Anyone fortunate enough to have seen Venom live since the release of 2011’s Fallen Angels will know how the band’s current lineup have breathed new life into an immortal legacy.
They may be a little more precise and streamlined than purists might desire, but 34 years on from the release of Welcome To Hell, Cronos and his current henchmen La Rage and Dante have plainly tapped into that seminal essence and spirit.
From The Very Depths is more consistent than its predecessor; from the pummelling grind of the opening title track and The Death Of Rock’N’Roll through to the sinister, downtempo lurching of Smoke and Evil Law, this is uniformly thrilling stuff, imbued with plenty of the rawness and aggression that defined Venom’s early works but delivered with a muscular thud that suits the material perfectly. Highlights come thick and fast, but it’s the clatter of Long Haired Punks and the turbocharged thrash of Grinding Teeth that leap out as instant classics. Cronos is in fine and foul voice throughout, sounding increasingly like a returning emperor surveying his kingdom and declaring, “This is how you fucking do it!” with an imperious snarl. Lay down your souls. Again.