Venom offshoot Venom Inc. and death metal pioneers Necrophagia played New York City’s Webster Hall Jan. 9 as part of their first US circuit.
For the uninitiated, Venom Inc. is a new band that features ex-Venom members Mantas on guitar, Abaddon on drums and Demolition Man on vocals – making this band an unofficial reunion of Venom’s 1988 to 1992 lineup.
I was really excited for this as I had not been to a show since King Diamond and Necrophagia and Venom were bands I’ve wanted to see since high school. I was also confirmed for an interview with Necrophagia vocalist Killjoy. Although I took the bus to the city with my friend Jay to NYC, we split up as Jay didn’t want to be at the venue too early. I took the Subway to Union Square while Jay went to The Blue Ruin in Hell’s Kitchen. I got to the venue on East 11th street, ran into some friends and awaited the show.
First up was Long Island’s Extinction A. D. The band played slightly melodic “tough guy” hardcore. This was not a style I was ever into, so their set bored me.Most of the crowd was bored as well as this band didn’t fit the bill.
After Exinction A. D. I interviewed Killjoy. Metalfier got on stage shortly after. The band was a traditional metal throwback and they were bad. Like the last band, everyone was bored and couldn’t wait for them to finish.
After the bland local openers it was time for Necrophagia, which was also when Jay showed up. Their set was mostly focused on recent material, as no songs before 1998 were played. Necrophagia performed several fan favorites such as “Embalmed Yet I Breathe” and “Blood Freak” – all while vocalist Killjoy practiced his horror theatrics. They ended their set with their most well known song “Cannibal Holocaust” (based on the horror classic of the same name).
After Necrophagia’s killer performance, we got ready for Venom Inc. Audiences were curious due to the fact that while this version of Venom does not include classic vocalist Cronos, they do have two of the original three members.
The band started their set with “Prime Evil,” the title track from the 1988 Venom album. This was the only song they played from the era they were a throwback to. From that point on, their setlist mostly consisted of songs from the first two Venom albums, “Welcome to Hell” and “Black Metal.” This included many classics such as “Black Metal,” “1,000 Days in Sodom,” “Countess Bathory,” “Don’t Burn the Witch” and “Schizo.” They also played some of the non-album singles from that era such as “Warhead” and “Bloodlust.”
Venom Inc. had good energy and looked like they were having a lot of fun. With the exception of the two openers, the show was a lot better then expected. After the show Jay and I went to the Blue Ruin, met some cool, hot chicks and took the bus home disappointed that we had to return to reality.