Venom Inc 2017 Welcomes You to Hell
San Diego metalheads kicked off the fall season of concerts with the third coming of Venom Inc (and that’s three times in two years, mind you!) As if having the privilege to be within spitting distance of Mantas wasn’t enough, fans were treated to this unique but fitting lineup including the vilest souls to drain the Mississippi we all call Goatwhore and the Oregonian titan stompers better known as Toxic Holocaust.
And also Convalescence. This lightweight deathcore band was more confusing than it was slightly below average. I’m sure their music would work better at a different venue and with a more appropriate lineup. The audience seemed to gain their groove back, as pandemonium broke out in the pit for Toxic Holocaust. You just can’t listen to “War is Hell” without banging your head like noone’s watching. Thirty minutes came and went like a blur, as they flurried through a powerful repertoire of thrash anthems, including “Lords of the Wasteland” “Nuke the Cross” and—my personal favorite—-“Bitch.” Their set left you wanting more which is refreshing, as I’m sure you could count on two hands all the bands you’ve seen who have overstayed their welcome on stage. Let’s hope we’ve merited a headlining visit from them in the near future!
Having seen Goatwhore nearly ten times since 2012 (I’m sure many of you reading this can relate), I wasn’t sure how excited I’d be to see them again. Goatwhore is well known for their bone-crushing riffs, booming rhythm section, and exorcismes ala Falgoust, as they should be saying in French. These masters of performance brought every song to life, and we were treated to a song or two off their upcoming release. But of course it was tunes like “Fucked By Satan” and the quintessential “Apocalyptic Havoc” that got the loudest and rowdiest reception.
The turnout seemed to diminish rapidly throughout the night, but that deterred neither the remaining audience members nor the legends that were to grace the stage last, but never ever least. Though they started their set with the new “Ave Satanas,” it didn’t really sink in that my boyfriend and I were watching (of course gratefully) the closest thing to old-school Venom we will have in our lifetimes; that is, not until they started playing “Welcome to Hell.” Maybe I cried while I listening up front and made eye contact with Mantas while I had tears running down my face. But you don’t know that, shut up.
One of my favorite moments of the night was the entirety of “Warhead.” Mantas and Abaddon both jumped up with enthusiasm throughout the night, riling up the crowds every now and again. But it was Mantas who just wore out the crowd and encouraged his fired up minions below to continue screaming “WARHEAD” the entire time. Demolition Man’s vocals filled the air with metal fury and ferocity. He shines on tracks like “Sons of Satan” and “Black Metal,” and together the three of them marked their territory on the Brick by Brick’s walls for the third time. One night with Venom, and you’ll get poisoned.