Former VENOM and current VENOM INC. guitarist Jeff "Mantas" Dunn says that he would love to reunite the classic VENOM lineup to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band's "Black Metal" album.
Released in 1982, "Black Metal" is considered a major influence on thrash metal and extreme metal in general. VENOM's second album proved influential enough that its title was used as the name of the extreme metal subgenre of black metal. The band classic lineup trio of Dunn, vocalist/bassist Conrad "Cronos" Lant and drummer Anthony "Abaddon" Bray recorded two further studio LPs, "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 former VENOM bassist/vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan have joined forces in the similarly named VENOM INC.
Dunn touched upon the possibility of a classic VENOM reunion during a Facebook Live chat on Monday (February 28). He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'll never retract anything I've said, because I'm sorry but it's true. Regardless of what him or him thinks, it's true; it's just as simple as that. I'm not gonna go out there and blatantly talk a lot of bollocks like one of us did. What I've said is absolutely true, and I've put it in print — into the book as well. It's there. It's absolutely true. But we're at that age now — I'm 60; Bray's, like, 61; Conrad's what — 58, 59? We've just been through a massive fucking pandemic where nobody's done anything. We've got fucking a war in Europe at the minute. [All the issues we've had with each other], it fucking pales into insignificance; it's fucking bollocks.
"Like I say, I'll never fucking say 'sorry'; I'll never fucking turn around and go, 'Yeah, well, I didn't fucking mean that,'" he continued. "What I said was fucking true. But we missed the 25th anniversary. We didn't celebrate the 30th anniversary. And it's, like, for a band who had such a fucking impact… And, again, my friends, I still find it difficult to take in myself, people saying…
"When I did the interviews for the 40th anniversary of 'Welcome To Hell' — there's another anniversary we fucking missed; nothing done about it; it just passed," Dunn added. "But the thing was, I got these interviews in, and people were saying to me, 'You just don't realize the importance of what you did.' I don't, because I suppose we were so close to it. I've said it a million times — I was just a fucking kid writing tunes in my fucking bedroom living with my mom, and I was lucky; people fucking dig them.
"But it's, like, could we not just fucking celebrate this for once? I mean, fucking hell — I've already died once. And fucking you haven't got long, and you haven't got long, because I know what you've fucking done to yourselves."
Addressing the fact that VENOM INC. will commemorate "Black Metal"'s 40th anniversary by performing it in its entirety on October 2 at the Keep It True festival at Posthalle in Würzburg, Germany, Dunn said: "When the Keep It True thing came along, I thought, 'Yes! Yes! I'm gonna fucking do it.' Because no one fucking else is. Nobody else is gonna go out there and celebrate this fucking album — monumental fucking album. It should be fucking celebrated."
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. is not to be confused with the aforementioned Cronos-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.