Sound: Venom's second album Black Metal is a very good example of early extreme metal, arguably more akin to the speed/NWOBHM style of Motorhead or even the early thrash acts than the later black metal bands.
But this album takes a step beyond the the New Wave, the sound is crude and muddy, especially the guitar, most of the riffs resemble the classic New wave style but often they slip to the proto-thrash/death/black approach. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics are mostly abut hell and Satan, as all early Venom lyrics were. Not the best written lyrics but they are delivered well by Cronos' strange and harsh voice, certainly not growls or shrieks, just shouted with little or no control or melody. The vocals are different from those used by other bands at the time, in some parts they even surpass Lemmy's. // 8
Overall Impression: I can't say that Venom is a very talented band, Cronos(bass and vocals)plays along the guitar during the instrumental sections and when he sings he often just plays eight or sixteen notes, Mantas is no better story, you definitely wont hear any devastating leads or complex figures, what you will hear is a bare guitar sound, which I like but most will not. There is a lot of great vibe, and this is the main attribute of both Venom and Black Metal. I like most of the songs especially "Countess Bathory" "Heaven's On Fire", To Hell And Back" and "Teacher's Pet". // 9