Written by Alex Stojanovic
Bring Out Your Dead
I Dark Lord
100 Miles To Hell
Dark Night (Of The Soul)
Beaten To A Pulp
The Mighty Have Fallen
Over My Dead Body
We The Loud
Storm The Gate
Release Date: December 14, 2018 Label: Spinefarm Records
Conrad "Cronos" Lant - Bass & vocals / Stuart "La Rage" Dixon - Guitars / Danny "Dante" Needham - Drums
Going into Storm The Gates, I went in with an open mind like I always do, and the record contains both good stuff and bad stuff, and I will touch on both sides here. First of all, I got exactly what I was expecting to get. The production is raw and unpolished, the lyrics are tongue-and-cheek, the riffs are great and the vocals are aggressive as hell. I've always really liked Cronos' raw snarling vocals, and his overall tone. They compliment the riffs really well. As if the songs weren't already heavy enough, his grunts that he spits out in certain areas add that extra dose of heaviness. Some of the album's highlights include "Notorious" and "Dark Night (Of The Soul)" with the straightforward hooky riffs, combined with great grooves on the drums.
When it comes to Storm The Gates, I wouldn't say I enjoyed it 100%. I wasn't impressed, but also I wasn't disappointed. However, with the little variation these songs contain, it certainly makes you wonder whether you just heard the song a few minutes ago, but it's clear that this is the path Venom have intended to take ever since they started. When it comes to punk, there's little variation in the songs, and it was never about virtuosity. It was more about the vibe, and that's why straightforward punk was never exactly my thing. I was and always will be more into the riffs and the musicianship. Now I'm not saying that being about the vibe is bad, because metal has that too. I like to combine the two, but I prefer the musicianship over the vibe a bit more.
On Storm The Gates, some songs reach just under 5 minutes, like "I Dark Lord", "100 Miles To Hell" and "Dark Night (Of The Soul)" and one song is just over that length, which is "Over My Dead Body". Because of that, I felt that these tracks in particular stayed at the party a little too long, and they got a little tedious. Actually, the album starts to get kind of tedious by the mid-point. Another factor that plays into the album's tediousness is that there's thirteen tracks. If this was released as an EP with 5 or 6 songs, it would've made for a much more enjoyable listening experience. Is Storm The Gates an amazing album? No. Is it decent? Yes.
Venom started off as a very punk inspired metal band, and that's exactly what they still are to this day. They play it safe, and because of that, many of you will like Storm The Gates for that very reason. I'm a guy that prefers dynamics, but I can also appreciate albums with a more linear approach if done right. Another thing that's clear with any Venom record is that you will never hear a song with technical riffs and progressive elements. Venom are to be celebrated. 40 years on, and they are still pumping out potent, fast and filthy metal with tongue-and-cheek Satan-worshiping lyrics, and no other band does it like them. There's only one band that sounds like Venom, and that's Venom.
Highs: Venom continue to do what they do best....praise Satan with their signature brand of loud and dirty punk-infused metal.
Lows: Some songs overstay their welcome by running a little on the long side. If you're burned out on Venom's consistent sound, then steer clear.
Final Rating: 6/10