Welcome To Hell
Venom, formed in the 70s in Newcastle, had a massive influence on the evolution of thrash and black metal. The were originally a five-piece group known as Oberon, but soon became a trio, consisting of Conrad “Cronos” Lant (guitar), Jeff “Mantas” Dunn and Tony “Abaddon” Kiss – now calling themselves Venom. Influencied by Motorhead, the band developed a dark, satanic sound, leading to their release of their 1981 release ‘Welcome to Hell’, followed by the LP ‘Black Metal’.
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 1985, with guitarists Matt Hickey and Jimmy Clare were as his replacements, making their debut on 1987's Calm Before the Storm. Cronos then quit, however, took 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. Confusing? Very.
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, being replaced 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 Made 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’.
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