From The Very Depths
(Spinefarm Records / 2015)
There are bands which are essential pieces in this great universal puzzle that is our life and Venom are, for me and for many others, one of these bands, one of those leading names that helped lift the safe walls of our world Heavy Metal world, that helped us to endure nights and days of solitude in our room, while also served as the soundtrack to our fantasies and our air guitar sessions on top of the bed while screaming loudly ‘Lay down your souls to the Gods Rock ‘n’ Roll!!’. I don’t think there are many people in the world that don’t pull out their best imaginary guitar while hearing such songs as ‘Black Metal’, ‘Countess Bathory’ or ‘Seven Gates of Hell’!
But these are issues of an important past and we interested in what VENOM has to offer us now, especially those who, like me, have been keeping a little distance from the band’s releases, just scratching a bit of each surface, since the time of “Prime Evil”! The question to ask is whether VENOM can still excite us the same way they did when we were teenagers, if there is still some kind of enchantment left in Cronos’ voice, or time and age brought stagnation and the passive survival on the account of a legendary past and a reputation we all want to keep forever. These are never easy questions to answer.
However, “From the Very Depths” can still bring a little of all that VENOM were and are today. The familiar sound of Cronos’ dirty bass is present. Lyrics that still tempt us to taste the dark side of things are also here. As well as some memorable songs that are sure to stay for the future to come and that without any doubt, will be made mandatory in their shows. Among some more fast and energetic moments as ‘The Death of Rock’ n ‘Roll’, ‘Long Haired Punks’ or ‘Grinding Teeth’ (an awesome song), there is still plenty room left for other tracks with less attack and more groove as is the case of ‘Stigmata Satanas’ or ‘Mephistopheles’. In any of these cases, we can feel a strong connection to the legacy in what this band’s career is based upon, one that can still thrive without any problems with other less common songs as ‘Smoke’ or ‘Evil Law’, and without ever losing the essence or the charisma of such an important institution and all it represents for Heavy Metal.
[reviewed by: Rui Marujo]