Venom

Venom

Genre: NWOBHM/Black/Speed Metal
Origin: United Kingdom
Status: Active

Biography:
A seminal influence on the evolution of thrash and black metal, Venom formed during the late '70s in Newcastle, England. Originally a five-piece group called Oberon, they eventually trimmed their lineup to a trio comprising singer/bassist Conrad "Cronos" Lant, guitarist Jeff "Mantas" Dunn, and drummer Tony "Abaddon" Bray. Influenced by the heavy intensity of Motörhead and the visual flash of Kiss, the newly rechristened Venom developed a dark, blistering sound that paved the way for the subsequent rise of thrash music; similarly, their macabre, proudly satanic image proved a major inspiration for the legions of black metal bands to appear in their wake, even lending the genre its name with the release of their 1982 sophomore LP, Black Metal. (Their debut, Welcome to Hell, preceded it by a year.)

Venom's third album, At War with Satan, followed in 1983, and two years later they released Possessed. Lineup changes plagued the group in the years to follow, with Mantas exiting in the wake of 1985's live Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; guitarists Matt Hickey and Jimmy Clare were tapped as his replacements, making their debut on 1987's Calm Before the Storm. Cronos then quit as well, however, mounting a solo career and taking both Hickey and Clare with him as he left; at that point Mantas rejoined Abaddon to form a new edition of Venom with onetime Atomkraft vocalist/bassist Tony "The Demolition Risk" Dolan and guitarist Al Barnes. The new lineup made its bow on 1989's Prime Evil; Tear Your Soul Apart appeared a year later.

After 1991's Temples of Ice, Barnes quit Venom; his absence was filled by guitarist Steve "War Maniac" White, who along with keyboardist V.X.S. was recruited in time for 1992's The Waste Lands before both quickly exited. The trio of Mantas, Abaddon, and Dolan continued touring throughout the middle years of the decade, although no more new studio recordings were forthcoming; finally, in 1996 Cronos returned to the Venom fold, making way for Dolan's departure. The original lineup's return to action was heralded by the release of the mini-album Venom '96, followed in 1997 by the full-length Cast in Stone. After a world tour, Venom issued the two-disc New, Live & Rare in mid-1998. Buried Alive appeared a year later, and in the spring of 2000 the group returned with The Court of Death and Beauty and the Beast. In 2006 they celebrated their 25th anniversary with Metal Black, followed two years later by Hell. Fallen Angels, the group's 13th studio long-player, arrived in 2011, followed in 2015 by From the Very Depths, both of which were issued via Spinefarm/Universal.


Discography:

Studio albums
- Welcome to Hell (1981)
- Black Metal (1982)
- At War with Satan (1984)
- Possessed (1985)
- Calm Before the Storm (1987)
- Prime Evil (1989)
- Temples of Ice (1991)
- The Waste Lands (1992)
- Cast in Stone (1997)
- Resurrection (2000)
- Metal Black (2006)
- Hell (2008)
- Fallen Angels (2011)
- From the Very Depths (2015)

Demos
- Demon (1980)
- Demo (1980)

EP
- Canadian Assault (1985)
- American Assault (1985)
- French Assault (1985)
- Hell at Hammersmith - Alive in '85 (1985)
- Scandinavian Assault (1986)
- German Assault (1987)
- ...Tear Your Soul Apart (1990)
- Venom '96 (1996)

Singles
- In League with Satan / Live like an Angel (1981)
- Bloodlust (1982)
- Die Hard (1983)
- Warhead (1984)
- Manitou (1984)
- Nightmare (1985)
- Fire (1988)
- Antechrist (2006)
- Hammerhead (2011)

Split
- Bursting Out / Pull the Trigger (1985)
- Radio Hell: The Friday Rock Show Sessions (1992)

Video
- Live E.P. (1982)
- The 7th Date of Hell - Live at Hammersmith Odeon (1984)
- Video Nightmare (1985)
- Hell at Hammersmith - Alive in '85 (1985)
- Alive in '85 (1986)
- Live '90 (1990)
- Live in London 85 (2004)

Split video
- Metal City (1985)
- Combat Tour Live: The Ultimate Revenge (1985)

Compilations
- Japanese Assault (1985)
- From Hell to the Unknown... (1985)
- The Singles 80-86 (1986)
- Acid Queen (1991)
- In Memorium (1991)
- The Book of Armageddon (1992)
- Kissing the Beast (1993)
- Leave Me in Hell (1993)
- Skeletons in the Closet (1993)
- Old, New, Borrowed and Blue (1993)
- Black Reign (1996)
- From Heaven to the Unknown (1997)
- New Live & Rare (1998)
- Buried Alive (1999)
- The Collection (2000)
- The Court of Death (2000)
- The Venom Archive (2001)
- Greatest Hits & More (2001)
- Darkest Hour (2002)
- Kissing the Beast (2002)
- Welcome to Hell (2002)
- Lay Down Your Soul! (2002)
- In League with Satan (2003)
- Witching Hour - The Best of Venom (2001)
- The Seven Gates of Hell - Singles 1980-1985 (2003)
- MMV (2005)

Boxed Set
- Here Lies Venom (1985)
- A Triple Dose of Venom (2001)

Live Album
- Official Bootleg (1986)
- Eine kleine Nachtmusik (1986)
- The Second Coming (1997)
- Bitten (2002)
- Witching Hour (2003)


Members

Current members:
Cronos - Bass (1979-1987, 1995-2002, 2005-present), Guitars (rhythm) (1979), Vocals (1980-1987, 1995-2002, 2005-present)
Rage - Guitars (2007-present)
Danté - Drums (2009-present)

Past members:
Alan Winston - Bass (1979)
Abaddon - Drums (1979-1992, 1995-1999)
Mantas - Guitars (1979-1985, 1989-1992, 1995-2002)
Jesus Christ - Vocals (1979-1980)
Mykus - Guitars (1987, 2005-2007)
Jimmy Clare - Guitars (1987)
Al Barnes - Guitars (1989-1991)
Demolition Man - Vocals, Bass (1989-1992)
V.X.S. - Keyboards (1991-1992)
War Maniac - Guitars (1992)
Antton - Drums (1999-2002, 2005-2009)

Venom

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