Sons of Satan: Rare And Unreleased is a collection of early demos originally released as a deluxe vinyl boxset titled In Nominae Satanas. The stand-alone release contains three demos from Venom that follow a chronological order. These demos include Church Hall Rehearsals from 1979. The second demo is from their 1980 Impulse £50 demo, and the third is another Impulse Studio demo of their song, “At War With Satan.”
The Church Hall Rehearsals are some of the band’s earliest known recordings, which were recorded where the band rehearsed in 1979 at Westgate Road Church Hall in Newcastle’s West End. These five tracks feature the band’s original vocalist, Clive ‘Jesus Christ’ Archer.
These tracks offer a rough beginning to the album as the recording is really muddy with low volume. “Angel Dust” kicks of the demos with an isolated guitar by Mantas. It’s hard to make out what’s going on once the song really kicks in. Somehow Archer’s vocals distantly rise above the low volume and murk. “Buried Alive” is only a minute long before merging with “Raise The Dead.” His vocals stand apart from the former song in his macabre delivery. “Red Light Fever” and “Venom” are the last two tracks from these demos.
“In League With Satan,” one of Venom’s better satanic songs, starts off the 1980 set of demos recorded at Impulse Studios. The production is much cleaner on these demos, but still fairly rough around the edges, which gives listeners a chance to hear some of the same tracks like “Angel Dust” (two versions) and “Venom.” Cronos isn’t quite as aggressive as the songs in their final, LP form, although one of his best performances is his high vocals on “Angel Dust.” The bass stands out really well on these recordings, check out “Schizo” for an example of his fat bass lines. “Raise the Dead” appears on these tracks without “Buried Alive.” “Red Light Fever” represents the sleazy side of Venom.
The “At War With Satan” demos represents a shortened version of the classic song. The LP version clocks in at nearly 20 minutes, while this version is just under 14 minutes. Recorded in 1983, this song shows Cronos at his most aggressive of the collection. These The demo quality of the recording works really well on this hellish masterpiece. Even with it missing over six minutes, the song fades while still being played, this track is still epic in scope. Whatever form this song comes in, it’s something all fans of black metal should crank often.
Sons of Satan seems like something one would get in a box set, and that’s exactly how they were originally manufactured. While the Church Hall demos sound awful, they are well worth having just from a historical aspect. These are some of the earliest recordings and they feature the original vocalist, Clive Archer. The rest of the demos sound much better and are examples of their development.
(released August 28, 2020 on BMG)
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Listen To Venom – “Sons Of Satan”