Marching out of Newcastle, England, in the late '70s, Venom forged a harsh and blistering, highly influential sound that inspired the melodramatic metal bands that followed. Whereas artists like Alice Cooper clearly camped up shows for fun, Venom sounded like a group of devil-worshiping maniacs. Composed of members sporting silly monikers like Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon, the trio issued its first release in 1981. Raging with adolescent fury, Welcome to Hell foreshadowed such future speed- and thrash-metal kingpins as Slayer, Anthrax and Metallica. A generation later, Venom's histrionic sound spawned a Scandinavian black-metal scene that took the satanic slant to ridiculously new levels, with acts burning down more than a hundred ancient churches during the '90s. See the band that inspired it all this Wednesday, when Venom stops by the Bluebird with Devildriver. Here's to raising the horns and offering up a hearty "Hail Satan!"


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