Dutch drummer Bob Bagchus is probably most well known from his long-ass stint as founding member of death metal gods Asphyx. Bagchus has since moved on from (and given his blessing to continue) Asphyx, but that hasn’t stopped the heavy metal maniac from forming, taking part in, and being a creative force of no less than 10,000–we’re being hyperbolic–other bands before and since his departure in 2014. That’s right Bagchus has appeared and drummed in Grand Supreme Blood Court, the short-lived Minotaur Head (with Swedish death metal guru Rogga Johansson), and Soulburn (with ex-Asphyx bandmate Eric Daniels). But these are the bands he’s either left or that have scuttled in the wake of.
Today, Bagchus, ever the vocal supporter of tried and true heavy metal, is the leader of or provides the foundation for no less than four active bands: Hellehond (old-school Dutch black metal), Infidel Reich (militant death metal), Siege Of Power (old-school hardcore/punk), and recently Beast Of Revelation (old-school doom/death). Across his four bands, he’s elbowing with some of the genre’s greats. In Beast Of Revelation, he’s moonlighting with death metal legend John McEntee (Incantation); with Siege of Power, he’s sharing horror movies (VHS) with none other than Chris Reifert (Autopsy); and in Infidel Reich, Bagchus is finding common ground with American death metal soldier Vincent Crowley (Acheron). There’s no stopping the Dutch death hammer!
As a proud and storied heavy metal warrior, Decibel invited Bagchus to list his Top 5 Venom Songs. No premeditation, no reviewing the archives (or LP ring wear), just off the cuff, from memory Venom songs that impacted him as a teenager, an adult, and a songwriter in some of death metal’s most important bands, then and now. Check out Bob Bagchus’ Top 5 Venom Songs. Live like an angel die like a devil…
5. “Witching Hour”
Welcome to Hell
(1981, Neat Records)
From the classic Welcome To Hell album, the bass intro, the buzzsaw riffing, the pounding drums, this song has the atmosphere of burning witches on a stake. Whenever I listen to this I just can see the image right there.
4. “Buried Alive”
(1982, Neat Records)
Also from the Black Metal album, this song has such a great suffocating atmosphere. Already, the intro with the priest and Cronos leading the intro…the guitar, upcoming drums. I love the vocal lines here a lot. They have something desperate and fit right in.
3. “Black Metal”
(1982, Neat Records)
The intro, the steel held to the grinding wheel and then the classic riff, it is such a long time ago but this song did it for me. The classic [line], “Lay down your soul to the gods rock ‘n’ roll,” is one of the most iconic phrases in metal history, I think. The track may not be, luckily, over-the-top fast, but it was very fast for that period of time and the tempo is spot on. Also, the version of this song on [the live album] German Assault is brutal! I think that one is even better than the Black Metal LP version.
2. “Senile Decay”
From Hell to the Unknown
(1985, Raw Power Records)
This is a Venom [song], which is not very known, as it was on the sampler From Hell to the Unknown. It has a brilliant riff and tempo and the middle part crushes like a hammer to the skull. We were always wondering why this track was not on Black Metal; they could easily traded it for “Teachers Pet,” a song I never liked and was too ‘funny’ to be on an album like the brilliant Black Metal.
(1985, Neat Records)
I think this song has all which makes it Venom, I think. The intro was frightening back in the day and the bass roars like a Caterpillar bulldozer. The tempo is raging and the guitar saws its way through it. Very aggressive.