Peaceville Records are extremely excited to announce the signing of Hellripper to the label; one of the most electrifying young, up & coming metal acts in the scene today. 

Hellripper, aka James McBain, based in Aberdeen, Scotland, is fast gaining a reputation for whipping up an infectious storm of blackened speed metal greatness in the spirit of old. 

With the new studio album from Hellripper scheduled for release on Peaceville for early 2020, James comments on the signing and updates on how the new album recording is progressing “I am honoured to be part of such a legendary label alongside Darkthrone, Autopsy and Bloodbath to name just a few. It means a lot to me personally as some of the first metal CDs that I bought as a kid were released on Peaceville. 

It’s ridiculous how far Hellripper has come in such a short time and to be recognised by a label of this calibre is amazing. I believe that Peaceville are the right people to be working with as they understand and respect Hellripper’s sound and the ethos behind it. The creative and recording process has remained the same as it has always been for this album and hopefully you will all enjoy listening to it as much as I have enjoyed making it.” 

Inspired by the likes of the old-school legends including Venom, Kreator, Sabbat [JPN] and Metallica, McBain formed Hellripper in 2014 and with the release of the debut EP The Manifestation of Evil shortly after, the band were already making a very clear mission statement… Total fucking mayhem! 

Building on the momentum of the debut EP, Hellripper release a series of split EPs, assemble a live and touring line up and their debut album Coagulating Darkness is released in 2017 to media acclaim with the UK’s Metal Hammer hailing Hellripper as “Scotland’s King of the arcane mosh”. The band supported the release with live shows and festivals to an ever-increasing audience.  2019 has been a hectic year for the band with the release of a new EP – Black Arts & Alchemy on Reaper Metal Productions and the band embarked on their first European tour in April which included an appearance at the acclaimed Roadburn Festival pre-show.

Hellripper still have some shows lined up in 2019 including as special guests to Orange Goblin in London in December and are preparing a live campaign to promote their forthcoming new studio album.

Nov 29 – Glasgow – 13th Note

Nov 30 – Newcastle – Byker Grave Festival (https://www.facebook.com/BykerGrave/)

Dec 20 – London – Electric Ballroom – support to Orange Goblin

May 21-23 – NL – Pitfest, Resort Zuiddrenthe, Erica

Follow Hellripper

https://www.hellripper.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXkwGbnmrT4JtNp9pkBEP3g

https://www.instagram.com/hellrippermetal/

https://www.facebook.com/hellripper1

https://peaceville.com/bands/hellripper

Euronymous was a founder of and central figure in the early Norwegian Black Metal scene. He was a co-founder and guitarist of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem and was the only constant member from the band’s formation in 1984 until his death in 1993. He was also founder and owner of the extreme metal record label ‘Deathlike Silence Productions’ and record shop Helvete in Norway.

Euronymous professed to be a Satanist and was known for making extreme misanthropic statements. He presented himself as leading a militant cult-like group known as the “Black Metal Inner Circle”. How much of this was image, bravado, bullshit or just youthful boasting to create a bigger image? We’ll never truly know.

In August 1993, he was murdered by fellow musician Varg Vikernes. Its a complicated and tangled web of who did what to whom and when and staggeringly why but ultimately several people lost their lives in all of this and today we remember one of the pivotal figures of Norweigan Black Metal Euronymous.

Recently the subject of the shocking and true film ‘Lords Of Chaos’ Øystein was one of the lead roles for all of the above.  He was possibly responsible for taking what the likes of Venom were doing in the UK and taking it across the line and making the sounds of Bathory, Hellhammer more extreme more brutal more antisocial. For the pioneering groundbreaking contribution to extreme metal, we remember Euronymous and hope he rests in peace wherever that may be.

The recent film ‘Lords Of Chaos’ loosely tells the story of Euronymous and his inner circle and depicts his horrific and violent demise at the hands of Varg. We reviewed the film Here It does depict their scene as a band of misfits bonded by dark ideals and metal.  It was Aarseth who discovered his singer after his suicide and it was he who took the picture of his dead bloodied body and took pictures and allegedly took pieces of Deads skull. However, he was also the guy who set up his own label, set up his own record shop and pioneered a network of worldwide black metal fans (remember this is pre-internet) he also set up base in his own record store Hellvete.

