Venom - From the Very Depths (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


From the Very Depths (2015)


Venom are one of the most important bands in the history of heavy music. They had a hand in the creation of thrash metal, death metal and black metal (even giving the latter genre its name with their legendary sophomore album.) Without Venom, extreme metal could very well have never existed. With all of that out of the way, they’re pretty much a legacy act this point, with only 1/3 of the original group still on board. That what’s makes From the Very Depths, their first record in nearly half a decade, such a welcome surprise; This thing ROCKS. In a very familiar, but relevant and exciting way.

“Eruptus” is the obligatory ambient intro, setting the tone and bringing a “calm before the storm” atmosphere. After about 90 seconds or so, the storm begins with the dizzying guitar pyrotechnics and polyrhythmic drumming of the title track. It’s clear right away that this is a very different band than the one that played so fast and so sloppy that they accidentally invented extreme metal. This lineup is much more proficient at their instruments than the original Venom could ever hope to be, but within this first track, the word “Satan” is uttered at least five times, so they haven’t grown up TOO much.

“The Death of Rock N Roll” is where things start to get really awesome. This track shows that the forefathers can keep up with the young bucks, and may even be taking some cues from them. This track isn’t far off from what bands like Watain or Young and in the Way are doing, but with more of a (ironically enough) rock 'n roll attitude taking cues from Motorhead. Try not to headbang to this song, it’s impossible.

Venom have always been a band that takes risks -- the entire first half of their third record, At War With Satan, was a 20-minute black metal rock opera about the ultimate struggle between good and evil. Three decades into their career, they’re still trying new things. “Smoke” opens with some Alice In Chains-style wah pedal abuse before segueing into a groove metal stomper. “Long Haired Punks” brings to mind the frantic energy of crossover thrash.

From the Very Depths is an unexpectedly awesome record that should please most extreme metal fans. They’re undeniably a very different band than they were at their inception, but fans longing for that sound can check out Primevil, featuring the other 2/3 of Venom’s original lineup. For anyone willing to let the past be the past and take Venom for what they are now, this record is one hell of a ride.