VARIOUS ARTISTS - "IN THE SIGN OF THE HORNS - A TRIBUTE TO VENOM" (DWELL)
For every 'normal' album they release, Dwell probably releases at least one tribute album. Do they actually do anything other than tributes? I would not be surprised. And the problem is that they seem to release primarily bad tribute albums; extremely unknown bands playing largely death/black metal versions of everyone and his sister's music.
This time it's Venom's time to be subject to yet another tribute. Again it's primarily unknown bands (I guess they'd call this "underground"), although Ritual Carnage and Acheron have risen to well-known-ness.
The bands have chosen to cover primarily the pre-"Possessed" albums - a logical choice as that's where the best Venom tracks can be found. Only Bloodstorm is an exception with their OK version of "Satanachist".
There are three groups of tracks on the album: Good, average, and crap. Good ones include Nokturne's "Black Metal" (not too heavy), Coffin Texts' "One Thousand Days in Sodom", aforementioned "Satanachist", Venereal Disease's "Lady Lust" (very heavy and intense despite a bad guitar solo), Evil Incarnate's "In Nomine Satanas" (with deep, growly vocals and a meagre production), Ritual Carnage's "Welcome to Hell" (rather muffled vocals but good otherwise) and Morpheus Descends' "Angel Dust" (thundering version with very dark vocals, sounds better than the original). Average ones include Mork Gryning's "Leave me in Hell" (with Swedish accented vocals otherwise much like Cronos, bad production), Anal Blast's "Red Light Fever" (cool vocals but Darkthrone-like guitars and the worst snare drum production this side of the early eighties...there's the first 3 minutes of "At War with Satan" in the middle, which is a nice surprise), Black Witchery's "Warhead" (musically pretty OK though not as dark as the original, with gory-screamy vocals) and Diabolic's "Buried Alive" (decent start, then half decent). Bad ones are comprised of Perverseraph's "Genocide" (bad screamy vocals, tinny sounding drums, bad overall production), Acheron's "Countess Bathory" (weak production with loud snare drum, screamy vocals), Noctuary's "Die Hard" (vocals like Dani on a bad day) and From The Depths' "Live Like an Angel (Die Like a Devil)" (tinny sounding, bad production, screamy vocals).
All in all, this is not the worst tribute album ever, though hardly the best. It's one of Dwell's finest (which says more about Dwell than about "In the Sign of the Horns").
Written December 2000
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