Its his raw and brutal songwriting that set the blueprint for many others to follow check out the riff on ‘Deathcrush’

 

Its no secret that we don’t always listen to Glam punk or Rock n Roll or straight up punk. Sometimes we love to indulge in a more challenging form of music. Besides, I find the whole scene of Black Metal absolutely fascinating so, on days like this, it’s only fair to tip the hat and show some respect for those who made the records and have since passed on.  As a mark of respect, we’d like to spread a little love for Tomas Forsberg better known as Quorthorn,  Multi-instrumentalist and frontrunner of the metal subgenre known as Black Metal. Frontman and songwriter of the blackest of black metal bands none other than –  Bathory.

Tomas founded Bathory when he was just 17.  But prior to that, he began his musical journey playing in an Oi! band, before turning to the darker side of Metal.

Bathory was, for the most part, a studio band releasing four albums and often cited as the fathers of Black Metal or at least Scandinavian Black Metal. (of course, Venom were the first we know that) Thomas Börje Forsberg was born on the 17th of February 1966 and sadly passed away at home on this very day in 2004 as a result of a congenital heart defect. In his short life, he managed to release 16 Bathory albums and three solo albums under the name Quorthon. He was known as ‘Ace’ early on after Ace Frehley from Kiss maybe he wasn’t so dark after all and only when he turned to the dark side did he change his name to something altogether eviler.

Managing to remain in the underground Bathroy were more in keeping with the origins of Black Metal and Venoms more NWOBHM than the breakneck blast beats and throat gargling abominations that followed from the bands that took the scene to the extremes.  Bathory will always be known as one of the forefathers and groundbreakers.  So RPM would like to say Rest In Peace Thomas and shine on you crazy diamond.

Also on this very day in 1993 the artist formerly known as Prince Rogers Nelson changed his name to Symbol! Now had he been a black metal artist he could have come up with some unreadable abomination for a symbol – lucky for us it was like a squiggle with a circle and an anchor like line.  These pop stars eh?  Nutters one and all

 

Also on this very day, The Sex Pistols reached a level of notoriety when they played a live show on a boat travelling up the Thames as part of the Queen’s silver jubilee celebrations.

 

When the news initially broke earlier this year regarding this Limited Edition vinyl-only box set that brings together remastered editions of the four studio LPs and a double live album recorded by the original line up of Black Metal gods Venom, I was immediately intrigued.

Add into the mix a further double LP of previously unreleased demos, an exclusive shaped picture disc of ‘Bloodlust’, and a veritable cornucopia of memorabilia that includes amongst other things a stunning 40 page ‘History Of Venom’ hardback book along with (if you pre-ordered it from the band themselves) a 12×12 art print signed by Cronos himself, and before I could yell “C’MAAAAAAAAAAAN TURN IT UP’, I had bought a copy.

I actually received mine at the start of May well ahead of the official release date of May 31st but I wanted to really get to grips with this mammoth set before giving you my verdict simply because with a retail price of £150 this is never going to be an impulse purchase.

As I’ve mentioned the ‘History’ book already let’s begin with a little bit of my own history and how I first heard Venom. It was early 1983 and a close friend (who remains so to this very day) who first introduced me to ‘Black Metal’, oddly via a mate of his who had bought said LP (complete with poster) and as he thought it was shit, he had given it away. It wasn’t really like any of the other metal bands we were listening to at the time other than those noisy bastards Motorhead and Tank, in fact, it reminded me more of the relentless racket created by the UK82 punk bands my other school mates were listening to at the time like G.B.H and Discharge. I have to admit I wasn’t exactly an immediate fan but I did have a copy of ‘Black Metal’ taped for me (there’s a gag in there that I won’t need to explain to old school fans) so it did make numerous appearance on my Walkman over the summer of that year but it wasn’t until June 1984 when I just happened to buy a ticket on the door for the awe-inspiring Seventh Date Of Hell show at Hammersmith Odeon that I fully got what Venom were really all about.  

