So the legendary fathers of the extreme metal genre are back at it again with their fourteenth full-length album, From the Very Depths. After 36 years of line-up changes, break-ups, and a string of hit and miss releases one may be skeptical whether not Venom still has it. To be honest , not sure if this is the album to answer that, but it does prove that they indeed still have a fighting spirit and obvious love for metal.
From the Very Depths is both an eclectic album ranging from doom to speed metal, but unfortunately also rather plodding and monotonous. It is almost like the album has a beer gut and needs to lose about 20% of its body weight. First, the album is about 4 tracks too long and the album’s standout tracks albeit enjoyable, are all about 2 minutes too long as well.
It is easy to say that the best tracks on the album are title track From the Very Depths, the very old school punk rock influenced Long Haired Punks, and Death of Rock and Roll. They do not sound like classic Venom, but honestly that would be an unfair expectation to have for such a long-running and mature band. These tracks though are the summation of what good elements can be found here; ripping guitar solos, gruff screaming vocals, and a catchy brutality that will have you banging your head and singing along.
Even though the simplicity of Venom‘s song writing can be endearing, reminding of us of the extreme metal genre’s roots in punk and rock n roll, but there needs to be cohesion. Tracks like Smoke, that incorporate elements of doom, ruin the momentum and energy that the previous tracks create. Where as Wings of Valkyrie and Rise are simply tedious and teeth clenching listening experiences.
From the Very Depths definitely has some really awesome positive moments that make it obvious that Cronos, Rage, and Dante still love what they are doing. Unfortunately, there are not enough highlights to overcome the tedium and unnecessary tracks resulting in a pretty mediocre metal album.
3 out of 5 Rating:
- From the Very Depths
- The Death of Rock N Roll
- Long Haired Punks
- Stigmata Satanas
- Evil Law
- Grinding Teeth
- Wings of Valkyrie
Genre: Extreme Metal
Record Label: Spinefarm Records U.K.
Playing Time: 51 Minutes
Cronos- Vocals, Bass