Album Review: Venom – Live From Hammersmith

Album Review: Venom - Live From Hammersmith
Reviewed by Rick Eaglestone

Nearly 40 years after its initial performance, northeast extreme metal flagbearers Venom revisit their Live From Hammersmith Odeon Theatre show.

One year on the band headlining the venue the classic trio of Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon returned to ride the wave of ‘Possessed’ with a sense of frenzy and fury with a set that was the time was explosive and fresh but now looking down reads like greatest hits sets especially with the likes of Countess Bathory, Black Metal, and Welcome to Hell which are all undeniably performed with savage urgency.

If that isn’t enough to make you don some leather studded gloves, go down to your nearest musical outlet and part with some cash, admittedly the conversion rate since Our Price left the high street may be slighter higher but when you consider that wedged really nicely into the middle of the set is a bass solo you can help but be thrust into that wave of Nostalgia and at the same time being annoyed that you were only 6 when this legendary performance took place.

Album Review: Venom - Live From Hammersmith

Most of the set is made of tracks from the Black Metal and Welcome to Hell releases but it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the tracks that don’t appear like the medley of Teachers Pet / Poison / Teachers Pet and Leave Me in Hell.

It's a very well-constructed live performance which really showcases the bands influence on the thrash and speed metal scenes that followed and for some Venom fans they may have a particular live performance that stands out for them but for me I hold in in the regard and Motorhead’s No Sleep Till Hammersmith, Slayer’s Live Undead or dare I say my ultimate favourite live album of all time Iron Maiden’s Live After Death which frankly is the reason I am even writing about this album in the first place

This offering has been put out by Cherry Red Records whose previous boxsets from Warfare and Bad News nestle nicely in my collection. As well as the fifteen-track audio cd the set also boasts the live DVD of the same performance which magnifies the intensity level as well as liner notes which included an exclusive interview with Venom fanatic Shane Embury of Napalm Death which provides another outlook and another musicians perspective into the trailblazer’s carer which even still can be heard is newer bands baptised in blasphemy.

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