Venom | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
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Before I started writing this I went and bought some Newcastle Brown Ale, because it "comes from where Venom come from" and "knocks you on your fuckin' back, let me tell you!" It'd seem almost negligent to say anything about Venom without quoting from the "Venom Live" seven-inch--a 1986 show allegedly recorded by a Black Flag roadie (and later released on Ecstatic Peace) with everything edited out except Cronos's between-song shit talking. But it's not an aspersion to credit Venom with one of the greatest comedy records of all time: with a level of ridiculousness that reaches Spinal Tap proportions, they've managed to cross over with punk and hardcore fans like few other death-metal bands. They also wrote black metal's anthem: "Black Metal." (The refrain goes, "Lay down your souls to the gods Rock and Roll!" Both gods, mind you.) As one YouTube post succinctly put it, "Bathory were the first black metal band, Venom gave it the name!" Although Cronos is the only member left from the classic lineup that also featured guitarist Mantas and drummer Abaddon, Venom are celebrating 25 years of evil with the release of the new Metal Black (Sanctuary), where they're in as fine a form as, um, ever. Goatwhore opens. Sun 9/3, 8:15 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000 or 312-559-1212, $28.50 in advance, $30 at the door. All ages.

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