Venom – 19.12.2015 – Black Christmas, SWEDEN
2014 year's huge success Black Christmas returns with another festival packed with the most brutal black-death- and thrash bands. After several open air festivals Venom are heading for a crowded and sweaty indoor venue.Venom headline the festival the second day. 19 december is the date. Pure metal, pure Venom, pure magic.
The final band to play at Black Christmas Festival in Norrköping, Sweden on 19 december was headliners Venom. Readying the crowd with the famous intro-tape From The Very Depths, the band fired on all cylinders. Associated with two bombs exploding 10 seconds into the newie Rise, after 35 years in the game Cronos knows how to give a crowd exactly what they want: “All ye sinners rise, raise your hands and fists, with fire in your eyes show no mercy..” before launching straight into fist-pumping Hammerhead and the fast Death Of Rock ‘N’ Roll. The explosive Bloodlust comes and goes in a blur of frenetic fury. This mindblowing quartet of beginning brings the audience into a high spirited chant of “Venom…Venom…Venom”. Cronos is in a great mood telling the crowd...”this is the last gig of the year and it will be the best” and he is not lying.
It’s a simultaneously relaxed and rampaging display, that takes in everything we could wish for. The new sensational Long Haired Punks follows. Buried Alive, Welcome To Hell and Countess Bathory are all stunning and full of brutal power thanks to the skills of Rage and Dante, who frankly make Venom in 2015 a frighteningly tight and powerful machine for master Cronos to front. His demonic figure and signature voice that all metal heads know and love still sounds amazing and fit perfectly to the music.
A jaw dropping version of Pedal To The Metal simply pulverizes after the new hymn Fallen Angels. Everything sounds vital, vicious and loud enough to bring the ceiling down. Paul, the sound engineer is responsible for getting every subtle tweak of voice and instrument into our ears in a balanced way. He gives the band a killer sound once more tonight. Grinding Teeth has a riff that hits the head banging mark immediately with loads of guitar fills to keep the most ardent of air-guitarists busy. The choreographed pyrotechnics is icing on the cake.
How on earth could they top the first half of their set, well with the breathtaking catalogue that Venom have at their disposal that´s not actually too difficult. Back in the set, played for the first time this year is the titletrack from the Possessed album, the verses slowly build the intensity that reaches it's peak right before the chorus. I have always loved that track! It hooks in with The Evil One that bleeds into Resurrection and then back to Posessed for a two minute mayhem onslaught. Marvellous.
The thunder roar Warhead is next, more thunderous than ever by extending the pauses of silence between attacks and Danté give his own show with an energetic theatrical performance on his custom set of drums that left the audience smiling away, as always locks it all down while injecting a looseness of feel which is truly incredible.
Since the festival is called Black Christmas and Venom have a track called Black X-mas it was meant to happened, of course. Never played since the Japan tour 1987, but hear at last, again, nailed to perfection to everyone’s delight. A small making of Venomhistory and more just around the corner…..
Remember the classic Cronos quote from 1982: "Our music is Power Metal, Venom Metal, Black Metal not Heavy Metal cos that's for the chicks"? Well, Cronos certainly do and addresses a speech to the chicks in the audience telling them that history has proven him wrong “there are plenty of cool chicks loving Black Metal today” and in a spontaneously idea invites a few of them to join the stage for singing the chorus to the epic genredefining song, Black Metal. A truly special cool moment of the show.
The fabulous tracks just keep on coming. The mainman takes the lead, ripping out a Cronos-esque intro on the 4-string bass before the horns-out metal assault 1000 Days In Sodom erupts. This really old respected anthem, are played flawlessly and give us hardcore fans that physical expression we’re lusting for.
For the encore, of course, it had to be In Leauge With Satan, hypnotic as always. This true masterpiece makes all metal heads bounce and sing-along. Finishing up after 90 minutes with Witching Hour, which let Rage going full force, still the most thrilling five minutes in metal history, the band left a seriously battered crowd smiling, hugging and fighting over guitar picks. As it should be.
2015 has been a great year for Venom and more gigs are coming up for next year and on this kind of form do not under any circumstances miss them. Stunning. Still THE black metal gods after all these years.
Death Of Rock 'N' Roll
Long Haired Punks
Buried Alive/Welcome To Hell
Pedal To The Metal
Possessed/The Evil One/Resurrection/Possessed
One Thousand Days In Sodom
In Leauge With Satan
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