One of the most important bands to ever spawn from the metal underground, Venom helped the creation of Extreme Metal. Venom was known as Oberon in the 1970's, the band became a reality thanks to singer/bassist Conrad Lant, guitarist Jeff Dunn, and drummer Tony Bray. Soon renamed to Venom, the members decided to opt for Satanic imagery and appear in interviews, magazines and booklets as Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon respectively.
Originally a mixture of Motörhead, Black Sabbath and Kiss, the band's fresh Satanic Hardcore/Metal debut, "Welcome to Hell" (1981) was though by many as the first real 100% Thrash album. Its successor, 1982's "Black Metal", while not as successful as Metallica's "Kill 'Em All" allowed the band to gain more fame, along with naming a whole generation of new bands. "At War With Satan", the band's finest hour, quickly followed as a response to the group's unexpected success with 1985's "Possessed", which unfortunately was the last album (of this early era) to feature Mantas.
More line-up changes happened, as Cronos soon left to follow a career as a solo artist and Abaddon was forced to re-recruit Mantas (largely missed by the fans) along with fellow British Atomkraft's Tony Dolan (who used the moniker 'Demolition Man' in Venom) and Al Banes. More albums followed by they were largely ignored as Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth's approach to Thrash received greater appreciation and as bands like Mayhem started appearing.
In 1996 the band reformed as the original line-up with Cronos back in the fold. A self-titled EP was released, followed by other semi-successful albums and the re-release of all of the bands' older classics.