Picking up the “remastered from the original tapes” splatter and swirl LPs contained in this lavish box set (they all come with reproduction sleeves and inners) I actually begin my aural assault with ‘At War With Satan’ because that was the Venom record I first purchased for myself (on picture disc) at that legendary Seventh Date gig, and here pressed on heavyweight clear splatter vinyl it sounds absolutely magnificent. Okay, the gatefold doesn’t have the gold leaf cover of the original pressing or the original merch/poster inserts but that’s probably just me being a little bit too pernickety as otherwise this is stonking stuff.

I then go back to the band’s beginnings, with ‘Welcome to Hell’ and ‘Black Metal’ played back to back, and here the rumbling bottom end that bursts out the speakers is enough to wake the dead, or at the very least the neighbours. Both LPs come in embossed sleeves (and include replicas of the posters and lyric inners – here reproduced on the inner bags) and are again pressed on splatter vinyl, sounding as raw as they did back at the dawn of the eighties and equally just as ground-breaking.  The only small niggle I have here is my copy of ‘Black Metal’ came with nasty click on the run-in groove to side one, again I may be being over critical here but with the hefty price tag attached to this set I would expect nothing short of perfection.

Which is something I do get with the 74 tracks on offer here that’s for sure, with perhaps the real highlight for me being the chance to rediscover 1985’s (at the time) critically panned ‘Possessed’ LP. A record that has never sounded better than it does here, and coming as it does pressed upon splatter vinyl complete with the original inner bag and a huge poster it’s never looked as good either.

Moving on to ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik’ from 1986 and this double live LP for me has never really cut it, largely because some bright spark decided to leave silences between the tracks, so its not really like listening to a live album at all, and why would I want to listen to the band live just as they were falling apart at the seams when I could simply slip in my almost worn out VHS of The Seventh Date of Hell? The soundtrack of which I have always felt would have been a much better alternative as their official live album. Here ‘Nachtmusik’ is lovingly restored in a gatefold sleeve complete with the inner bags, so I’m sure I’ll get to play it more this time around.

With many Venom fans probably looking to buy this box set just for the 15 track ‘Sons Of Satan’ double LP I have to admit that if this were a standalone release I wouldn’t have been happy paying a top price for it. However, as a piece of Venom history contained within such an absorbing time capsule commemorating the band’s 40th anniversary it actually works well. Initially transporting us right back to 1979 via some very boomy cassette recordings of the band’s first line up complete with singer Christ, this is a world away from the Venom that would ultimately change heavy metal forever. However, by the time we get to the 1980 Impulse Studios demos that make up sides 2 and 3 of ‘Sons Of Satan’ the more recognisable “organised chaos” of the classic Venom sound is all but a few bottles of Jack Daniels away and waiting to take on the world. Something Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon were more than ready to do by the time they released the original ‘Bloodlust’/’In Nomine Satanas’ 7” single back in 1982 and thankfully it is included here as a shaped picture disc exclusive to this box set.

Whilst immersing myself in the satanic sounds of this box set I found the aforementioned ‘History Of Venom’ book to be the perfect accompanying piece, formed as it is from quotes from all the band members as well as being crammed with some of the cheesiest band photographs ever taken. This book for me is where this box set truly adds a bit of (black) magic to the mystery of Venom, as does the memory jogging reproduction tour programme.

Wrapping up the memorabilia part of this set you also get a huge Seven Dates Of Hell poster along with a Venom’s Legions back patch and if like me you order it from the band’s official store (linked below) you also get a very frameable art print signed by Count Cronos himself.

So, is it worth the £150 then I hear you cry?

Well, if you don’t already have these seminal albums on vinyl it most certainly is a must buy. If however you are a hardcore Venom collector and have these albums already a bazillion time over you’ll probably have done what I did and already have this box set filed away in your collection, in which case, “what the hell are you doing reading this review?” Ha!

‘In Nomine Satanas – 40 Years In Sodom’ will take a lot to top in the box set stakes that’s for sure and it once again proves that the devil really does still have all the very best tunes.

