VENOM — Prime Evil (review)

VENOM — Prime Evil album cover Album · 1989 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Warthur
Violent lineup convulsions followed The Calm Before the Storm, which saw Cronos and both guitarists leave and Mantas return, with a new guitarist and bassist/vocalist in tow. The end result, whilst in no sense iconic or even influential, is still a pretty damn entertaining thrash album which goes a long way towards undoing the mistakes of the previous album.

Tony Dolan of Atomkraft proves to be an inspired successor to Cronos on vocals - his style is not quite as bestial as Cronos, but he's still able to lend just as much bile and vitriol to the lyrics, and the musical backing is once again muscular and aggressive enough to match. The album is let down a little by a sense that the band were short on songwriting ideas - School Daze is a blatant retread of Teacher's Pet from Black Metal - though at least the obligatory Black Sabbath cover is decent. (Actually, I think it's a more exciting and interesting runthrough of Megalomania than the Sabs' original.)

On balance, the album is no lost classic, but anyone who enjoyed the band's first three or four albums will probably find plenty to enjoy here; certainly it's a more suitable followup than The Calm Before the Storm was. At the same time, I'd much rather just listen to Welcome to Hell yet again than give this one a spin on the regular.
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