Venom - Black Metal LP reissue (Silver w/Black Splatter vinyl)


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Black Metal is the second album by English heavy metal band Venom. It was released in November 1982, during the great flourishing of metal music in the UK that was the new wave of British heavy metal, through Neat Records. Vocalist and bassist Conrad Lant and guitarist Jeffrey Dunn wrote the album’s material, with most of the songs being written in the early 1980s and two songs being written prior to the band’s formation in 1979. With strong sales and positive reviews of the band’s debut album, Welcome to Hell, which was recorded in just three days, Lant requested more time from Neat in the studio to record their follow-up. Recording sessions for the album took place at Impulse Studios in 1982 over a seven-day period. Lant, who shouldered most of the responsibility in the studio due to his experience as an assistant engineer and tape operator for Impulse, alongside studio engineer and producer Keith Nichol, worked from dawn to dusk on recording while Lant completed the final mixes on his own on the last day.

Musically, the album sees Venom build upon their extreme sound, which they established on their debut album, with their signature “three-minute bashers”, while also experimenting with more ambitious and adventurous pieces exploring the bands theatrical and cinematic side. Black Metal is often described as speed metal, thrash metal, extreme metal, and black metal, lending its name to the latter subgenre of heavy metal. As with its predecessor, the music, as well as the lyrics and imagery continue to forge some of the essential features of the black metal genre and were a major influence on the early Norwegian black metal scene.  The cover art, designed by Lant, features Satanic imagery including a demon face with an inverted pentacle star on its forehead, and an inverted cross and 666 inscription on its left and right horn respectively.

Black Metal was released to massive critical acclaim from both the metal underground as well as the mainstream music press, with its music being described as “proto-thrashing classics”, “surprisingly complex”, and “absolute classics”, and would go on to be considered one of the most influential metal albums of all time. It is considered a major influence on the thrash metal, death metal and black metal scenes that emerged in the 1980s and early 1990s.  The album has also been retrospectively placed on several publications’ best albums lists including Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Kerrang! magazines “100 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die”.