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The musicians that make up Venom Inc. have a lot of history (in the world of metal) and, of course, it’s not easy to remove that from a review like this. In fairness to the band and this album, though, that’s how I first tried to approach it – especially as a (far too) long in the tooth Venom fan. Let’s just start with ‘Ave’ by Venom Inc. is a pretty darn good heavy metal album – enough no frills rock ’n’ roll (or Black ’n’ Roll, if you prefer) to make you feel the album is honest with still enough twists and turns to stand up in an ever changing world of music.

You can’t find a much better a way to start an album than with the mid-paced stomp of ‘Ave Satanas’, followed by an up-paced ripper like ‘Forged In Hell’. It was during these opening salvos that I really honed in on Tony Dolan’s voice. I’ve always enjoyed his style, both with Atomkraft and Venom. Maybe it’s his acting career that gives him a real sense of delivery but, also on ‘Ave’, he just seems to be hitting the nail square on the head of just being a damn fine vocalist. In fact, he’s done such a great job that I was wondering if there would be a ‘Clarisse’ (from ‘The Waste Lands’) or ‘Faerie Tale’ (from ‘Temples of Ice’) moment. Or, even his own interpretation of the Venom classic ‘Countess Bathory’. The live version where he added the spoken intro. And… lo and behold, it’s there on this album in the track ‘Dein Fleisch’. It just works so well!

The more I’ve listened to the album, and it’s been on repeat now for a few days, it just keeps getting better. The production is top notch for what the album is trying to be and, although it’s modern, clear and punchy as we now expect in today’s world, it has a gnarly enough edge. Every track stands up on its own merit and tracks that may not have stood out on immediate first listen, now do. Of course, there are a few hints of past endeavours, such as the opening guitars to ‘Preacher Man’ having a ‘Buried Alive’ feel to them, but I’m not going to let the Venomisms take anything away from Venom Inc. and ‘Ave’ being a great band and album. The band and album are more than capable of standing up well on their own merits without the history. But, for this long in the tooth Venom fan, it’s great to hear The Demolition Man, Mantas and Abaddon firing on all cylinders again.
Nuclear Blast
Review by Paul Sims
11th August 2017
1) Ave Satanas
2) Forged in Hell
3) Metal We Bleed
4) Dein Fleisch
5) Blood Stained
6) Time to Die
7) The Evil Dead
8) Preacher Man
9) War
10) I Kneel to No God
11) Black N Roll
"...it’s great to hear The Demolition Man, Mantas and Abaddon firing on all cylinders again."