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Venom - "Fallen Angels" (CD)

Venom - "Fallen Angels" CD cover image

"Fallen Angels" track listing:

1. Hammerhead
2. Nemisis
3. Pedal To The Metal
4. Lap Of The Gods
5. Damnation Of Souls
6. Beggerman
7. Hail Satanas
8. Sin
9. Punks Not Dead
10. Death Be Thy Name
11. Lest We Forget
12. Valley Of The Kings
13. Fallen Angels
14. Annunaki Legacy
15. Blackened Blues

Reviewed by on February 8, 2012

"I trust in the fact that whenever there is a need to satisfy that 'rebel against the radical Christian right' urge, I can consistently rely on this band to continue a proven style. Why fix what isn't broke?"

When the “Black Metal” term was coined by Venom back in 1982, the reference was more to evil than an actual sound. The record was set straight in 2006 with the release of the more apropos “Metal Black.” It was Bathory who then pioneered the sound of black metal. Although Bathory was deemed “Venom clones” at the time, looking back the first effort from Quorthon was a whole lot different. So as I refer to Venom as the originators of black metal, Venom’s sound has little to do with the reference. The sound is based in punk and metal. It was raw, under produced, and intentionally off balance. In 2012, Venom is still that under produced, raw band with albums like “Welcome to Hell” and “Black Metal.” So, what’s the beef?

One of the traps that critics of Venom usually fall into is that they tend to overlook what Venom really is all about. Cronos doesn't give a crap whether Venom progresses in sound, has slick crispy production, or takes those glittery ad photos of the band smiling beside a Peavy amp. It is funny how we all have different expectations of bands like Venom, with many expecting the band to present a fresh new pioneering sound like it did in 1982 on every release.

If you have grown tired of the adolescent Venom style, then don’t bother with "Fallen Angels." Believing that Venom “is mocking itself” is the sign of a fan that expected the band to pioneer a new way to hail Satan. Maybe there is no better way. Plus, if you look around in 2012, there isn't a plethora of bands that play Venom’s style. I trust in the fact that whenever there is a need to satisfy that “rebel against the radical Christian right” urge, I can consistently rely on this band to continue a proven style. Why fix what isn't broke?

My expectations of Venom are the following: A. raw and severely under produced punk-infused metal; B. consistent praises to Satan. Anything else is not really Venom. While “Fallen Angels” is actually not as under produced as “Metal Black” or even “Black Metal,” it is just as raw and intense as all of them. The band still produces catchy traditional head banging numbers like “Annunaki Legacy,” “Pedal to the Metal,” “Hail Satanas,” and the epic evil title track.

One of the most appealing parts of Venom is the consistency in its sound. The group has had a strange career path, but through all lineup changes the band has been exactly what I expect….Venom!

Highs: The same Venom sound: raw, unpolished, punk-infused metal.

Lows: For some fans, a tired old sound.

Bottom line: Venom consistently hails Satan with as much under produced pride as the band always has!

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)