Welcome to Hell

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Welcome to Hell
Venom Welcome.jpg
Studio album by Venom
Released December 1981
Recorded August 1981
Studio Impulse Studios in Newcastle, England
Genre Speed metal, Black Metal
Length 39:26
Label Neat
Producer Keith Nichol and Venom
Venom chronology
Welcome to Hell
Black Metal

Welcome to Hell is the debut studio album by English heavy metal band Venom. It was released in December 1981, through Neat Records, at the culmination of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. The music of Welcome to Hell is often described as speed metal, but it had a great influence on the then-emerging thrash metal style, and crystallised the elements of what later became known as death metal and black metal.[1]

The sound of the album is very noisy and rough, perhaps in part because the band thought they were recording a demo when they recorded the album over a period of only three days. According to author Dayal Patterson, Welcome to Hell might be the first black metal album.

The album was re-issued in 1998 by Combat Records and was re-released by Sanctuary Records in 2002.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 6/10[2]
Sounds 5/5 stars[3]

British journalist Geoff Barton stated in his 1981 five-star review of Welcome to Hell that the album had "the hi-fi dynamics of a 50-year-old pizza", and that it "brought a new meaning to the word 'cataclysmic'".[3] According to AllMusic's journalist Eduardo Rivadavia, highlights of the album include "Welcome to Hell", "In League with Satan", "One Thousand Days in Sodom" and "Witching Hour"; Rivadavia said of "Witching Hour": "Possibly Venom's single most important track, in it you'll hear a number of stylistic devices which would later pervade all extreme metal genres, indeed become their most regularly abused clichés."[1] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff wrote that "Welcome to Hell got a certain fabulously stupid impetus to it, despite the sub-bootleg quality recording, and Cronos quickly establishing himself as the most annoying voice in rock"; it should be considered "a record of historical metal relevance", but "not the band's most listenable product".[2]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Bray/Dunn/Lant.

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Sons of Satan" 3:38
2. "Welcome to Hell" 3:15
3. "Schizo" 3:34
4. "Mayhem with Mercy" 0:58
5. "Poison" 4:33
6. "Live Like an Angel (Die Like a Devil)" 3:59
Side B
No. Title Length
7. "Witching Hour" 3:40
8. "One Thousand Days in Sodom" 4:36
9. "Angel Dust" 2:43
10. "In League with Satan" 3:35
11. "Red Light Fever" 5:14




  1. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Welcome to Hell – Venom : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : Allmusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 395. ISBN 978-1894959315. 
  3. ^ a b Barton, Geoff (December 1981). "Venom: Welcome to Hell (Neat)". Sounds. 
  4. ^ The Dark Past.
  5. ^ http://www.metal-archives.com/albums/Enforcer/From_Beyond/500608

External links[edit]