The Anthology (Castle/Sanctuary)
by Martin Popoff
This is the way to put together a compilation, and with the mass confusion surrounding anything Venom-related on the exploitational regurgitation front over the years, it’s almost comforting to know, well, that you’ve got all of Cronos‘ solo material in one tidy package. The Anthology does just that, gathering up all three albums recorded during the man’s pointless exile from Venom (three bad titles adorning: Dancing In The Fire, Rock ‘n’ Roll Disease, and Venom), along with a handful of inconsequential rarities, for a total of two remastered CDs and 40 tracks of madness. Stylistically, what you get is “that voice,” one of the most aggrieved and legendary and distinctly irony-slaying in rock, atop songs of which three-quarters could have been Venom vomitings (and many actually are, as Cronos re-recordings of Venom songs). The remastering has resulted in that scratchy, immediate explosiveness that Venom sort of own, a sense of “bursting out” that looks like an old train plunging into a ravine in India, incongruous cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Bad Reputation” notwithstanding. It’s cool to hear the guys step out and groove and get melodic here as well, as Cronos briefly looks glassy-eyed at new directions. I mean, “Midnight Eye” is a cross between hair metal and Cathedral, with much too much musicianship elsewhere to fit the bong-loaded bill of this man with a Satanic plan.