November 1, 2016 marked the 34th anniversary of one of the most important records in the history of extreme music. Way back in 1982, a band from Newcastle, England unleashed their second album on an unsuspecting public and things would never be the same for heavy metal. The band was Venom and the album was called Black Metal.
It was a landmark release in many respects in that it would serve as the aesthetic blueprint for a variety of extreme genres such as thrash, death metal, and, of course, black metal. From a musical standpoint the record has more in common with thrash than modern black metal. Regardless, many people believe it to be the seed from which all that would follow across the spectrum of extreme metal was germinated.
2015 has sucked in almost every way for me and for a lot of people that I know, too. You could say it was full of Trials and Tribulation (that’ll be funny AFTER you see the top of my list). Fortunately, we were gifted a litany of top-shelf metal albums to get us through it without losing our minds. The following are the top 20 metal records that I subjected my children to while driving them all over L.A. I have to admit that there was so much great stuff this year that I sort of cheated here by including a very extensive “honorable mentions” category for all of the other albums that might have made the list had the year ended when they came out. All of them are excellent efforts that I know I’ll be listening to for years to come.
Check out the list and let me know what you think in the comments below because if I know metalheads (and believe me, I do) you’ll all have some very strong opinions about your own likes and dislikes. The best thing about other people’s year-end “best of” list is that I always discover a few absolute gems that got past me during the year. Last year, you, the readers, even turned me on to Ne Obliviscaris and Solstafir, two amazing bands that I was unfamiliar with and whose albums should have been on my list. It is my hope that no matter what your opinion of my personal list is, that it will inspire you to check out some artists or records that you haven’t yet discovered. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite metal band contained herein.
Have a wonderful holiday season and rest up, because 2016 promises to be another pummeling year in extreme music. And be sure to stay tuned here at GoD because you know we’ll be doing our very best to keep you informed about all of it.
Venom may not have singlehandedly invented black metal, but they indisputably gave it its name with their 1982 album, which was titled (wait for it…) Black Metal. The album made worldwide metal waves and soon the band, having been laughed off by every major label only a couple of years prior, were the fathers of a brand new underground genre.
Venom has undergone numerous lineup changes, breakups, resurrections, and assorted other dramas but have never quite matched the success of the Black Metal era. Nevertheless, the band is highly revered by hardcore metalheads and it’s impossible to count how many bands owe their existence in some way or another to Venom.
Now the English legends are set to return on January 27, 2015 with their 14th studio album From The Very Depths, which will be released through Spinefarm Records and also be available as an MP3 Download. The first single from the album is a classic Venom rager titled “Grinding Teeth.” Check it out here below.
Cleveland metal band Midnight has recorded a cover of Venom‘s “Too Loud (for the Crowd),” which will included in the September 2014 issue of Decibel as part of the metal magazine’s Flexi Series. The original song appeared on Venom’s fourth album, 1985’s Possessed.
While Midnight’s version changes “Don’t dictate to us/We were the first” to “Don’t fuck with us…,” it unfortunately lacks the original’s cameo by Lucifer, who sings “Let it begin.” But, it’s still really good stuff, so if you’re not familiar with Midnight, this tune is a cool introduction to the band. You can listen to Midnight’s cover song where below!
The hooded metal monsters, who will be opening for Samhain and Goatwhore for several shows this Fall, are getting ready to release their sophomore effort, No Mercy for Mayhem through — you can preview two songs from the album here below. Formed in 2003 and heavily influenced musically by the likes of Venom and Motorhead — with a fashion sense of The Mentors meet Destruction — the band’s debut album, Satanic Royalty, came out in 2011.
Last week I gave you the documentary Black Metal Satanica as a primer for the genre. For this weeks installment of Black Metal Friday, we examine the origin of the genre’s name. Here with the title track of their second album, Black Metal, is the English band Venom.
While technically more on the punk/metal side of the spectrum, this album and song contain the basic DNA of what would morph into the genre of black metal. Frenetic speed, the vocal stylings of singer Cronos and the imagery glorifying Satan were all to be adopted along with the phrase “black metal” by the next wave of extreme bands to follow. The first true example of the black metal sound would surface the following year with Bathory’s first album, which we will explore next week. Until then, horns up and enjoy the song that spawned a genre.