Good Thrash, But Not Exactly True Venom
Rob Michaels | portage, mi. United States | 06/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The new Venom lineup with Abaddon, Mantas, new bassist/vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan & rythem guitarist Al Barnes (the weak guy here-thankfully he left a little later) made a good attempt at playing black metal but never really reached the level of "rawness" or evil that the original did, but it was a good attempt. Strangely, on the back cover photos, Mantas, Abaddon & Barnes are all wearing cross (right side up no less). Very odd. When you listen to this it might be best not to think of this as Venom, but as some band "related" to them. Still, there are some pretty good songs here. The title track & opening number, "Prime Evil" is probably the best song this lineup ever recorded. It's really loud & has some great riffs; "Parasite" (not the Kiss song) is a good thrasher; "Blackened Are the Priests" is reminiscent of older Venom & sounds really powerful, especially with the chanting intro; "Harder Than Ever" is kind of like an anthem, like Kiss' "Rock & Roll All Nite", but is good & rowdy; "Into the Fire" is another powerful song that should be played extra loud; "Skool Daze", a "sequel" to "Teacher's Pet" is full of that nice Venom sleaze. Weak spots are their cover of Black Sabbath's "Megalomania". It's ok, but they only play the second half of it. Too bad they couldn't go for the whole thing. "Skeletal Dance" sounds kind of sloppy, mainly due to Abaddon's drumming. And why they had to re-do "Live Like An Angel-Die Like a Devil" when the original is perfectly good is beyond me. Also, even though Cronos co-wrote it, he isn't credited as doing so. They kind of make you think that this new lineup wrote it. Oh well. All in all, this is a pretty solid thrash album, but I wish it had more "blackness" in it, but you can't have everything, I guess."
What's wrong with the release label?
O. Yigit Ataman | Ankara, Turkiye | 10/26/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I will not review the music, it has been done more than once. I am going to criticize the Kraze Records version of this album, which is supposedly produced under license from Under One Flag. Kraze Records must be shameless!
When you are going to buy the CD version of an album, there are three things you ask for: (1) the artwork and design, (2) how carefully the item is manufactured and, most important of all, (3) the sound. Let me begin by saying that, I could have produced the so-called booklet at home with a mid-quality desktop printer. The cover seems good enough, but when you take the booklet out, you see that it is only one fold; one page for a band photo and one for credits that are printed so indistinct that the page looks like a cheap photocopy. No lyrics. The edges of the booklet seems to be cut by hand with standard scissors, they are uneven. If you draw a line going through the edges of the booklet, what you'll get will be a sketch of the ocean waves. When you close the booklet, you realize the corners don't even close on top of each other. The back cover also looks like a color printout and is on an unusually thin paper.
On the CD is printed the tracklist, but what a tracklist. It reads "I Agree" instead of "Insane", "Harder Than Fever" instead of "Harder Than Ever".
And the sound? Mid-quality mp3s are way more clear and powerful than the Audio CD itself. It was a different experience, realizing the CD was sounding worse than compressed audio types. It is as if they have brought the production quality down on purpose, specially for a licensed release.
None of the artwork, quality of CD manufacturing or the sound of the music itself is worth a dime, let alone $13."
Nick Winkleblack | Minneapolis, MN USA | 12/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album is vastly underappreciated, as are all of the MK II albums (the others being Temples of Ice and Possessed, currently out of print but available in chopped-up and reprocessed forms on "The Court of Death" and "New Live and Rare," though I am sure there are others.) I listen to this record at least once a month, usually more, since I bought it nearly two years ago. The lyrics, while not as dark as before, are definitely of the horror-movie variety. The music, while occasionally sloppy on the drum side (Abbadon IMHO isn't the tightest drummer,) has great chunk, and has an excellent production. What it may lack in pure evil, I think it makes up for in agression and sound quality. I take a lot of crap for it, but I still say this is my favorite Venom album, over Black Metal and Welcome to Hell though admittedly not by much. And, okay, Megolomania is not the best choice for a cover, but I don't think it's a typical choice for a Sabbath cover. Besides, that cowbell intro is great. Overall, this is a great album from a great lineup of a great band."