This UK black metal band, a major influence on thrash pioneers Metallica, Slayer and Possessed, as well as the satanic fraternity, was formed in 1978 as Guillotine in Newcastle Upon Tyne by Cronos (Conrad Lant; bass, vocals), Mantas (b. Jeff Dunn; guitar) and Abaddon (b. Tony Bray; drums). Their debut was 1981s legendary Welcome To Hell, a raw collection of brutal songs filled with dark, satanic imagery. Black Metal was much better in terms of playing and production, and remains Venoms best album, containing the atmospheric Buried Alive amid the more customary speed bursts. At War With Satan, a semi-concept album released in 1984, and numerous singles followed - BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Tommy Vance paid £100 to charity when Mike Read played Warhead on his breakfast show for a bet - and Venom played numerous major shows worldwide (club dates were precluded by the nature of Venoms pyrotechnics, which tended to cause...
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