It’s not often that a ‘new’ band has the pedigree that Venom Inc. comes around. If the name Venom seems familiar then yes they are the fathers of black metal… but there was so much more to the band than that, including a unique sound that many of us have come to know and love over the news. In a way Venom Inc is a brand new beginning, an identity of its own, as it sees former Venom members – Jeffrey ‘Mantas’ Dunn, Anthony ‘Abaddon’ Bray and Tony ‘Demolition Man’ Dolan out on their own and delivering a fine debut album in the form of Ave.

This is an album that wins you over from the very beginning. The classical opening with a sample of “Ave Maria” draws you in and then that classical feel is blown to pieces by the brilliant sounding original sound that Venom Inc bring to the table. There is a real mixture of metal genres that form the Venom Inc sound but it sounds amazing. There are traces of death metal, definite black metal vocals while the instrumentals have a definite thrash metal tinge to them… that becomes very obvious with the screaming guitars of Mantas kicking into gear on opening track ‘Ava Satanas.’

“Forged In Hell” and ‘Metal We Bleed’ see the smoother thrash sound and the death growls of The Demolition Man meld together brilliantly well which means by the time the darker tracks like “Dein Fleisch” (with blood-curdling, in-pain, screams to just complete the scene) and the thought-provoking “Blood Stained” come around you are already very much in love with Ave as an album.

“Blood Stained” also contains another epic guitar piece from Mantas, as does “The Evil Dead” and soon as a listener you are realising that he is one of the most under-rated guitarists going around… there is no doubt about it – the man is a guitar god. The intense and brutal “I Kneel To No God” shows that there is a different side to Venom Inc while the closing track ‘Black N Roll’ has ‘live anthem’ written all over it and I for one can’t wait to see it performed live.

While calling Venom Inc a new band does feel a little strange given the pedigree of the musicians behind it Ave shows that this is a band to watch because this is an absolutely stunning debut.

What do you think?

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Written by Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.


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