Metal Hammer/Subterranea Magazine Review

By: Dayal Patterson
January 2013

VON - Satanic Blood Album Review

VON is making a real bloody mess of things-USBM pioneers get back to the primitive. At a time when USBM is just as likely to be represented by respectable-looking chaps in check shirts playing heavy psychedelic prog, as angry blasphemers pushing the boundaries of hateful noise, Satanic Blood marks a welcome arrival. Indeed, it’s apt that as the US reinvents itself with a legion of more sophisticated bands that an ugly reminder of the country’s primitive past resurfaces, like a time capsule vomited back up from the earth.

Widely acknowledged as America’s first black metal band, VON formed in the late 80s and had such a profound impact upon the emerging European scene that they not only ended up being covered by the likes of Urgehal, Dark Funeral and Taake, but also gave Watain their name. Amazingly, all this was based on a single, raw-as-hell demo released in 1992. When the band reappeared a few years ago-one of the more unlikely extreme metal reformations yet, skeptics wondered how a group in the modern era could hope to capture the spirit of that searing but one-dimensional opus.Today, bassist, co-writer and co-founder Jason “VENIEN” Ventura steers the VON ship and his ambition is immediately obvious upon seeing the huge beast that is Satanic Blood. The size of an LP, the CD is packaged within a 12-inch booklet immaculately illustrated with detailed, otherworldly drawings by the frontman. As DIY an operation as it was 20 years ago, the dedication thankfully extends to the recording itself: clocking in at one hour, the album not only features re-recordings of the eight songs on the Satanic Blood demo, but those on the lesser known Satanic and Blood Angel demos as well as previously unheard material.

Though more expansive, there has been little attempt to redraft the compositions, which, on the whole, combine the frantic repetition of the most malevolent yet simple riffs imaginable with the multi-layered bellowed incantations of VENIEN (replacing the vocals of co-founder Goat, who departed two years ago). The ruthless pounding of the originals was about as one-dimensional as drumming could be, and even though the percussion here is handled by the talented Charlie Fell of Nachtmystium, most tracks essentially remain in perpetual blastbeat.

The real achievement here is that the album retains the incomparably primal spirit of the band while nonetheless offering a bigger and better realization of the songs. While similarly bestial acts such as Black Witchery tend to drive their assault into low frequencies and swampy acoustics, Satanic Blood offers a relatively high-pitched ‘scooped’ sound, dominated by creepy high-end ‘lead’ guitars that essentially mirror the rhythm guitars save for an occasional solo. Moreover, though utterly brutal, the songs simply aren’t typical metal tunes, the riffs ignoring conventional scales like the plague, the bombardment almost abstract. The whole affair is genuinely hypnotic, colored by a sense of displacement. It sounds wrong; frankly put, it is wrong, and amazingly it still works brilliantly after all these years.

(Source: Metal Hammer Magazine #239)

VON - Satanic Blood (Open Edition) (Digital Album)

vVurMzflessshhh Publishing

Cat/Sku#: VR D0007

Artist: VON
Title: Satanic Blood (Digital Album)
Audio Format: Digital Album
Publisher/Distributor: vVurMzflessshhh Publishing (USA)
Digital Release Date: 2012
Illustration By: VENIEN

01. Jesus Stain
02. Devil Pig
04. Release
05. Veadtuck
06. Vennt
07. Evisc
08. Goat Christ
09. Dissection InHuman
10. Chalice of Blood
11. Blood Von
12. Christfire
13. Backskin
14. Watain
15. Blood Angel
16. Lamb
17. Satanic Blood

Recording Lineup:
Jason Ventura (VENIEN) (vocals | bass)
Jon Gonzalez (Lord Giblete) (guitar)
Charlie Fell (drums)

Digital Bonus includes: 25 additional bonus tracks taken from rare VON demos | EP:
- Satanic (1990) (Cat/Sku#: VR D0001)
- Satanic Blood (1992) (Cat/Sku#: VR D0002)
- Blood Angel (1992) (Cat/Sku#: VR D0003)
- Satanic Blood (7" Vinyl EP) (2010) (Cat/Sku#: VR LTD0001)
+ digital copies of original demo cassette tape sleeves and covers

The long awaited official album from VON debuts after 20+ years! The wait is finally over! VON creator "VENIEN" entered the Von Records studio to record 17 classic songs from "The Demo Years" of VON
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