Saturday, April 18, 2009

Venom - Nightmare (1985)

The Nightmare E.P. is interesting as it seemed to spark some controversy. The cover artwork was deemed too graphic, so it was pulled. A different version was then released in October 1985, featuring the band members on the cover. This is the Nightmare single, containing one less song that the initial E.P. After a short time, the original version was re-released, with the three songs that it initially contained, plus a live song added on. As for the music, it was recorded in the same studio as the rest, Impulse, and engineered by the same Keith Nichol that handled all of the material up to this point.

Side A begins with "Nightmare". This song starts with a somber acoustic part before really kicking in. It is pretty mid-paced and even the lyrics are kind of subdued. They deal with more realistic horror, rather than taking the Satanic approach that the band was known for. The vocals come across with conviction and feeling, while the guitar riffs have the feeling of a cool autumn night. And make no mistake; this music is made for a nocturnal setting. It serves to create a dark atmosphere, in an entirely different manner than previously used. This song is unique and memorable; definitely one of Venom's best.

Side B features "Satanarchist". This song is introduced by some eerie feedback and demonic voices. A faster pace dominates the track, providing a good sense of balance with the other tune. It isn't exactly groundbreaking, but it is a good, straight-forward Venom song. It's short and memorable, featuring some decent Black/Thrash riffs.

This is one of my favorite Venom singles, mainly due to "Nightmare" being such a killer song. As mentioned in the reviews of other singles, it really seems counterproductive that they released so many singles and yet never bothered to use them for an L.P. In all reality, these were some of the band's strongest songs and would have made a Hell of an impact if put together as a full-length album. At any rate, it is recommended that you track this down, in some form or another. If you can't find the original, pick up The Singles: 80-96 or The Seven Gates Of Hell - Singles 1980-1985 , which was released a bit more recently.