Black metal pioneers VENOM will release their 15th full-length studio album, "Storm The Gates", on December 14 through Spinefarm Records. The follow-up to 2015's "From The Very Depths" will be made available on CD and digital formats, with vinyl and cassette versions to arrive in early 2019.
According to a press release, "Storm The Gates" is "a classic call-to-arms from a legendary band who can legitimately be classed as both original and genre-defining." The disc was produced by frontman Conrad "Cronos" Lant, who stated about the effort: "We always say that a song has to find itself, has to develop. We've had nearly three years with these compositions, speeding some up, slowing some down, changing the lyrics, adding breaks, moving verses... that's how songs grow, and that's how you end up writing a better album. That's why I don't believe in releasing a record every year — you can't possibly have let those songs develop to their full potential. These albums are going to be around a lot longer than I am, so they need to be able to stand up for themselves. With an album every year, I think you end up with two or three good songs and then a load of shit, and I certainly dont want to release that sort of album."
"Storm The Gates" track listing:
01. Bring Out Your Dead
03. I Dark Lord
04. 100 Miles To Hell
05. Dark Night (Of The Soul)
06. Beaten To A Pulp
08. The Mighty Have Fallen
09. Over My Dead Body
10. Suffering Dictates
11. We The Loud
13. Storm The Gates
Last year, Cronos spoke to Metal Rules about the evolution of VENOM's songwriting. "The thing is we, as a band, we are evolving the black metal thing," he explained. "Because, for me, it has to be exciting, it has to be new, it has to be dangerous. It has to stay in motion. It has to make me excited to do it. I couldn't just do the 'Welcome To Hell' night after night; it would be too boring. So, they know I like to be challenged. I need to create new shit, and I like to twist VENOM a lot and cut and pull it. I like to create an album that people kind of go, 'That wasn't expected.'
"For a band that's been going this long, if we're not going to continue to evolve, I think we're dead," he continued. "But you don't want to forget where you came from. [You want] to be able to play songs from back in the day, so that the people in the audience can hear them and hear the song that they love — played the way that it was played. I think it is special."
Cronos went on to say that his current VENOM bandmates — guitarist Rage, a.k.a. Stuart Dixon, and drummer Danté, a.k.a. Danny Needham — "have got two [VENOM] albums under the belt now [2011's 'Fallen Angels' and 'From the Very Depths'] that they can call their own. So, when they play their songs up on that stage, they can push and pull the bits they want, and they can play them in their style. But when we play the old songs, we kind of try to play them as near to the original we possibly can so, that the people in the audience hear a great version of the song rather than a changed version of the song. Because why change a great song?"
VENOM is not to be confused with VENOM INC., the band featuring original VENOM guitarist Jeff "Mantas" Dunn alongside ex-VENOM bassist/vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan.
"From The Very Depths" was released in January 2015 via Spinefarm.