Venom Inc - Avé

Venom Inc Avé cover
Venom Inc
Avé
Nuclear Blast Records
2017
6.5
Average: 5.3 (60 votes)
Well, what made Venom initially a force to be reckoned with but also fun to listen, was their rock n roll inspire “black” metal, a term they actually coined themselves along with a few more and their toon-ey alcohol fueled pseudo-satanic lyrics that were just pure mayhem. Things went south, with the unholy trinity starting to lose embers after “Possessed”, before eventually reuniting, only for things to fall apart soon after, all over again. But shortly after things went sour at first, the band would actually release a pretty decent album in “Prime Evil” which featured one Tony Dolan aka “Demolition Man” from Atomkraft (and a couple of more albums with him); now after all and the variety of “projects” that tried to capitalize on the various band member’s heritage being unable to record under the original “Venom” moniker, currently utilized by other original member Conrad Lant aka Cronos, they decided to perform under Venom Inc, at a KIT fest a couple of years ago and to then record some new material. They were lucky enough to be picked up by none-other than Nuclear Blast, who for some reason seems to like “satanic themed” NWOBHM era bands that might actually make them a buck or use for other (production) purposes (ie Hell). There’s no denying that once upon a full moon, the three had some chemistry going on, but several years later nothing can be taken for granted, as this could easily have been an “easy” cash in…
 
Other than trying to milk their old “moniker” a bit, by associating themselves in no subtle ways, the band indeed sounds “good” and “Ave” is largely not a dud; they might actually use some “old” riffs here and there, but they don’t really try to “base” the songs entirely on them and there’s enough “primal essence” and “evil” in the album to really justify the “name” and the weight it carries.
 
“Ave Satanas” is a nasty little number that takes its satanic “imagery” a bit too seriously, twisting “Ave Maria” into a hymn to the “fallen angel”, after a minute of hocus pocus in a way that is morbid, twisted and downright diabolical and actually pretty cool, with an ultra-heavy aural assault on the senses. Dolan, especially, sounds even darker and more malevolent than ever before…
 
“Forged in Fire” is even less original than the name the band chose and they could have just called it “forgery”… but damn they pull off the duplication process rather well, resulting in a track that’s highly enjoyable…
 
“Metal We Bleed” feels positively baptized in the fires of hell as well; it’s not even “nostalgic”, it easily takes 90% of “black metal” after Venom sodomizes it and just leaves it there to bleed to death. I f@cking hated and still don’t quite like the little bastard that the band utilized as a single.
 
“Dein Flesh” is the illegitimate love child of Venom and Rammstein… you see a lot more modern, with a nice main riff and a different Dolan, who rarely sounds like himself by resorting to whispering and over-pronouncing stuff in a very Till-erish way; it feels twisted and destitute, a dark experiment that should have never been, but “was”…
 
“Bloodstained” is more of the same monotonous fare you’d expect and a little worse, bar an unexpectedly nice solo in there, but it doesn’t quite bode well with the rest of the material, that’s why…
 
“Time to Die” is an act of butchering metal-punk that goes for the jugular and bites down hard.
 
“The Evil Dead” is another fast and brutal one that can be considered a relative highlight… leaving the “Preacher Man”, which bases itself on an interesting idea, but a much slower tempo to bite the dust…
 
“War” feels more proto-Slayer than Venom inspired and other than some pointed lyrics, a decent riff and an inspired lead; it doesn’t feel as multifaceted as it could have been mainly due to a repetition of bridge and chorus that don’t really carry it forward that impressively.
 
“I Kneel to No God” takes a pot shot at religion, but barely gets away with it musically, with rather plain riffing and ideas and it extending to more than six minutes.
 
Finally, “Black n Roll” sounds like a desperate attempt to reference one of their biggest hits, by name in a blackened hymn to all rock n roll that sounds loosely like Motorhead, which shouldn’t be bad right? But ends up feeling a bit lazy, lame and anti-climactic…
 
Overall not bad, but not great either, probably on par with the other “Venom”, but not that much better. I have serious doubts if many people would give it the light of day if it came out on a different label or under a different name, with good reason.

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