Sunday, November 7, 2010

Barbaric Gardians & Bestial Malevolance

I was on the road last week. Well, when I say "on the road", I mean I was on a trip for my work, but given the subject matter of the blog, I think I should say on the road, so that you imagine me rattling along in the back of a transit van drinking Scrumpy Jack, instead of sipping over-priced coffee on an inter-city.

Anyway, while I was there, I had some free time and found a second hand record shop to browse in. Among my haul from this was a vinyl copy of Black Metal by Venom. I was never a big Venom fan back in the day, so it was good to finally pick up a pretty battered copy of this record. Look, that's it up there.

Later on that day I was sitting in a cafeteria having a coffee and I decided that I'd dig out the records I bought to have a look at the damn things. Now, at this point I realised that a vinyl copy of Black Metal is pretty conspicuous when you take it out in public. Then, I noticed that at the table next to me was a family, a young couple with two little children, the younger of whom was in a pram right next to me. At this point my imagination started running away with me. Could this 1982 Venom album from Neat Records, with its spelling mistakes on the back cover, cast a malignant spell over this baby? I decided to put it back in its carrier bag before the cafe shook from Carmina Burana, trusting that the couple of millimetres of polythene would protect the child from any dark influence of Cronos ("rabid captor of bestial malevolance"), Abaddon ("barbaric gardian to the 7 gates of Hell") or Mantas (below, "grand master of Hades and Mayhem". And white leather trainers). What can I say? The coffee is strong over here.

That got me to thinking that the demise of vinyl has reduced the potential for your favourite bands to cause you awkward moments with their product artwork. Kids of today downloading their music will never have to worry about their mum seeing their copy of Lovehunter" or the guidance teacher walking in when they're giving a friend their copy of "Reign in Blood". I think they're missing out.


  1. Demonic coffee eh!?
    It's just not the same nowadays, 12" record sleeves once ruled then it was the wee CD artwork more discreet and now the world of downloads...Mind you think youself lucky that you only took the LP out in a cafe and not some dodgy bars with that Mantas pose!
    But really though isn't Black Metal a classic?

  2. Yes, Black Metal is great fun. I actually think that Venom were a genuinely innovative band. They did something that was genuinely new. Other NWOBHM bands of that time tried hard to sound as good as Black sabbath, while they just took Sabbath's sound as a starting point and did their own thing.

  3. Without Venom there'd be no Slayer. Which, for me at least, would be a very bad thing indeed.

  4. I should really give slayer another go. I had pretty much stopped listening to metal when they came out, so I never really got into them, even though a friend of mine at the time was a big fan. Mind you, he also liked King Diamond, Motley Crue and Manowar. Hmm, you know, I'm beginning to see why I didn't give them that much attention at the time.

  5. Try Seasons in the Abyss first. Or look up Raining Blood, Angel of Death, South of Heaven, Mandatory Suicide, Hell Awaits or Chemical Warfare on You Tube.

  6. Venom RULE!!! They have spawned thousands of bands and inspired church burnings and murder throughout Europe, so they cant be all bad!

    Slayer are the best live band I have ever seen and their albums are generally classics. I supose Reign in Blood would be my favourite but there are many many others but I would suggest Hell Awaits as the one too dip your toe into, I bought it by mail order in the good old days. Had to send off a postal order and everything. It was delivered by a rotting corpse...of course!!!