Welcome to Hell

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Welcome to Hell
Venom Welcome.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 1981
RecordedAugust 1981
StudioImpulse Studios in Newcastle, England
GenreHeavy metal, speed metal[1]
LabelNeat (UK)
ProducerKeith Nichol and Venom
Venom chronology
Welcome to Hell
Black Metal

Welcome to Hell is the debut studio album by English extreme 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 described as a mix of heavy metal and speed metal, but it had a great influence on the emerging extreme metal genres of thrash, death 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 it over a period of only three days. According to author Dayal Patterson, the relatively low-fidelity of Welcome to Hell inspired other Norwegian metal bands, who considered it black metal. Patterson says that Welcome to Hell and Black Metal were both the genesis for the black metal genre, with the earlier album "where it was born."[2][3]

The album was re-released by Sanctuary Records in 2002.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal6/10[4]
Sounds5/5 stars[5]

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' ".[5] According to AllMusic 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".[4]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Bray/Dunn/Lant.

Side A
1."Sons of Satan"3:38
2."Welcome to Hell"3:15
4."Mayhem with Mercy"0:58
6."Live Like an Angel (Die Like a Devil)"3:59
Side B
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


In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked Welcome to Hell as 74th on their list of 'The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.'[6]

The black metal band Mayhem borrowed their name from the instrumental track "Mayhem with Mercy"[7] and covered the song "Witching Hour" on their EP Deathcrush.

In addition to covering the song, Canadian parody metal band Zimmers Hole references "In League with Satan" in the title of their album When You Were Shouting at the Devil... We Were in League with Satan.



  1. ^ a b c d e Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Welcome to Hell – Venom : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : Allmusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  2. ^ https://www.decibelmagazine.com/2013/11/11/dayal-patterson-author-of-black-metal-evolution-of-the-cult-give-us-his-top-10-bm-albums/
  3. ^ Patterson, Dayal (2013). Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult. Feral House. pp. 6–16. ISBN 9781936239764.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b Barton, Geoff (December 1981). "Venom: Welcome to Hell (Neat)". Sounds.
  6. ^ http://www.theprp.com/2017/06/21/news/rolling-stone-share-choices-100-greatest-metal-albums-time/
  7. ^ The Dark Past.

External links[edit]