Venom: Church Hall Days Revisited…

Venom: Church Hall Days Revisited…

Who holds the keys to the canteen cupboard?

“To me, Venom represent the start of a very important movement that has split into many more important movements. It was a revolution. After that moment, death metal, thrash metal, black metal and all these genres exploded and they all owe something to Venom.” Michel ‘Away’ Langevin (Voivod)

“I didn’t know it back then because everything was fresh. We didn’t know what we were looking for, but when I heard Venom, that was it.” Jørn ‘Necrobutcher’ Stubberud (Mayhem)

Venom formed in 1979 in Newcastle upon Tyne. Coming to prominence towards the end of the new wave of British heavy metal, Venom’s first two albums—Welcome to Hell (1981) and Black Metal (1982)—are considered a major influence on thrash metal and extreme metal in general. Venom’s second album proved influential enough that its title was used as the name of the extreme metal subgenre of black metal. The band classic line-up trio of Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon recorded two further studio albums At War With Satan (1984) and Possessed (1985) and live album Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (1986). Often cited by bands such as Metallica, Behemoth, Celtic Frost and Mayhem as major influences, they are one of the most revered bands of their generation. Venom are still fronted by original singer/bassist Cronos and headline festivals all over the globe and continue to release new music.

Originally issued within the mammoth In Nomine Satanas deluxe vinyl boxset last year, Sons Of Satan – a collection of the bands early demo material from the period 1979 to 1983 – now gets its own stand-alone release this coming August 28th via BMG, on double-album splatter vinyl, digipak CD and digitally.

Featuring a treasure trove of demos from the band’s vaults, some of which prior to the boxset’s release, achieved mythical status among fans who have known about their existence, but have never heard them as the tracks eluded bootleggers. Among the tracks are the earliest known Venom performances, captured where the band rehearsed in 1979 at Westgate Road Church Hall in Newcastle’s West End and featuring original singer Clive ‘Jesus Christ’ Archer on vocals. Also included are the £50 demos from 1980, captured at Impulse Studios, alongside further demos from 1980 and the At War With Satan 1983 Impulse Studio demos.

The set includes new sleeve notes and interviews with Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon, plus rare and unseen photos from the band’s early years.

Track list:
Angel Dust (Church Hall Rehearsals 1979)
Buried Alive (Church Hall Rehearsals 1979)
Raise The Dead (Church Hall Rehearsals 1979)
Red Light Fever (Church Hall Rehearsals 1979)
Venom (Church Hall Rehearsals 1979)
Sons Of Satan (1980 Impulse £50 demo)
In League With Satan (1980 Impulse £50 demo)
Angel Dust (1980 Impulse £50 demo)
Live Like An Angel (1980 Impulse £50 demo)
Schizo (1980 Impulse £50 demo)
Venom (1980 Impulse £50 demo)
Angel Dust (Impulse Studio 1980 demo)
Raise The Dead (Impulse Studio 1980 demo)
Red Light Fever (Impulse Studio 1980 demo)
At War With Satan (1983 Impulse Studio demo)

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