Original VENOM Guitarist JEFF 'MANTAS' DUNN To Stay Off The Road After Wife's Cancer Diagnosis

August 27, 2023

Original VENOM and current VENOM INC. guitarist Jeff "Mantas" Dunn has revealed that his wife has been diagnosed with cancer.

The 62-year-old British-born musician, who currently resides with his wife in Portugal, broke the news of her diagnosis in a social media post earlier today (Sunday, August 26). He wrote: "This is the most difficult announcement I have ever had to make.

"My life partner, soul mate and the reason I still exist, Anita, has been diagnosed with cancer.

"I do not intend to go into details as the very word itself is enough to tell you that right now my place is at home with her to support her in every possible way.

"I will be completing the last few festivals up to the 3rd of September then I must remain at home with her until a course of treatment is decided by the oncologist.

"The future at the moment is obviously uncertain but we must remain positive and strong together and we will beat this.

"I will pop up every now and then to say hello.

"Much love and respect my friends.

"Jeff and Anita."

In the past, Dunn credited his wife for helping him recover after he suffered a heart attack and underwent a double bypass surgery in May 2018.

Dunn currently plays in VENOM INC. alongside another former VENOM member, bassist/vocalist Tony Dolan.

VENOM's classic lineup trio of Dunn, bassist/vocalist Conrad "Cronos" Lant and drummer Anthony "Abaddon" Bray recorded four studio LPs, "Welcome To Hell" (1981),"Black Metal" (1982),"At War With Satan" (1984) and "Possessed" (1985),and live album, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" (1986). Often cited by bands such as METALLICA, BEHEMOTH, CELTIC FROST and MAYHEM as major influences, they are one of the most revered bands of their generation. VENOM is still fronted by Cronos and headlines festivals all over the globe and continues to release new music while Dunn and Dolan have joined forces in the similarly named VENOM INC.

The Cronos-fronted version of VENOM 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.

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).

VENOM INC.'s sophomore album, "There's Only Black", was released in September 2022 via Nuclear Blast Records. The follow-up to 2017's "Avé" marks the second recording under the name VENOM INC., while Dunn and Dolan have a long history as recording artists together in VENOM, M:PIRE OF EVIL and Mantas solo projects. It also marks the VENOM INC. recording debut of drummer Jeramie Kling (formerly of MASSACRE),who joined the band in 2018.

Back in 2018, VENOM INC. recruited Kling to fill in for drummer Bray on a European tour while Abaddon stayed home to spend time with his newborn daughter. VENOM INC. has since completed several tours with Kling without making any official announcements about Bray's possible return to the group.

VENOM INC. is scheduled to embark on the "Better To Reign In Hell Part II" U.S. tour in late September with support from SATAN, RINGWORM and 72 LEGIONS.

Photo credit: Fernando Serani (courtesy of Nuclear Blast Records)

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