VARIOUS ARTISTS: In the Sign of the Horns: CD

First off, I hate “tribute” records, because 99.9995% of the time the people paying tribute only end up making a mockery of those they hold sacred. That said, this “tribute to Venom” falls in the minority of good releases. The bands (Anal Blast, Evil Incarnate, Morpheus Descends, Nokturne, Bloodstorm and Coffin Texts, among others) are faithful to the original versions yet, instead of merely copying said original, they put enough effort into what they’re doing to make the track sound like one of their own. Being a longtime fan of Venom, I really expected this to suck testes, so I’m relieved and impressed that the bands were able to pull it off in such fine fashion.

 –jimmy (Dwell, PO Box 39439, Los Angeles, CA 90039)