Coming to prominence towards the end of the ‘New Wave of British Heavy Metal’, VENOM’s first two albums – Welcome to Hell (1981) and Black Metal (1982) – are considered a major influence on thrash metal and extreme metal in general. VENOM’s second album proved influential enough that its title was used as the name of an extreme metal subgenre: black metal. Cronos left the band in 1988 to pursue a solo career and occasionally featured in many other bands, including Cronos, Enthroned, Cradle of Filth, Warpath, Massacre, and Necrodeath. VENOM tried to continue without Cronos but only managed a couple of releases before calling a halt on their efforts in around 1993 due to lack of sales and poor concert attendances.
Cronos reformed the original VENOM line-up in 1995 and headlined the Dynamo Festival in 1996 to 90,000 fans. In 2000, the band went on to headline the Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany and play a one-off show in Holland before they were forced to take a break after Cronos was injured in a climbing accident in 2002, which left him unable to play bass or sing for a few years. He took to the computer to pass the time and studied games programming, learned 3D software skills and worked as the main multimedia engineer for the computer companies K-Class Systems and Globalfibre.tv. Cronos again reformed VENOM in around 2003 with his brother Antton on drums and recruiting Michael Alan Hickey.
After the next couple of years of planning and intensive rehearsals, VENOM released their latest album ‘Metal Black’ in early 2006 on the Sanctuary Group label Castle Music, and they embarked on a sold out world tour. Cronos also appeared on Dave Grohl’s heavy metal side project PROBOT in 2004, and guest starred on the track Knights of the 21st century on HammerFall’s 2005 album Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.
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