We also do the occasional article now as well dont-ch-ya-know!
appears on Calm Before The Storm (1987)
When I say the word “Christmas", what immediately comes to mind for you? Good cheer? Peace to all men, women and children? 80s speed metal? I’ll be honest, I'm sort of hoping it’s the last option, because that's what we’ve got you and there’s no receipt in the box.
I say speed metal, but Venom have hardly drawn tight lines around what exactly it is they do. Born off of the back end of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal boom in Newcastle, England, they’ve had their fingers in all sorts of pies, Christmas or otherwise. Purist thrash that literally inspired the likes of Slayer and Metallica? Yep. Outrageous speed metal that was, if I’m being honest, at times more fast than good? Check that off too. Literally being the namesake of the black metal genre? Three for three. Venom did for metal what puddings with raisins in them did for Christmas, leaving an indelible mark in the landscape that everyone who followed can trace their own work back to.
In that spirit, what's the track we’ve lumped for that you're going to be pulling from the definitely-not-a-fire-hazard-stocking this year? Why, none other than Black XMAS, a roiling thrash delight that will warm your cockles (I said COCKLES) more than any handful of hot chestnuts ever could. Packed with squealing guitar riffs, this is definitely a subversion of your classic Christmas dirges. It’s laced with more Satanic imagery than the average DnD players bedroom, making plenty of cheery seasonal references to black snow, crying newborns and the Devil's Wine. Though, that’s basically two out of three for any regular Christmas, now I think about it.
So, dial it up to a merry little 12 and make this week's Rock Song of the Week your official Christmas morning alarm. However you celebrate this time of year, make it one full of all the things you hold dear and all us here wish you a great one. We don’t technically advocate blasting this out of a boombox around your neighbourhood in lieu of caroling, but we’ll be too full of whiskey and mince pies to stop you.
If you like what you hear, please consider purchasing via Bandcamp if the option is available as this is usually the best way to support the artist.
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