Words by Jesse Striewski | Photos by Seth Johnson
It’s been far too long since anything as brutal as Venom Inc. rocked through Central Florida (other than maybe a hurricane), but the British extreme metal pioneers did just that this past Saturday, September 30, when they ripped through The Haven Lounge in Orlando with a host of savage supporting acts.
Orlando’s own Destructonomicon started things off, followed directly by another local group, Thicket. Each received an admirable response from their hometown crowd, but the crossover style of Destructonomicon (who had an old-school sound reminiscent of D.R.I. ) stuck out with catchy anthems like “Parasite.”
Black metal darlings The Convalescence were next in line. While the band may be straight off their recent tour with Otep (where they found themselves “kicked off”), the crowd did not seem to mind one bit (at one point a chant of “Fuck Otep” could even be heard). The band themselves did not seem deterred by what happened on said last tour either, as they barreled through a set which eventually concluded with their most recent single, “Scum.”
Next up, Toxic Holocaust hit the stage, and it was apparent the crowd was just as excited about hearing their brand of crossover thrash live as much as I was. During their set they completely annihilated the venue with tracks like “War is Hell,” “Wild Dogs,” “Gravelord,” “Acid Fuzz,” “The Lord of the Wasteland,” “In the Name of Science,” “Nuke the Cross,” and “Bitch.” After their set, I briefly spoke with vocalist/bassist Joel Grind regarding the tour, who said; “It’s been going great. We only have about another week left, but it’s been a total blast.”
Sludge/blackened death metal giants Goatwhore followed. I have to admit, I’m not too familiar with much other than their name, but judging by the crowd’s reaction, they’re clearly juggernauts of the scene. Unfortunately, multiple technical difficulties and noticeable frustration from the band members slowed the momentum some. Yet despite the problems, they were able to still overcome and leave those still standing pumped for the finale of the night.
And last but not least, the mighty Venom Inc. finally took things over. For those of you unaware, Venom Inc. consists entirely of former members of the legendary metal band Venom, who are still active as well with their own lineup (yet even less original members than Venom Inc.). After kicking things off with a crushing track (“Ave Satanas”) from their new album, the band got things going with classic Venom numbers such as “Welcome to Hell,” “Die Hard,” “Live Like an Angel,” “Blackened are the Priests,” “Warhead,” and “Burn the Witch.” After unleashing another new track (“War”) the guys went into even more classics like “Poison,” “Leave me in Hell,” “Black Metal,” and “Countess Bathory.” After a quick reprieve, the band came back for an encore with “Sons of Satan.” At this point it was nearly 1am in the morning, yet they still had the crowd eating out of their hands. Make no mistakes about it, Venom Inc. is the real deal, and they did not disappoint anyone who was in the house that night.