VENOM — the legendary, hugely influential British heavy metal trio notorious for causing outrage and panic, and molding the history of darker music — will digitally release a new, three-track EP, titled "100 Miles To Hell", through Spinefarm Records on December 22. It will be available via D2C basis on January 19 in the U.S.
"100 Miles To Hell" features three brand new studio recordings: "We The Loud", "Beaten To A Pulp" and the title track. It marks the first "fresh" VENOM material since the "From The Very Depths" studio album, which arrived in 2015.
This limited-edition EP will be available on three different formats: 12-inch vinyl (complete with giant poster); cassette and download; and an exclusive T-shirt, which can also be acquired as part of the bundle, while supplies last.
In terms of music, lyrics, and artwork, the "100 Miles To Hell" package is cast in the classic VENOM mold, pushing all of the buttons (and turning all of the crosses) you'd expect from a band led into action by vocalist/bassist/producer and original VENOM titan, Conrad "Cronos" Lant — an iconic performer whose ability to fuse the attitude of punk with the power of metal has long been a signature of the nefarious VENOM sound.
Cronos recently spoke to Metal Rules about the evolution of VENOM's songwriting. "The thing is we, as a band, we are evolving the black metal thing," he explained. 'Because, for me, it has to be exciting, it has to be new, it has to be dangerous. It has to stay in motion. It has to make me excited to do it. I couldn't just do the 'Welcome To Hell' night after night; it would be too boring. So, they know I like to be challenged. I need to create new shit, and I like to twist VENOM a lot and cut and pull it. I like to create an album that people kind of go, 'That wasn't expected.'
"For a band that's been going this long, if we're not going to continue to evolve, I think we're dead," he continued. "But you don't want to forget where you came from. [You want] to be able to play songs from back in the day, so that the people in the audience can hear them and hear the song that they love — played the way that it was played. I think it is special."
Cronos went on to say that his current VENOM bandmates — guitarist Rage, a.k.a. Stuart Dixon, and drummer Danté, a.k.a. Danny Needham — "have got two [VENOM] albums under the belt now, that they can call their own. So, when they play their songs up on that stage, they can push and pull the bits they want, and they can play them in their style. But when we play the old songs, we kind of try to play them as near to the original we possibly can so, that the people in the audience hear a great version of the song rather than a changed version of the song. Because why change a great song?"
VENOM is not to be confused with VENOM INC., the band featuring original VENOM members Jeff "Mantas" Dunn (guitar) and Anthony "Abaddon" Bray (drums) alongside ex-VENOM bassist/vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan.
"From The Very Depths" was released in January 2015 via Spinefarm.