Venom (band)

Article

January 19, 2022

Venom is an extreme metal band formed in 1979 in Newcastle, England. The band was part of a new wave of British heavy metal, and it developed metal music in a more drastic direction than before, and has had a significant impact on the development of thrash and black metal; the latter was named after the band's second album. The band’s music in its early days was unprecedentedly violent and openly satanic, which sparked public upheaval but also popularity among heroes. However, Venom’s image of Satan worship was not a serious statement, but was meant to arouse attention and resentment. Venom released groundbreaking albums in its early years, and it momentarily rose to number one in extreme metal. Through internal quarrels and loosely received albums, the band dropped out of the limelight, but has continued active recording until the 21st century, and the band’s discography includes 15 full-length studio albums. Since 2015, there have been two ensembles called Venom: Venom, led by Conrad “Cronos” Lant, and Venom Inc., founded by Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn and Anthony “Abaddon” Bray. The band had a significant impact on the development of extreme metal, and many bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Death and Celtic Frost have cited Venom as one of their key role models.

History

Establishment and Early Times (1979-1980)

Venom was formed in Newcastle in 1979. Members had previously played in a number of short-lived ensembles. The most notable of these was the five-member Guillotine. In 1978, Guillotine guitarist Jeffrey Dunn met a member of a band called Oberon at a Judas Priest concert. Different parties remember the events a little differently, but the member was either drummer Anthony Bray or singer Clive Archer. Oberon was already about to break up, and soon both Bray and Archer joined Dunn's band. At Roudar's suggestion, the new line-up was renamed Venom (Finnish poison). A little later, bassist Alan Winston and guitarist Conrad Lant joined the band. Lant had previously played for Dwarfstar and worked as an assistant at Impulse recording studios. According to Dunn, he had already dreamed of making a demo tape before Lant joined, but the prices at Impulse Studio were too high. One night Dunn went to a friend to have a beer and met Lant there, who said he was playing guitar. Guillotine’s old guitarist Dave Rutherford was about to leave the band as he admired Ritchie Blackmore, while Venom’s music was evolving in a heavier direction. So Dunn asked Lantia for a test call, who also said she was on an internship at Impulse Studio, which Dunn saw as an opportunity to get to the studio at a cheaper rate; “Of course, Conrad has since been happy to let him know he was involved from the start, but that claim is not true.” After Winston left, Lant became the bassist. He played bass through a guitar amp and in a guitar-like style anyway. This produced a “dirty, rubbery” soundscape that later became a trademark of Venom. In his work, Lant often met novice metal musicians who deliberately tried to sound like some well-known band. He didn't like this and began to consistently develop Venom's sound world in an unconventional direction. The band wanted to combine the speed of Motörhead, the gloom of Black Sabbath, the appearance of Judas Priest and Kiss’s theatrical stage performance. Members began using scary, mysterious artist names: bassist Conrad Lant became “Cronos,” a drummer

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