June 12, 2016
Venue: Brauer House – Lombard, Illinois
Special Guests: Necrophagia, Sunlord, Funeral Nation
To metal heads, the name Venom is synonymous with black metal. In fact, they are the band that is said to have started the black metal subgenre in heavy metal. In case you’re not familiar with what black metal is, it’s a type of heavy metal music having lyrics that deal with Satan and the supernatural. Venom released the album Black Metal in 1982 and therefore is credited for starting the black metal craze that continues to this very day.
Venom originally consisted of lead singer and bassist “Cronos”, guitarist “Mantas”, and drummer “Abaddon”. The lineup continued to change but singer “Cronos” was the only constant. Due to creative differences the band split in two. They reached an agreement that “Cronos” would keep the Venom name and “Mantas” and “Abaddon” would use the name Venom Inc. (Iron & Steel), which is the band I saw on this date. To say that these musicians are legends is insufficient, for they influenced an entire generation of heavy metal bands in a way that few have done before.
Opening the show was local Chicago veteran band Funeral Nation. This band is a popular fan favorite who has been around since the late 1980’s. Funeral Nation is a black/death metal band with a lot of heart and many from the area came to see them specifically. The band sounded great with a set that lasted about 40 minutes. The band played their trademark song, “The Sign of Baphomet”. Funeral Nation had the crowd thrashing with every track they played. They were a great band and a little sad they have never got the break they deserve.
3 out of 5 Pentagrams!
After a brief set change came New York based speed metal outfit Sunlord. These guys had an energetic and awesome sounding set. Led by Argentinian vocalist and guitarist Alfonso Ferrazza, these guys really kicked ass! They played tracks from their latest album, Burning Saint, including “This Dark Grave”, “Burning Saint”, “Miserable Gods” and the standout “Forbidden Witch.” These guys are a band you really want to see live, so don’t miss out.
4 out of 5 Pentagrams!
A band that I would call the co-headliner was the legendary death metal miscreants, Necrophagia. To me, I would say co-headliner but not really according to the promoters. The reason I say to me, is because Necrophagia is every bit as important to heavy metal history as Venom is. Necrophagia has been around since 1983 and was classified as one of the very first bands as death metal.
Necrophagia took the stage and the modest crowd erupted in a cacophony of applause and screaming. Their set lasted only about 45 minutes, which is criminal, if you ask me. Anyways, lead singer/founder Killjoy was at his best with his higher pitched growling screams which sent the crowd into frenzy. Necrophagia is all about horror movies and they played some of their best tracks with my favorite being “Cannibal Holocaust!” I can’t describe how well this seasoned band played to the crowd and left them devastated at the end. Necrophagia is one of the better live acts I’ve seen in recent memory!
5 out of 5 Pentagrams!
But alas, most of the crowd was here for Venom Inc. and they were up next. Despite what some fans would call a lack of originality for calling themselves Venom Inc., the band’s actual name is Venom Inc. (Iron & Steel) but the last part usually gets left off the promotions. Tonight’s lineup consisted of Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn on guitar, Anthony “Abaddon” Bray on drums, and Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan on bass guitar and vocal duties.
Venom Inc. is another band whose members have been around since the dawn of metal, seemingly, and they know how to rile up a crowd. They kicked off the show with the classic track, “Welcome to Hell” and sent the crazy crowd into mass hysteria.
Set list consisted of:
- Welcome To Hell
- Angel Dust
- Don’t Burn the Witch
- Leave Me In Hell
- Summon the Dead
- 1000 Days in Sodom
- Live Like an Angel, Die Like a Devil
- Sons of Satan
- Witching Hour
- Black Metal
- Countess Bathory
The guys played many classic Venom songs, enough to keep the crowd going without catching their breaths. Lead singer Death Machine is an imposing figure out there fronting the band. In person, the dude is downright scary looking and is more than appropriate enough to front a metal band. He has a stage presence that is undeniable and dare I say- demonic in appearance.
Death Machine did something that caught my attention. It was right after the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida happened and in between songs, Death Machine made a little speech giving his regards to the people killed and their families, once again defying the myth that metal musicians are heartless and full of hate, especially black metal bands.
In all Venom Inc. played for nearly 90 minutes and really gave the crowd what they came for. I must say it was a great show and a nifty, legendary band to top off the night. Kudos goes to the venue, Brauerhouse in Lombard, Illinois, for hosting this awesome night of metal. It’s a clean, comfortable, bar & grill with great food while you wait for the show or after. Highly recommended!
4 ½ Pentagrams!