Venom LIVE 2007
LIVE - COPENHAGEN 23 May 2007
My expectation before the trip to Denmark were pretty high. This was the first concert of the Scandinavian Tour 2007 and the first gig introducing new guitarist Rage to the Legions. And travelling and meeting up with some true Venom-fans is always a thrill. Excitement in the air, indeed.
The support act Nifelheim is one of the longest running Black Metal bands that still hold on to the ancient tradition of Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer. Starting out in the beginning of the 1990´s the unholy duo of Tyrant and Hellbutcher has with the help of varoious line-ups marched forward relentlessly, holding the banner of total Black Metal. There has always been much talk about Nifelheim´s live shows and I was very curious to know why. Fast and grinding riffs are accompanied by powerful, insanely beating frenzied drums throughout the concert. On top of that - screaming vocals. They are dressed in moore studs and spikes than any other bands I´ve seen live before, really cool looking, no doubt. There were some great riffs throughout, and even if you’re not familiar with Nifelheim’s material beforehand, you can be easily won over by the raw but catchy songs that they deliver. I thought that their set got better and better. If there is one thing to be said about Nifelheim it is that they stick to their guns and do their chosen style very well, and you will not be let down if you are looking for raw, defiantly old school Black Metal. A very enjojable start on the night.
It is however Venom that everyone is waiting for. And boy do they go for the throat, hitting the stage and launching into the title track Black Metal with focussed and furious aplomb. Unfortunately Rage guitar disappear for a minute in the middle of the song. The Legions in the front are pumping their fists high and everybody singa-long in the chorus. Venom on stage 2007, hell yeah! Cronos introduce the band at the beginning of next song, the awesome Welcome To Hell. Heavy and catchy. The band sound great - Antton who continue to prove that he is one of the best metaldrummers in the world is heavy and tight, Cronos commands from the the front and dominating the stage like a man possessed. The new guitarist Rage sounds good but look like a session player. Nervous and stiff. But let´s not forget that this is his first gig ever with Venom. Nobody really expect him to fill the shoes of Mantas or Mykvs. At least not so fast. More hands in the air to Die Hard before the latest Venom classic Antechrist is first out of three numbers from the Metal Black album. With Venom, every song is an encore - just look at the setlist. The hits keep coming. Countess Bathory, Bloodlust and The Seven Gates Of Hell follows to the crowds enthusiasm. The bands leave the stage and seconds after the introtape to the mighty At War With Satan is played over the PA, in a too low volume if you ask me. This amazing song, my absolute favourite, is played a little bit slower and heavier than the original albumversion. At last years concerts we were treated to a 5 minute version (including intro), this time we get 8 minutes of this masterpiece. Totally brilliant! Cronos picking on his bass and launch 1000 Days In Sodom. Tight and hypnotic version.
The evening´s surprise, setlist-wise, came up next, when they played a medley of Possessed (a real treat for long-term fans who thought they´d never hear anything from that album again), Schizo and Live Like An Angel. Absolutely one of the highlights tonight. No doubt. Burn In Hell is one of the strongest songs from the Metal Black album and works excellent live. An extended version of Warhead let Antton and Rage in a frantic rage hammer on their instruments. The fast and furious Metal Black completes the show but the crowd roared and devil-horned for more. For many fans, In League With Satan is the signature song for the band and the crowds chanting for this song force the band to switch runningorder of the two encore-songs. Great sing along all through this excellent song that due to the Legions demand is back in the setlist. Finally a punishing Witching Hour is proof enough that Venom can still hold their own amongst today´s young guns.
All in all, a great concert with an excellent setlist. Cronos ´face throughout reminds the crowd that he´s still having fun doing this. He is clearly a true star. In my opinion Rage was to defensive tonight, he should have market himself better. On the minus-account I also put the size of the crowd. A tourpremier with Venom should of course be sold-out, but it seems that there was very little promotion / advertising done for the show. Therefore it was more Swedish than Danish people at the venue!
The runningorder of the setlist was scrapped during the concert. Here below you find the one that was actually played.
Welcome To Hell
The Seven Gates Of Hell
At War With Satan
1000 Days In Sodom
Possessed / Schizo / Live Like An Angel / Possessed
Burn In Hell
In League With Satan
I was lucky enough to catch one of Anttons drumsticks that he thrown to the crowd. Even though a lot of plectrums was thrown out I did not get one, but my good friend Leffe received several so he gave one to me. Thanks Leffe!