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Poison Us: Venom

Joel McIver, Record Collector, Summer 2000

FEW BANDS can claim to have started off a whole musical trend; even fewer can claim to have started two. Newcastle band Venom recorded three seminal albums for the local Neat label in the early '80s - Welcome To Hell (1981), Black Metal (1982) and At War With Satan (1983) - laying down a powerful, speedy form of metal that formed the template for the early rapid-fire recordings of US bands such as Metallica and Slayer, leading directly to the rise of thrash metal. Furthermore, Black Metal was responsible for the Satanic gibberings of Scandinavian devil-mongers such as Mercyful Fate and Bathory, and thus for a whole range of corpsepainted bands right up to today's BM leaders Emperor and Dimmu Borgir. Metal fans have a lot to thank Venom for, then . . .

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