- Jeffrey Pollack via Wikicommons
- Venom Inc., the British band that informed an entire subgenre of black metal, comes to the Zodiac on Wednesday, April 24.
To call the British band Venom influential is a massive understatement. Their debut album, Welcome to Hell, was viewed as the apotheosis of the new wave of British heavy metal and was a huge influence on the soon-to-emerge movements of thrash metal and death metal. In fact, the entire subgenre of black metal takes its name from the group’s 1982 sophomore LP, which was a huge influence on the burgeoning Norwegian scene.
Like most metal acts whose careers span a few decades, the group has seen plenty of lineup changes over the years. Venom Inc. comprises founding guitarist Jeff “Mantas” Dunn and bassist/vocalist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan, who fronted Venom for a span of three albums from 1989 to 1992. Drum duties were originally handled by fellow founding member Anthony “Abaddon” Bray, but Jeramie Kling, also of Florida-based band The Absence, has rounded out the group since 2018.
Avé, the first album recorded under the Venom Inc. moniker, was released in August 2017 via Nuclear Blast records. (The name “Venom” is still used by founding member Conrad “Cronos” Lant, who continues to tour and record separately.)
While Venom Inc. might be the marquee name of the evening, the rest of the lineup is no less powerful, featuring four national acts: Exmortus, Homewrecker, Rhythm of Fear and Portrayal of Guilt. Tickets are available now, and if you’re at all interested, I’d advise that you don’t sleep on them.
Elsewhere on the upcoming show radar, local emcee Earsiq, aka Eric Radke, is arranging a show at the Triple Nickel Tavern for a great cause.
Many local hip-hop fans will be familiar with Seattle-based Onry Ozzborn who, aside from his experimental solo career, also acted as a founding member of Grayskul, Dark Time Sunshine and Oldominion. Ozzborn has made several stops in Colorado Springs over the years, and on April 9, many of his Springs-based comrades will come together to perform in support of Ozzborn’s 10-year-old daughter, Violet, who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to hear some really great music and be able to establish connections with some of the most talented artists,” explains Radke of his relationship with Ozzborn, and his impetus to arrange the benefit show. “Along the way I stumbled upon this unique group called Grayskul, who was touring with Atmosphere at the time. I was so impressed.
“Fast forward to years later, and I got to meet Onry Ozzborn,” continues Radke. “Every time he’s come to Colorado Springs, he’s left an impression. I’ve gotten to know him as a father, and seen and heard just how much his son, Sire, and daughter, Violet Ofelia, matter to him. As a dad, I could relate to that. When he released a statement about Violet, I just thought, man, that’s tough. There was a GoFundMe and a couple benefit shows in other states, and I figured, why don’t we just show them our support from here?”
The show will feature performances from Bullhead*ded, Emily Strange, Kevin Mitchell, An Hobbes, Kris Harlow, Falseyedols, and Jeffe of Clydesdale Ent. In lieu of an entry charge, 100 percent of donations from attendees will go to Violet to assist in her treatment costs.
Finally, two touring acts are coming through the Springs this week on Wednesday, March 20, and their shows hold a good deal of associated local import.
Maine-based electro-pop/“nerd pop” duo Crunk Witch make their return to the Zodiac that evening, joined by Sounds of the Sun and the debut performance of theWITNESS, a new solo project from Vase Vide frontman Daniel Oglesby. Listeners can expect an EP from the project, described by Oglesby as a “darker and more electronic” version of his work with Vase Vide, later this year.
At The Side Door, the eclectic LA-based duo The Peculiar Pretzelmen make their own return to the Springs, with support from locals Had I Known.
Had I Known experienced a terrible tragedy with the loss of their drummer, Lucas Huffman, in February. The band decided to carry on with the show in Huffman’s memory, with original drummer Jameson Becker filling in with guitarist Brian Eastin and bassist Alex Ben-Kori.
“Lucas was STOKED on playing this show and at this venue, so we will be giving our ALL for Lucas, his life, and memory,” announced the band via their Facebook page.
A GoFundMe campaign to support the Bricker Elementary School music department was created in Huffman’s memory, which has already surpassed its $10,000 goal.
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