Buried Alive

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If the single-disc collection Venom in Memorium: Greatest Hits 1981-1994 doesn't seem like enough of an overview, the British Receiver label has assembled the double-disc Buried Alive anthology, which covers pretty much the same time period and offers remastered versions of its 26 tracks. Remastering Venom might seem like a fairly ridiculous idea, given that their early, most influential material had a distinct lack of melody and was generally buried under a thick layer of sonic crud, but this probably is the best these songs will ever sound. The main reasons why Venom was influential -- their over-the-top theatricality, the bludgeoning, barely competent brute force of their instrumental attack, and the sheer ugliness of the noise they kicked up -- also mean that a double-disc collection could be rough going for people who aren't devoted fans. If you just want a snapshot of Venom's influence on death metal and black metal, stick with Venom In Memorium; if, however, you want to dig deeper without delving into the actual albums, Buried Alive is just the ticket.

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