Venon Inc. - Avé

Venon Inc. - Avé

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(CD/LP, Nuclear Blast, 2017)

Unfortunately, it is very easy (and quite common these days) to get into never-ending arguments about band logos, name rights and so forth, and totally miss the point of music-making. Music is something to make you feel good, reflect your emotions and particularly in Metal to give you an awesome concert experience. I am not trying to downgrade the importance of the relation between a band has with the fans, but honestly, most of the times this is superficial or just in the mind of the die-hard followers. At the end of the day, it is all about you choosing what you like and what you’ll support. The purpose of this short rant was to get rid of the talk about the VENOM logo and who has the right of what. I am not in any position to know all the details (where the Devil resides...) related to the legalities / rights / and whatnot, and honestly, the only things I care about are the music and how the band does onstage. VENOM INC. are ready to drop “Avé and show the Metal world how their onstage energy has been translated / infused in the studio, giving birth to eleven tracks which are definitely headbanging worthy material, so allow me to tell you how.

I have been following the doings of Demolition Man and Mantas from the beginning and I was really happy with M-PIRE OF EVIL, especially after watching them onstage. Indeed, there was a lot of energy during the gigs, so seeing VENOM INC. shape up with Abaddon behind the drum-kit seemed like the most natural thing. And then, the VENOM INC. live shows followed, so everything had been confirmed; this lineup was absolutely pumped up and getting original music out just had to be the next step. The result of this process is called “Avé (how appropriate) carrying eleven tracks which I will say right from the start do justice to the VENOM logo. In fact, the music has a direct connection with what these fine gentlemen were doing during the “Prime Evil” era while breathing some early VENOM air.

The album opens with the title track and some sort of pledge allegiance to Satan or maybe on what Satan represents. The mid-tempo of “Ave Satanas” comes with a crushing guitar groove and an awesome drum sound (the type I call natural). Demolition Man’s guttural and grunting vocals will definitely send shivers down your spine especially during the chorus where the low-pitch / register type of backing vocals add that evil flavor one should expect with anything that bears the VENOM logo. Then comes the spoken-lyrics part, and if you focus your attention towards the guitar sound, you will get some “Welcome To Hell” vibes - just awesome! “Forged In Hell” speeds things up and the rhythm guitar-based intro took my mind over “Leave Me In Hell”; you know, the guitar groove with bass-drum combination which skyrockets your adrenaline with the hard-hitting snare-drum roll. This is an in-your-face thrasher that enters the evil realm via Demolition Man’s most characteristic articulation that comes to life through the “singing behind your teeth” thing and this is something that you have to watch live to understand this bizarre description. The headbanging groove opens “Dein Fleisch” with a massive sound and more vocals from Hell and I am sure this will become a setlist favorite for the upcoming VENOM INC. ventures. The album production and mix really shines here with a killer hi-hat sound, nice effects on the vocals and Mantas-characteristic guitars. In fact, during the early days of VENOM, there was not much praise on Mantas’ guitar work (not that there was any praise for the works of this genre-shaping band), something that was unfair because there were always killer riffs in every song. Yeah, check the solo in this one to get what I am talking about. The bass will take one step forward in the fast and in-your-face “The Evil Dead” which for some reason woke up some “Rip Ride” memories, but not in a copy/paste way. “Preacher Man” quickly became an album favorite but it is not only the music to blame for; sure, the main groove is absolutely fantastic and you will be spitting the chorus-lines alongside Tony, but the lyrics themselves perfectly represent the honest and direct attitude of VENOM INC. shooting the right words to all those people who (think) know what is best for you. I have “I Kneel To No God” in the same category with “Preacher Man” for the same reason; yeah, the lyrics are what make my clock tick and please do not perceive them as just being anti-religion. The whole concept of kneel to no one is unfortunately so relevant these days and I am sure you’ll see this once you get past the God reference.

The massive sound this album is carrying gets flesh and bones with the fast and hard-headbanger “War” (love the vein popping war grunt) which has even more relevant lyrics to how people think these days, with their religion and their beliefs being the only true things in the world, so they must be forced in everyone’s mind whatever the cost. And by the way, the riff collection in this one will blow your ears off! Even though “Black N Roll” sounds like a tribute to MOTÖRHEAD, it is definitely worth your headbanging attention, especially during the guitar solo part, and I will stop right there - you have to open you ears and listen to it as loud as possible!

“Avé lives up the all the excitement all the VENOM INC. live shows have created, so if you liked what you saw in concerts, then you’d love this record spinning on your turntable. The band has already announced some touring plans, so I hope there will be lots of these songs included in the setlist. Sure, I love hearing all those VENOM hymns live, but I equally love hearing / watching a band standing behind new material, especially if it is this good. One more thing; I wonder how this album would have been received if it had the M-PIRE OF EVIL moniker on the artwork, although I am pretty sure it would not gain traction as this one, something I believe is totally unfair. The names do not make the bands; music does.

PS: What Tony is saying after the end of “Black N Roll”?

"...the human malfunction makes killing a game..."

9/10


Links:

www.Venom-Inc.Com
www.FaceBook.Com/VenomIncOfficial
www.Twitter.Com/Venom_Inc


Tracklist:

01. Ave Satanas
02. Forged In Hell
03. Metal We Bleed
04. Dein Fleisch
05. Blood Stained
06. Time To Die
07. The Evil Dead
08. Preacher Man
09. War
10. I Kneel To No God
11. Black N Roll


Lineup:

Demolition Man - Bass, Vocals
Abaddon - Drums
Mantas - Guitar