For those of you out there who like your listening a little harder, Venom signals the return of the metal-edged Bullet For My Valentine, and with it the boys bring with them an impressively rounded record with a solid sound and direction. Being their fifth studio album, this is unsurprising, with the band finding themselves consolidating their sound and reflecting on where they are.
After a chillingly apocalyptic intro of slow build-up (think a disturbing version of Pink Floyd), the band let rip with No Way Out, hitting you hard with its death screams and dark lyrics of solitude and disdain; this is backed up by the usual solid guitar work that gets you all worked up and ready for more. This, therefore, is the perfect time to hit you with Army Of Noise; faster than a runaway train, and much more noisy, the track bombs on at breakneck speed with lyrics hell-bent on mayhem: ‘Anticipation we’re on the attack, just keep pushing forward, there’s no turning back’.
You Want a Battle? (Here’s a War) continues the theme, settling in with a crowd vocal intro, that once again shares an affinity with Pink Floyd – this time focusing on rebellion as they sing: ‘we will not take this anymore’ before slowing things down a little into what some would consider the most mainstream track on the record. Singer Matt Tuck shows off his singing abilities here and proves he can still hold a tune with ease without the straining screams, which are equally as impressive.
Broken ups the ante once more as it brushes aside all sentiment, feeling like anger embodied as guitar shreds through your brain, whereas The Harder The Heart (the harder it breaks) takes tips from ACDC for the intro before launching into edgy beats and a strong and powerful melody.
Venom focuses on what the band does best and shows what they’ve learned from proceeding albums: listen to your fans and give them what they want. They’ve looked backed at their strongest points, their most loved songs and built Venom around that idea. It’s an album that concentrates on the fun, hard-hitting tracks that we all love, and really shines because of it.