There was a time, an incredibly brief period around the release of Possessed, when Venom were, for me and a couple of my friends, the pinnacle of musical rebellion. That said, if during said brief period, we’d have been asked, like Conan the Barbarian was , “What is best in life?”, we’d probably have answered scrawling ‘666’ and badly drawn pentagrams on anything and everything, wearing denim jackets soaked in patchouli oil, huffing gas and glue, drinking cheap cider and shouting obscenities at old people. 1985 was, truth be told, a bit grim.
In Nomine Satanus collects the best of, and a number of rarities from Venom’s “glory years”, the half decade they spent on Neat Records, on two discs that are accompanied by a rather fetching and engaging booklet that tells the band’s story. While their ability to create controversy, stage live spectacles and a whip up a frenzy of adulation and hysteria vastly outstripped their musical talent, there is something oddly appealing about their primitive, balls out “Satanic” rock’n’roll.
That said, Venom were driven by energy and enthusiasm rather than any song-writing talent and the forty three songs, all of which are imbued with juvenile sexism and a rudimentary and remedial understanding of the occult, on this release are hardly likely to win any new converts to the cause of the Geordie trio. Like Bullseye and Benny Hill, Venom are an anachronism and belong solely in the decade that saw them inexplicably rise to top of the middle tier of metal and they have little to offer the more tolerant and discerning devotees of the twenty first century scene . But that probably won’t bother either the label or the band as In Nomine Satanus feels like it’s aimed squarely at Venom’s aging, rabid fanbase who won’t think twice about buying a record that contains a bunch of songs that they already own multiple versions of because for some strange Hell blasted reason they love Venom. Oh well… Tim Cundle