Part of the new wave of British heavy metal bands who emerged in the 1980s, Venom built a name for themselves with their theatrical, controversial, Satan-worshipping image making them cult underground icons and forefathers of European black metal. Bassist front man Conrad 'Cronos' Lant was brought up on The Rolling Stones and The Who and, after leaving school, pursued his musical passion by becoming a sound engineer and playing in various bands who attempted to be more extreme and intense than 1970s heavy rock titans such as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. With friends Jeffrey 'Mantas' Dunn and Anthony 'Abaddon' Bray completing a settled Venom line-up, the Newcastle lads recorded demos at the Impulse Studios where Cronos worked and released their debut album 'Welcome to Hell' in 1981. The attitude of the punk movement was also important to the band in the early days and their rough, uncompromising belligerence reached new levels on follow-up 'Black Metal', a landmark slice of extreme metal that would later become a huge inspiration for the Norwegian metal scene and bands including Cradle of Filth, Mayhem and Metallica. Unusually the band didn't embark on long grinding tours but instead put on one-off shows at big arenas, notorious for their colossal sound and slightly anarchic, DIY pyrotechnic explosions. Although they were considered underground outcasts in the UK, they found a loyal audience in Europe with albums 'At War With Satan' in 1983, 'Possessed' in 1985 and 'Calm Before the Storm' in 1987, but Cronos left the band to pursue a solo career soon afterwards. The classic trio reunited in 1995 and later released 'Cast in Stone' but, by the 2000s, Cronos was the remaining original member leading the band on albums 'Metal Black' and 'Hell'. In later years Cronos led a regular line-up with Stuart 'La Rage' Dixon and Danny 'Dante' Needham and they were in typically brutal, bombastic form on the band's 15th studio album 'Storm the Gates' in 2018.