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Neat (1985)
Rating: 8/10

Venom have for so long been the trend setters for many up-and-coming bands of total noise destruction, whether it be black metal, power metal, death metal or just plain heavy metal. But recently I’ve felt that many of the students have been beating their tutors at their own game, by releasing vastly superior product. Possessed though is probably the UK band’s most accessible album to date which should at least retain their respect from the Venom legions.

The album contains no less than 13 tracks of bang ’em till they bleed quality, varying from the Motörhead mould of ‘Flytrap’ and the power metalized ‘Powerdrive’ to the total thrash of ‘Voyeur’, the album’s best track. ‘Mystique’ too is worth a special mention for its unusual Spanish-style guitar soloing from Mantas.

True, Possessed may lack a ‘Bloodlust’ like classic, but the good news for Venom fans is that the Geordie black metalists have hardly wimped out, as some may have anticipated after the dubious ‘Manitou’ single.

Bernard Doe

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 10 (1985)

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