VENOM - Live at GODS OF METAL Festival - Review by SITE OF THE HYDRA
Wednesday 31st of May 2006:
At last - it's almost time for us to set of to see VENOM Live for the third time this year. Despite the fact that it's only a few weeks since we saw VENOM on their UK tour, we are in need of our next V-Live fix. This time two of the German Legions, Alex and Sarah, were joining us for the trip down to Milan, Italy to see VENOM headlining the GODS OF METAL festival. Alex is a mega VENOM Freak, and has been desperate to see the mighty V live for a long time, as he was unable to come with us to the UK, and also could not make it to Wacken 2000. But now, it was finally going to happen for him - the next day he would be seeing VENOM live.
Our original plan was to drive down to Milan, a journey that would take around 4 hours or so. However, we had to scrap that idea due to a very unfortunate incident which happened in the south of Switzerland, meaning that our chosen route would be closed until Friday the 2nd of June. Some frantic phone calls managed to secure us with train tickets to Milan central train station, which was not too far away from the festival site. So Alex & Sarah spent the evening at our house here in Deepest Hell, and me and Alex slurped a few beers and talked through what he should expect to see the next day...
Thursday 1st of June 2006:
It's show-day, so we're up early and board the train heading south. We eventually arrive in Milan at approx 3pm, and endure one of the most terrifying taxi-rides known to man. Having worked for a few years as a motorcycle courier in London, I thought I'd seen it all when it comes to crazy driving. Milan was insane - everybody drove mad, young and old alike! When we got to the festival site the first thing in order was a very stiff drink to calm the nerves!
We spent the next few hours wandering around the festival site, awaiting the time VENOM would hit the stage. Shortly after Opeth had finished their set, we were sat at the very back of the site, expecting Dimmu Borgir to be up next. Then, Alex and Mrs Hydra noticed that the VENOM backdrop and drums were being put in place. We quickly worked our way through the masses up to the front row, and sure enough, VENOM were on next, Dimmu Borgir would not be playing...
Within minutes, 1000s of VENOM Freaks had also noticed what was up, and invaded the front of the huge stage. The roadcrew put the finishing touches to the stage, while the excited cries of VENOM - VENOM became more and more regular. Then everything went dark...
Here we go again, Hell Yeah!! The intro tapes roll, and smoke pours all over the stage. A quick look across the front row reveals a sea of hair and V-shirts. The Legions are ready. MYKVS and CRONOS enter from each side, from behind the massive walls of speakers that are built to either side of ANTTONs towering drums. BLACK METAL and WELCOME TO HELL get things of to a blistering start, and are sung word for word by the headbanging Legions.
This was to be an evening of pleasant Venomous surprises. First up, VENOM had pyro at this show. What's surprising about that, you may ask? Well, having recently seen V live twice without any bombs or pyro when they were stunning, we had not really thought much about pyro in the build-up to this show. We were already freaking furiously when a massive bang and flash reminded us about the pyro. A nice little bonus to the guaranteed heavyness and brutal precision of VENOM 2006.
Another surprise -after saying hell-o to the masses in there own demonic way, the band announces a guest singer will be joining VENOM onstage for the next track. Phil Anselmo (whose own band, DOWN, had performed earlier in proceedings) strolls out, while MYKVS tears into DIE HARD. Mr Anselmo does great justice to the song, and seems mega-excited to be onstage with V. It's no secret that he is a big V-Freak, and he really enjoyed this chance to sing a V-classic with the band. Respect!
ANTECHRIST is, like at the UK shows, the first track played live from the brilliant METAL BLACK album. This track (and BURN IN HELL and the title track) are already must-haves on the VENOM live-tracklist, and are as killer live as they are on album. BLOODLUST follows, complete with the classic pyro going off in a burning line right across the stage. EVIL ONE and AT WAR WITH SATAN keep up the assault, and RESURRECTION is killer as always. Then a very special moment in the history of Metal music:
The band then tells us that they are gonna perform a song that VENOM have never performed live before. A song that did not even make it to any studio album. No bullshitting here, but I think I may have been the first person to suss which song was coming, and I screamed out SENILE DECAY at loudly as I possibly could. Oh yes - indeed it was this almighty track called SENILE DECAY!! Wow!! Talk about freaking so wild...
It was not just that VENOM played this legendary song, but the way they played it. Just like listening to the original version, absolutely perfect. There was a breeze blowing across the festival site, which only seemed to enhance the wonderful feeling of the mid-section of this track. Fuck Yeah!!
COUNTESS BATHORY again contains the classic pyro - huge flames straight from Hell bursting out from the stagefloor. Then a cool medley of KRACKIN' UP and SATANACHIST, followed by BURN IN HELL. As at the recent UK shows, I am amazed how the crowd (myself included) can take all this and still want more, more, more. The freaking does not relent, nor do VENOM. 7 GATES OF HELL and WARHEAD are explosive, and then the band disappear...
...of course we all know that VENOM ain't quite finished for the evening, but, together with 1000s of other Legions, we scream for the band to return. Here they come again, to be greeted by a mega-reception from the Legions. METAL BLACK, followed by IN LEAGUE WITH SATAN, which saw every hand in the place clap along, fuckin' killer. Then the WITCHING HOUR is upon us again, and is delivered in truly Venomous fashion. Thank You and Goodnight, Milan....We will return.
Fuckin' sensational! What a show. Experienced V-heads like me and Mrs Hydra fuckin' loved it, and people like Alex where blown away by their first taste of The Black Metal Gods Live.
Fuckin' Hell Yeah. Wish we were rich and could attend every V concert ever. Despite seeing V live so often, we are still envious of you people who will see VENOM live in Finland and Sweden very soon, you Dude's are in for some sensational shows! As for us, well....
ROLL ON, EARTHSHAKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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