Venom are one of the most influential bands in metal history. Their second album, 1982's 'Black Metal,' helped spawn an entire subgenre. However, their 1981 debut 'Welcome To Hell' was released on Neat Records after Venom were apparently rudely rejected by EMI in a vulgar letter (see it below).

Producer/journalist Bart Gabriel recently unearthed the letter from EMI, which was sent in approximately 1980. It's short and to the point, with an elaborately typed 'F--k Off' and no signature.

The label's manners left much to be desired, although the visceral reaction to their music showed that Venom was onto something. Their sound certainly didn't fit in with the commercial music EMI was releasing in the '80s such as Adam Ant, Elvis Costello and The Smiths.

Venom have done just fine without EMI, with a string of successful albums over the years. Their latest, 'Fallen Angels' was released in 2011, and they're currently readying a new album to be unleashed in 2014.

Drummer Dante commented on the upcoming album: "The new songs are sounding amazing, the whole album has a great feel. I'd say the strength of this band comes from our determination to create great music, and that comes from forward thinking, new ideas and fresh challenges."

Frontman Cronos says, "I believe this is Venom at it's best, the song writing keeps getting better, and the live shows are tighter and heavier than ever. It's clear to me now that all of the line up changes this band has been through over the years, has been an inspiring journey to find the right band of warriors. Venom continue to keep growing stronger, and unstoppable."

EMI Letter to Venom

Bart Gabriel Tumblr
Bart Gabriel Tumblr