has little to do with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends who pioneered black metal in the late '70s and early '80s, is an understatement, but to their credit, 21st century Venom manage to sound like they're at least entertaining themselves. The architecture may feel a bit phoned in, but the 14-track set is delivered with the panache of pros who know that their names will be written in the cement, as evidenced by stand-out cuts like "Rise," "The Death of Rock N Roll," "Stigmata Satanas," and "Long Haired Punks," the latter of which, a ferocious Motörhead-style banger with considerable cojones, is much better than its a little-long-in-the-tooth title would suggest. Gone is the youthful punk-metal fury that helped launch the group into the annals of heavy metal legend, but From the Very Depths does little to tarnish that reputation, as it's the product of a completely different band. It may bear the mark of Venom, but it lacks the heart-stopping toxicity of its inception. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Noise Records

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Rock - Released January 7, 2008 | Noise Records

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Rock - Released January 7, 2008 | Noise Records

When Venom first appeared in the early '80s, they sent a shockwave through the metal underground almost immediately. Catching the attention of both metalheads and punks, the band was emulated by the former and turned into camp icons by the latter. This was obviously the strongest period of their career, and to celebrate that time frame they have included 20 tracks from between 1980 and 1983 to fill the first disc of In League With Satan, the most complete compilation the band has released in their 20-plus years. Coming on strong with sloppy riffs swiped from Motörhead, drumming that echoed the urgent drive of hardcore, lyrics that would do Anton Levay proud, and their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks, they bashed away at these metal classics with an intensity never felt before in the genre. The sound quality may be thin by modern standards, but the tracks found on the first disc mark a turning point that made an enormous impact on the direction metal went in. The second disc is a much more hit-and-miss affair, with the tracks from At War With Satan being the first of the bunch to lose the raw edge that drove the band's first efforts. Still, several of those tracks are quite potent, with "Stand up and Be Counted" and "Aaaaarghhh" displaying their trademark mix of humor and aggression. Only the latter element carries over into the rest of the album, leaving the tracks from Possessed to stand out as the weakest on the compilation, if only because of their stone-faced seriousness that betrays the tone of the previous material. As far as extras, this does include singles that never made it to these albums ("Die Hard" being the best of the bunch), commercials for album releases, radio spots, and even their live-intro tape. On top of that, there is a concise biography and a history of the official recorded output from this lineup provided inside. These items alone will make it a necessity for fans, and the commercial and radio bonuses are spread throughout in a non-obtrusive fashion. There is almost 15 years of material being ignored by this compilation; it is hardly missed when compared to the excellent tracks displayed here. In League With Satan provides easy access to the best songs from their creative high point, and despite a weak ending, it is arguably the finest compilation provided by group thus far. ~ Bradley Torreano
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Rock - Released July 7, 2008 | Noise Records

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Metal - Released December 22, 2017 | Spinefarm Records UK

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 20, 2018 | L7 Music Group

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Metal - Released March 6, 2019 | Sanctuary Records

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Rock - Released May 23, 2016 | The Store For Music Ltd

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 29, 2017 | Marvel Records

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MMV

Rock - Released April 7, 2008 | Noise Records

Released to coincide with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal legend's 25th anniversary, MMV lovingly reconstructs Venom's long and twisted road from obscurity to underground legend through four discs packed to the goat horns with outtakes, demos, radio spots, interviews, and good old-fashioned black metal. Compiled by singer/bassist Conrad Lant, better known to fans as Cronos, MMV lays to waste any notion that the band -- and its ever-revolving door of members -- was riding the coattails of contemporaries like Judas Priest, Motörhead, and Black Sabbath. Their influence on the emerging thrash and death metal scenes spawned groups like Slayer and Metallica (the latter is billed as the opening act on a reproduction of an included early-'80s tour poster), but it was their adherence to the dark side that set them apart from imitators. Cronos once described Ozzy Osbourne as a man who would "sing about evil things and dark figures, then spoil it all by going 'Oh God, help me!'" It was a sentiment that would remain virtually unchanged, even throughout the hair metal-obsessed '80s and '90s. Longtime fans will no doubt revel in the newly remastered versions of classic tunes like "In League with Satan," "Black Metal," "Acid Queen," and "Welcome to Hell" -- their early recordings were notoriously muddy -- but it's the extras, including a 60-page booklet plastered with photos and memorabilia from Cronos' personal collection, as well as the myriad of rare and previously unreleased cuts, that make this box so essential. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Rock - Released August 8, 2013 | Noise Records

In 2003, Castle released a compilation of greatest-hits volumes, Black Reign/Buried Alive, which contained two complete albums on one CD-- Venom's Black Reign (1996, originally released on Receiver) and Buried Alive (1999, also originally released on Receiver). ~ John Bush
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Rock - Released July 7, 2008 | Noise Records