Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan - Bass & vocals Jeff "Mantas" Dunn - Guitars Tony "Abaddon" Bray - Drums
Following the introductory message from Satan in "Avé Satanas" and the band entering like the sound of a cannon exploding, the headbanging session immediately begins with a vicious riff and a slamming groove that will have no issues getting heads banging. This track is going to sound amazing in a live setting, especially as a setlist opener. Can't wait to hear them play it in September. After a pummeling start, things start to speed up with "Forged In Hell" and "Metal We Bleed". These tracks just bleed classic Venom. The latter almost feels like the sequel to "Black Metal". You'll see when you hear it. Aside from the pummeling straightforward groove in "Dein Fleisch", the only slight flaw that lets this track down a bit is Demolition Man's whispering vocals in the verses. They just feel out of place.
You know the old saying: "Let the music do the talking"? Well, "Time To Die" feels like it should've been titled "Time To Mosh" because musically, that's exactly what the song is screaming at you as the opening riff launches into a full on thrash assault. There's absolutely no doubt that when this song is played live, fists will be punching the air with fury along to the gang chants during the monstrous breakdown. Your necks better be prepared when you hear this track. When we arrive at "Preacher Man", we get probably the moodiest intro on the record, but it doesn't last for very long, then we're right back into headbanging territory. "Don't listen to the Preacher Man. Don't listen to a word he says. If you listen to the Preacher Man. He's gonna get inside your head." snarls Demolition Man in the chorus. As we come to the end, we get one more round of punk-infused speed metal with "Black N Roll". It almost feels like a tribute to Motorhead by combining "Ace Of Spades" and "Overkill".
Complexity has never been associated with Venom. Both the music and the lyricism have always been simple and to the point, but it's the way the songs are constructed that make them stand out. Many of these songs will work amazingly well in a live setting. There's nothing new or innovative to be found because that's not what Venom Inc. have set out to do, so if you're expecting to find something groundbreaking here, you're not going to find it. Venom Inc. have forged an album that throws back to the old days but still feels current. Packed with adrenaline-inducing riffs and monstrous vocals, Avé is absolutely worth picking up and it leaves you with no choice but to headbang and mosh. One of my top albums of the year for sure.
Highs: "Avé Satanas", "Forged In Hell", "Time To Die" and "Black N Roll"
Lows: If you're expecting complexity, or even something new and groundbreaking, you're not finding any of that on this album.
Final Rating: 9/10
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