One of the most storied careers in metal has to be that of Venom.
The obnoxious trio of Cronos, Mantas, and Abaddon burst onto the
scene in 1981 with Welcome To Hell, a poorly recorded, sloppily
played, openly satanic, yet ultimately cool album that paved the
way for the wave of black metal that wouldn't take hold for many
Critics and fans alike were sharply divided at the prospect of
this over-the-top band, but there is no question that that debut,
and it's follow-up (the aptly titled Black Metal) are British
But the novelty and intensity began to fade, and by the time of
1985's Possessed it was clear that Venom was in trouble.
Personality conflicts arose, with guitarist Mantas leaving, and
the resulting album (the poorly-received Calm Before The Storm)
featured little of the trademarks that had made the early work so great.
Cronos then departed himself, taking Mantas' replacements with him,
forming his own band
for a time.
Mantas then returned, and along with
mainmain Tony Dolan, a new Venom was born.
Though no longer black metal, and in fact not sounding much like in
their old days, this period of Venom did produce some decent albums,
though in retrospect many of them seem quite forgotten.
Much of the 90's releases by Venom seemed to be endless compilations
or re-recordings of past glories, and Venom's popularity
in 1997, Cronos and Mantas put their differences aside, and
reunited, first releasing the mediocre Cast In Stone but later
(after another breakup) producing the much-improved Resurrection
And then the personal differences arose again, and Mantas was again
out of the band, probably for good this time.
Cronos has kept the band going since, with a new lineup, and a style
again quite removed from the old days, playing a more modern thrash
style to good effect.
Mantas teamed up with his old bandmate Tony Dolan in
M-Pire Of Evil
and more recently has put together a band/project officially titled
Venom Inc - Iron And Steel.