White Whale Vinyl: Venom's 'Black Metal' Turns Brown | Revolver

White Whale Vinyl: Venom's 'Black Metal' Turns Brown

Inside groundbreaking album's rarest mispress
venom-getty-1982-crop1.jpg, Fin Costello/Redferns
Venom, 1982
photograph by Fin Costello/Redferns

Our weekly column "White Whale Vinyl" spotlights the most sought-after rare vinyl in the heavy-music universe. Shop for vinyl, including a selection of limited-edition Revolver-exclusive variants, via our store.

When Venom unleashed their second album in 1982, the English power trio could hardly know they were laying the groundwork for metal's most crucial decade while coining the name of its most incendiary subgenre. But Black Metal was pretty much the heaviest album on Earth in '82, taking the proto-thrash template of Motörhead's Overkill straight to hell — and back — in a dizzying maelstrom of hyper-satanic speed. Not only did Venom inspire the likes of Slayer and Metallica — they set the demonic template for a group of Norwegian teenagers who would burn and murder their way to extreme metal infamy less than 10 years after Black Metal's appearance.

Originally released on Neat Records in November of '82, the album was pressed several times that same year, resulting in a constellation of differently colored vinyl and center labels. Perhaps the most interesting and rare among these is a mispress on brown marbled vinyl that includes Side A of Black Metal on one side with Side A of Venom's previous album, Welcome To Hell, on the other. There's no information about how many of these mispresses exist, but the record is sufficiently rare to be among the top three most expensive mispresses ever sold on Discogs, according to a list published on the site in September of 2017. In August of that year, a copy sold for $595.24.


Still, it's far from the most expensive edition of Black Metal. An OG pressing on pink marbled vinyl sold for $1,515 on eBay in October of 2013 and a red/black marbled edition sold for a whopping $3,947 in August of the same year. But at least those versions actually include both sides of the album.

Get Venom's Black Metal on black vinyl now.