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Review: Venom - Hell

Label: Sanctuary Records Group
Year released: 2008
Duration: 55:25
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy/Thrash


Review online: July 31, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.91/5 (78.18%) (22 Votes)

Well, this time we didn't have to wait 6 years from a new Venom album. No, this is not Welcome to Hell or Black Metal. Hell is basically the same musical approach set with 2000's Resurrection, and is better than Metal Black, but it could have been even better if there were more songs like "Straight to Hell", "The Power and the Glory" (not related to Saxon in any way), "Hell", "Evil Perfection", "Armageddon" and "Kill the Music" (which does show signs of their 80s sound.)  The other songs almost all have their moments, but fall short at one point or another, either with the vocalist trying too much, or simply Venom trying too sound too "modern" for their own good.  "Stab U in the Back", other than the retarded spelling of "you", suffers mostly from the vocals, but is musically interesting.  "Evilution Devilution" once again - simple catchy riffage that works, but the vocal lines are a turn off, as is the case with the rather dumb-sounding "Blood Sky" and "USA for Satan".  The closing track is one of the best, a dark, slow and relatively heavy number with an horror/suspense-like atmosphere which almost makes you forget the two sub-par tracks that preceded it.  Basically, when the vocal lines don't suck (or don't sound downright dumb), and when the guitars actually sound metallic, raw and crunchy (as opposed to kiddy downtuned crap), then we are treated with some good basic Heavy/Thrash Metal.

Hell is just too long for its own good.  They could have stuck with the "10 song formula", gotten rid of the bad songs, and the end result would have been much better.  But there's enough good stuff here to get some enjoyment out of this.  If you stopped liking the band after Welcome to Hell, then don't waste your time. If you liked anything off the post-80s albums, you are bound to find something to like here.

More about Venom...
Review: At War with Satan (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Black Metal (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: From the Very Depths (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Live '90 (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Live From London (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Metal Black (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Resurrection (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Storm the Gates (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Storm the Gates (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Welcome To Hell (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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