Venom – Welcome To Hell (1981)

March 11, 2022
Venom – Welcome To Hell (1981)

I just listened to this album for the first time in a long while. It had absolutely blown me away how heavy it is for something that came out in 1981. I always harp on about how incredibly heavy Swans’ Filth was for 1983, and although these two things are completely different, Venom’s intense dirty heaviness is a marvel for 1981. Talk about being ahead of the times!

I recently had a conversation with an older colleague who was given this album in the 80s and really didn’t like it, which was a funny conversation to have. He said it was one of the worst things he’d ever heard at the time. Anyways, this thing fucking slays. If you’ve never heard it, its heavier and better then the group’s famously-titled Black Metal album. Imagine Motorhead but faster and heavier. Banging.

(This is so good I reviewed it twice; here’s another review from May 2023):

There is no question that Venom were incredibly noisy, messy and I suppose heavy for 1981. If you think about what else was going on at the time, nothing really compares to these Northern noisemongers in the kind of racket that they were producing. Of course, by 2023 stardards, 43 years later, things may seem a little tame, but this is one of those cases where you really need to take the release date into account.

I think I might prefer Welcome To Hell to Black Metal. This one is certainly more stacked with raucous tunes, like the opening title track, “Poison”, “One Thousand Days In Sodom” or “Red Light Fever” to name but a few. The production is pretty horrible and the instrumentation is pretty fast and loose but that’s what it’s all about, right? This is great shit, and I could listen to it on repeat. It makes me want to dust off my leather jacket and drink some cider in the park, or something.

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