|Classic Review: Venom - Live From London|
|Live From London|
Label: K-Tel International
Year released: 2000
Duration: 58 min.
Review online: November 16, 2002
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Live From London
Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (4 Votes)
This was originally released as "Alive in '85" back in 1985, and this is a re-release on DVD. Interestingly it says the show was recorded in Dolby Digital 5.1. Did that exist back then? I'm too lazy to check. I'll cover the DVD extras pretty quick, since K-Tel obviously didn't spend much time on that to begin with. The biography is two screens long and contains some inaccuracies. The discography also has some errors ("Welcome to Hell" released in 1985? I don't think so...) The photo gallery only contains some 5-6 pictures, but they're pretty good. That's it for the extras.
Alright, let's get to the show. This was recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon Theatre in London on October 8, 1985. The band performs 14 songs, plus one pretty exotic bass solo by Cronos. Venom relies a bit on pyrotechnic effects and some good stage lighting, with the effect augmented by the little asides they do while playing. They were never hailed as outstanding musicians, but one thing they knew how to do was convey some kind of horror or evil-like feeling with their instruments, and they put that on display quite a bit here, going a bit away from playing the songs as recorded, instead using their guitar and bass to add up some freakish sounds when you don't expect it. You know, I really need to augment my English vocabulary, because I've just re-read the past few lines and that doesn't sound at all like what I want to say. Oh well. Back to the show. :) Cronos (bass, vocals) and Mantas (guitar) are quite the stage beasts, especially during their solos where their stage antics are hailed by an obviously very pleased crowd. I couldn't help but burst out laughing when, at the beginning of "Seven Gates Of Hell", Mantas is playing the quite, lugubre intro and signals the crowd to remain quiet by putting his finger to his lips. Whether it's for maximal effect in the darkness of the stage at that point, or because he doesn't want to screw up his playing, I'm not too sure! :) The solos are far from the technical stuff that many bass and guitar players usually do, but these guys have such a theatrical way of executing them that I'd say it's a lot better in a live environment.
Overall the sound is pretty good, there's just a couple of places where things got a bit fuzzy. This was professionaly recorded, so the image is pretty much as good as it can get. This show is definitely a must-have for Venom fans, with the original line-up still in its prime. Too bad K-Tel botched the job a little (even the running time printed on the DVD case is wrong...), but at least the show is seemingly all there. 58 minutes is a bit short and leaves you craving for more but hey, you can always press Play again! :)
I believe this is out of print, so you'll most likely have to check on eBay, half.com or Amazon.com Marketplace or some other source for used stuff to find this.
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