I guess that these bad boys of Britain doesn’t need any further introduction as Black Metal pioneers Venom have been praising the dark lord Satan, bringing twisted tunes to the Legions for 40 years up to date. Taking the satanic imagery from bands like Black Sabbath and Coven one step further they have never been any mother-in-laws dream but with their tongue in cheek, ”It’s us against the world”-attitude it’s easy to understand that Venom’s flirts with the occult, their boosting and their bone crushing tunes had only one intent, that of entertainment!
Time has come to (yet again) sum up the carrier and this time the focus is on the classic era, and that by the means of a massive vinyl box which, apart from some extra goodies, presents all the albums from the first, and lets be honest, the only true, incarnation of Venom, namely the one of three gentlemen from Newcastle, Mr. Dunn, Mr. Bray and Mr. Lant or as the world will remember them: Mantas, Abaddon and the inimitable Cronos!
The first two things you notice with the box is that it’s really heavy and that it looks amazing! The image of the classic ”Welcome to Hell”-baphomet along with the inverted crosses from ”At War with Satan” and the devilish baby faces from “Possessed” combined in an Ouija board design, printed in gold on a wooden background screams out, the otherwise impossible combination of both ”high class” and ”Venom”, and revealing the content of the box doesn’t change anything of that!
First and foremost the box contains all the classic studio albums from Venom MKI. All albums are pressed on different multicoloured vinyl and both looks and sounds great. Besides being on coloured vinyl they are exact replicas of the original first presses which I find to be really nice!
”Welcome to Hell” comes with an embossed cover, the original inlay and a reprint of the poster of the first pressing of the album. The Indisputable classic and genre naming ”Black Metal” also has an embossed cover and comes with the original insert and poster as well. ”At war with Satan” is presented in the classic ”leather effect” gate-fold cover and comes with an 6-page insert and last out of the original albums is “Possessed” which besides the splattered vinyl comes with the gigantic and ultra cool Possessed-poster!
Besides the studio albums the box contains the live double album ”Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, the planchette-shaped picture single ”Bloodlust” and a double album containing, so called ”previously unreleased” demo songs, which is christened ”Sons of Satan”.
Along with the albums the box comes with some other really neat stuff! First out is a “Venoms Legions” back patch which, sporting that on your jeans west, guarantee you to be the coolest kid on the block! Furthermore the box contains a large and beautiful reproduction of the ”Seven Dates of Hell” tour program, a super-sized double sided poster to pin onto your boy room wall (sure to scare both mom and annoying siblings from entering your metal cave) and last but not least a 40-page coffee table book, ”Venom Codex Gigas”, containing the story of Venom. The book is beautifully made, with lots of cool pictures and unlike the sad and not very accurate garbage found on the official Venom site, this time all three members get their voices heard, providing the prerequisite that some of the stuff actually are true!
When it comes to the music all albums are remastered from the original tape. As Venom is Venom you have to maintain an open heart to fully appreciate the music but I find myself actually liking the stuff more now, revisiting these classic albums, then what I did in the past. Regarding the unreleased demos it contains a live rehearsal from 1979 that of course, apart from any nostalgic value, is quite un-listenable. The two 1980-demos ”demo” and ”demon” comes next and actually sound pretty good, and last out is a demo-version of the epic ”At War with Satan”-track. Inevitable some fun stuff, but in all honesty I don’t think that you will find this record on my turntable that often.
All in all, ”In Nomine Satanas” is a great box! I like the fact that it is a pure vinyl box and that it consists of all essential Venom albums, in their original versions without any overdubs, remixes and such nonsense. The side stuff is off real high quality and actually brings some extra value to the box, not only being fillers. Often you find yourself disappointed in boxes being cheaply produced with boring and uninteresting content, only being an excuse for the record company to milk the fans on money, buying when they already paid for music, and if I would have guessed I honestly believed this box to be one of those when I first heard of it. Sometimes you must admit your errors, and this time Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon sure proved me wrong and I’m really glad they did!
Either if you are a long time Venom lover, have any form of interest in the history of extreme music or just want something pretty to place on your mantle piece, ”In Nomine Satanas” is a given buy because this is exactly how a box set should be made! I for one sure love this box and never forget:
Home taping is killing music, so are Venom!
Title: In Nomine Satanas: 40 Years in Sodom
Date of release: 29/4-19
Stand out track: Women, Leather and Hell