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Venom Inc Raises More Hell at the Riot Room


It was just a couple of months prior to the show when Venom Inc. announced their spring 2019 U.S. tour and I was surprised to see them announce that they were already back for another round of U.S. dates. However, I looked at the tour poster and thought, “That guy on the right doesn’t look like Abaddon. Is he not in the band anymore?”. That’s when I did my research and learned the whole story of Abaddon’s termination from the band last year, which somehow skipped by me. So, at this point, I wasn’t desperate to see the band again and even had a friend ramble about how it totally wasn’t worth doing. However, since the timing just worked out in my favor, I gave this 50th version of Venom a shot.

<img src="<a href="www.thegauntlet.com/bandimages/IMG_3660.jpg"">www.thegauntlet.com/bandimages/IMG_3660.jpg"</a>; alt=“Homewrecker live photo" width="750" height="586">

Homewrecker - Hailing from Ashtabula, Ohio, Homewrecker is a different kind of crossover band. They’re mostly death metal with some hardcore and metalcore thrown into the mix. “Demons in Disguise”, “Burden of Self”, and “Constant Eyes” were some of the songs that they played. While I could have done without the metalcore elements, their stage presence was entertaining if traditionally simple. Sweaty, long-haired guys in black T-shirts headbanging, what more could you want?

<img src="<a href="www.thegauntlet.com/bandimages/IMG_3668.jpg"">www.thegauntlet.com/bandimages/IMG_3668.jpg"</a>; alt=“Exmortus live photo" width="750" height="586">


Exmortus - Although I didn’t catch their entire set because I spent some time outside, the band has continued to solidify themselves as the most gifted guitar virtuosos in today’s thrash metal scene. Although their stage moves are mostly the same conventional headbanging and hair-flying like previously mentioned, guitarists Jadran Gonzalez and Chase Becker got a little flashy by playing behind each other’s backs. Despite their talent, they are a band that one can get kind of tired of seeing multiple times. “Metal Is King” was a pretty good closing song, though.

Venom Inc. - I must say, this show really exceeded my expectations. The energy was pretty unbelievable, and I was surprised to hear them play the songs as fast as they could for their age, and the audience was just as ecstatic at this performance as they would have been with all three original members. Surprisingly, they promoted their new release, Ave Satanas, more than they did when the album first came out in 2017. Bassist/vocalist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan bellowed out a killer scream in the intro to “Rip Ride”. “Warhead” was a true crowd pleaser, the kind of tune that stirs you with familiar excitement live just from its drum intro. It’s so simple even for a Venom number, yet it’s one of their most fun songs to sing along to, and even someone who hates Venom could still feel the need to bang their head when its tempo picks up. “Dead of the Night”, one of my top 3 favorite Venom tunes of all-time, was the biggest surprise of the set and my favorite part of the show. Demolition Man also informed the audience, “If you’re over 30, that’s an old song. If you’re under 30, that’s a new song”, leading me to think, “Really, so I’m an old metal guy now? Cool!” Even some of the new tracks proved that they still had some of the old Venom magic in them, like “The Evil Dead”. I requested another favorite by shouting, “S.A.C.R.I.F.I.C.E.!” which simply led guitarist Mantas to explain, “Wow, that’s old!” Towards the end of the set, Demolition Man brought a roadie onstage to announce his birthday (he’s in his 20s), and he introduced the next song by calling it, “Happy Birthday, the Seven Gates of Hell!” The trio took their set to a conclusion with a number that called for lots of singing along from the audience, at least during the chorus, called “Countess Bathory”.

Demolition Man’s growls are nowhere near as comical as Cronos’s, but he is an underrated frontman with great charisma and cleverness. Offstage, he is as friendly and appreciative of his fans as they come, as he would hang around the venue and talk to fans throughout the show. Of course I miss Abaddon dearly, and it is truly a shame that the original members don’t get along, but new timekeeper Jeramie “War Machine” Kling really does bash the hell out of his kit. Again, the original line-up will always be the best version of Venom, but Kling is a more worthy successor than he is given credit for by stubborn elitists. Despite the pessimism that you may hear when bringing up Venom Inc. from that crowd and from a bitter original member who has been running Venom’s name into the ground for years, this is still the best version of Venom that you can see in the 21st century. So, give them a chance to give you hell!

The setlist:

Metal We Bleed
Rip Ride
Time to Die
Don’t Burn the Witch
War
Warhead
Dead of the Night
The Evil Dead
Live Like An Angel (Die Like a Devil)
Forged in Hell
Black N Roll
Lady Lust
Black Metal
Witching Hour
Bloodlust
The Seven Gates of Hell
Countess Bathory

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Tags:  Venom IncThe Riot RoomVenomExmortusHomewrecker

    August 23, 2019

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