 

signed by Cronos Copy Here

Buy Here

Double CD best of book edition Here

Author: Johnny Hayward

With 2019 being the 40th anniversary of Venom, it’s well worth noting that it’s also the 10th anniversary of the band’s current line-up of Cronos (vocals and bass), Rage (guitar) and Dante (drums). Their recently released ‘Storm The Gates’ album is the band’s fifteenth to be bursting out with metal of the non-more black variety and thanks to a huge (very limited edition) Venom LP box set and 2 disc career retrospective being on the fire stoked horizon Spinefarm Records are giving this 13 tracker another push right now, which is great for me as this release somehow totally passed me by when it originally hit the shelves back in January of this year.

Which is something I can’t help but feel a bit annoyed with myself about really, simply because Venom are a band that not only reinvented heavy metal but also birthed a bazillion other subgenres, so why aren’t they lauded as all-conquering heroes and afforded multiple page tributes by the metal press like Motorhead always were every time they release a new record…and I then don’t end up missing them?”

Now there’s some food for thought eh?

In fact that Motorhead parallel is even more prevalent once you get to hear ‘Storm The Gates’ because just like what Lemmy did with the Mikkey and Phil line up, Cronos and Venom are doing pretty much the same here, by making some of the best full throttle black metal rackets they have made since their early to mid ‘80s heyday.

Opener ‘Bring Out Your Dead’ is an absolute barnstormer of a track with Cronos rattling his r’s over a pounding rhythm designed to get the heads banging and which seamlessly sets up the full on metal grind of ‘Notorious’ a track that sees Rage out Mantasing the band’s former guitar ninja with his use of the divebombing whammy bar, and the goodies don’t stop there either. ‘Dark Night (Of The Soul)’ is a fierce metal fist to the face as is the album’s title track ‘Storm The Gates’ a track that I can just see a pumped up Cronos stood arms folded 50 hole Dr Martins akimbo commanding his Legions to do his bidding in the live setting.

As a long-time fan of the band I have to admit I do find the flat out and nowt else approach the band take to their songwriting these days more than just a little relentless at times. So, for those of us who might still long an all new ‘At War With Satan’ or perhaps even a 21st century ‘Buried Alive’ you will not find anything remotely like that on ‘Storm The Gates’. In fact, tracks like ‘Over My Dead Body’ and ‘The Mighty Have Fallen’ are perhaps the most brutal the band have ever sounded, largely thanks to the superb almost out of control freight train drumming of Dante and the razor-sharp riffing of Rage.

‘Storm The Gates’ then is the sound of Venom heavier and angrier than ever before, I just hope that with this being such a special year for the band they finally get the credit and recognition they so rightly deserve as a truly ground-breaking metal band especially here in the UK where late-afternoon slots at Bloodstock aside we’re lucky to get to see them live at all.

C’MAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!!!

Buy Storm The Gates Here

Author: John Hayward

 

 

 

 

Lock the church doors Everyone’s favourite Black Metal band are back with a bruising tune.  Accept no substitute Venom are in the house and Cronos has a simple request – ‘Bring Out Your Dead’ and make it snappy here just for you lot is the brand new video hot off the press

You can watch the video here which also coincides with the band announcing a special double picture disc version of the album which is out on 19th April.

LATEST STUDIO ALBUM, ‘STORM THE GATES’, OUT NOW VIA SPINEFARM RECORDS
NEW DOUBLE PIC DISC PRESSING AVAILABLE FROM APRIL 19th 
Venom, the unholy trinity of CronosRage and Dante, closed 2018 with new studio album, STORM THE GATES, released on CD / digital in December, with the double coloured vinyl LP format following in January of this year…
 
 A classic call-to-arms, STORM THE GATES is a record from a legendary band who can legitimately be classed as both ‘original’ and ‘genre-defining’.
 
Now Venom have shared a lyric video for latest single ‘Bring Out Your Dead’, an anthem for blasphemers, fornicators and the forever cursed. Produced by the mighty Cronos himself, this is the raw sound of a band who don’t need tricks of technology to make their point. Watch now – 
Order STORM THE GATES –  Here