Review: Venom Inc. “There’s Only Black” [Nuclear Blast]

Review: Venom Inc. “There’s Only Black” [Nuclear Blast]

- in Reviews
Score 79%
79 %
User Rating : 4.4 (2 votes)

It has been five years since Venom Inc. reintroduced themselves to the metal scene with their first album Ave, with near fatal heart attack, 40 year anniversary of the cult Black Metal album and the pandemic stuck in between. With their first album, the band proved that they are not a mere nostalgic act and in my opinion way better than anything that Cronos spawned out the last 20 years.

There’s Only Black in some way stands a polar opposite to Ave, while the first album feels like a more modern sounding album, this one goes much more old school, in more in league with the soundscapes with albums like Prime Evil or Temples of Ice. But there are similarities still, there are still hills and valleys and with twelve songs you are in a hell of a ride. From excellent tracks like “Infinitum” or “Inferno” to drags like “Come to Me” or the title track then back on the highs on “Tyrant”.

Despite this, it has that young spirit in the album, although the production in my opinion could have been a bit deeper in the guitar sounds, it is balls to the wall attitude and yet again shows that the moniker of Venom does not rely on mere shock value. There is quality behind these tracks.

Speaking of tracks, after an iffy A side, B side of the album is where the meat mostly presides. If I was none the wiser, I would swear that “Don’t Feed Me You Lies” was a non-album track from Venom‘s catalogue from the 90s and truly kicks off the album which leads to “Man as God”; perhaps my favorite of the album showing yet again that Mantas is really one of the most overrated guitarists in the metal scene in general. From thrashing riffs to elegant feel of melodies to solos that even saves more mediocre moments in the album. Pure example of that is “Burn Liar Burn”, an excellent columniation of great melodies and thrashy riffs.

Like mentioned, the production it’s quite different from Ave, more raw and in your face. Despite that, with few rotations it kind of grows on you, having that natural feel of performance of live band, although a bit more fat behind the guitar sound would only help in the overall impression. Drums are at another hand a vast improvement, Jeramie did a fantastic job carrying the songs and has the skills that Abaddon can only dream of. The always reliable Tony Dolan did also a great job on the vocals (especially on “The Dance”) with even a few surprise bass melodies.

While Ave seems more like sure fire or a crowd pleaser, “There’s Only Black” feels more like a personal album for the band. While certainly not “The album” from Venom Inc., the band still has released something that most of bands half their age can definitely envy and look upon.

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