It's easy to forget what a stir Venom caused when they first came out. Kerrang! never really knew what to make of them, giving them bad reviews one issue and then putting in weird (and silly) 3D photosets of them in the next one. They made two albums and built up such a following (despite never touring) that Neat expected their third album to make the Top 40 of all places. Something that Tommy Vance practically guaranteed. On the Friday Rock Show, he described their single Warhead as one of these songs that comes along every so often that changes music. Or similar words. He also bet the then Radio 1 Breakfast Show DJ Mike Reed 100 pounds that he wouldn't play it on his show. Which of course he then did ("He's got a lotta bottle" said Vance afterwards).
The success went to their heads. Third album At War With Satan had a pretentious cover, and - uh-oh- the title track was a 20 minute concept piece. Venom and 20 minute concept pieces made uneasy bedfellows if you ask me. I prefer to remember them via this story from Kerrang! no. 24 from September 1982.
(Cronos) had been unable to contain himself from pawing the unfortunate females at his local Mecca Centre. He was hastily ejected after numerous complaints to the management and aided by two fellow rogues-in-arms proceeded to repleat his revenge on some innocent, unsuspecting campers on a nearby holiday camp, by donating them a sound kicking for their troubles. However, Cronos was given away by the motif etched into his jacket ... VENOM, and was brought to his just deserts.
Thrown out of his local Mecca Centre, eh? Lay down your soul to the gods Rock & Roll!