VENOM INC., the new band featuring original VENOM members Jeff “Mantas” Dunn (guitar) and Anthony “Abaddon” Bray (drums) alongside ex-VENOM bassist/vocalist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan, has inked a deal with Nuclear Blast. The band’s debut album is tentatively due later in the year.
VENOM INC. is not to be confused with the Conrad “Cronos” Lant-fronted version of VENOM, which is continuing to tour and make albums under the VENOM moniker. Joining Cronos in that group are Rage (a.k.a. Stuart Dixon) on guitar and Danté (a.k.a. Danny Needham) on drums.
Asked by the Steel Mill web site how the formation of VENOM INC. came about, Dolan said: “Cronos has been doing shows and recording for the last ten years as VENOM. Why does he need to stop? VENOM INC., the name was our old European agent’s idea and using the original logo included in the name, which is not owned by Cronos. Oliver Weinsheimer, my friend and producer of the Keep It True festival, invited MPIRE OF EVIL to play [in 2015] and asked if I could fix it to have us play with Abaddon for fans doing a bunch of VENOM classic songs. We did play, and the fans’ reaction to it as well as promoters across the planet told us to continue by wanting to book us and see us. So following Keep It True, we kind of had a choice: do we just go and do it or not? We decided yes, why not?”
Regarding what the fan response to VENOM INC. has been like so far, Dolan said: “[The fans have been] more [receptive] than we even thought about. There will always be those who prefer the original lineup of VENOM because that is where they came in and it has meaning for them. Same as those who prefer the VENOM lineup now over others. Some liked when Anton was there best and many love when it was us three. More is always better, so as long as the beast is alive, I think, who cares? We need it to be alive, and good music is good music, full stop. Choice is a great thing, and people prefer what they prefer. Could be coffee, could be tea or they could hate both. But that’s the beauty of life: choice. You don’t have to, you can want to, it’s simple.”
He continued: “VENOM INC. has had amazing fans and support from Asia through Europe, South America, North America… everywhere we have played, it has been breathtaking, and the places we have not yet want us bad to go. So [I] can’t say anything but good. It’s very humbling, and I am totally honored to be received so warmly. Best thing is everyone gets it — what we do, they get it!”
Dunn, Bray and Dolan released three albums as VENOM between 1989 and 1992 — “Prime Evil” (1989), “Temples Of Ice” (1991) and “The Waste Lands” (1992).
The classic lineup of VENOM — Lant, Dunn and Bray — is often credited with kickstarting the whole black metal movement, but is more accurately seen an early example of extreme metal.
VENOM‘s second album, 1982’s “Black Metal”, was a major influence on on the early Norwegian black metal scene.