Venom – “Assault!” 6 CD Box Set (Dissonance Records)
Well you can tell it’s Christmas, cos Venom are back ha ha! This monster 6 CD box set brings together all the “Assault” EPs that were issued between 1985 and 1987, combining studio material along with previously unreleased live tracks. The series was originally intended as a strictly limited edition souvenir of each of the band’s overseas jaunts. Venom officially agreed on the Canadian, American and the Japanese Assault EPs – the rest (French, German and Scandinavian) however, were released without the consent of the band! Now, with 2 Venoms around, the impetus to bring together all these much sought after live EPs has come in all its re-mastered glory to bring forth hell and damnation across 42 tracks – surely the final assault?! Still reflecting the classic power trio line up of Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon, the sound varies but the re-mastering allows songs like ‘Nightmare’, ‘Bloodlust’ and ‘Witching Hour’ to be appreciated across different periods in the band’s history and from different gigs. Certainly noticeable also is the band’s tight performance, along with technical capability which I dare say the band received little – if any – regard for although the sound quality of some of the EPs didn’t do the band any favors either. So, another reason for anyone wanting something less cheery and definitely more fiery than the season permits to fork out (no pun intended) for ha ha!