When you first play this you might think, ‘What the Hell?’, mainly because of the classical string intro kicking things off, but it does get heavier. Venom’s first live album is pretty good, but it does have a few flaws. First, the songs themselves are classic Venom. They’re loud, heavy, evil & just a little sloppy at times, but like with most of their stuff, it’s the feeling of the songs that matter. This was the last official album with guitarist Mantas right before he left. He was gone for only one album, 1987’s “Calm Before the Storm”, but returned with a new Venom lineup for 89’s “Prime Evil”. Anyway, the songs here are good, but the fading in & out between most of them is a little annoying. By doing this it doesn’t sound like a “true” live recording. I’m sure many good songs were edited out to make this two-record set (in it’s original form, that is). Also, the guitar & bass solos, while loud & noisy, sound more like they were recorded in a studio, instead of an audience. Plus there’s nothing from “At War With Satan” here, which is really too bad. But the good stuff is great. “Leave Me In Hell”, “Nightmare”, In Nomine Satanas”, “Black Metal” “Buried Alive” & of course, “Witching Hour” (featuring some sloppy drumming from Abaddon). And there are TWO NEW SONGS: “The Chanting of the Priests” (recorded later on “Calm Before the Storm”, but the live version here is WAY better) & “Love Amongst the Dead” (recorded later as “Dead Love”, but not quite as good). So, while this is some good live Venom, try to find a copy of their first live video, “The 7th Date of Hell: Live at the Hammersmith Odeon”, from around ‘84. It’s a really wild live show and has a much rawer sound. But if you can’t find it, this’ll do ok too.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
OK first off, I will praise this album not only because It kicks serious you-know-what, but I am a DIE-HARD fan of Venom. Being one of the most critisized bands EVER, with people left and right saying “They cant play” and being called fakes in the 80s metal scene, All I have to say is “go f yourself”. This band is GREAT. They arent the most talented musicians the world has ever heard but SO WHAT! First of all Venom is the band who started thrash metal AND black metal- two absoultely awesomely psychotic genres of music and in my opinion GREATEST genres. But its funny how people that curse this band out seem to forget that when praising thrash bands….hey genuis- VENOM started that!!!
Now let me say this album RULES. All the classic Venom songs are done on this hell of a live album. The crowd is going nuts, the original line up of Venom and the best line up- Mantas, Cronos and Abbadon- really put on a show and this album never lets up. This night was truely Hell for Hammersmith because Venom showed the world that day how to PROPELY play metal! Praise the Gods Rock n Roll- The Gods of Black Metal- VENOM! Easily a 10 star album.