Cronos - Hell To The Unknown - The Cronos Anthology
Castle US
Heavy Metal
Disc 1: 20 songs (69:57) Disc 2: 20 songs (66:39)
Release year: 2006
Reviewed by Jeff

Cronos Hell To The Unknown - The Cronos Anthology is a two disc set that includes every track from the albums Dancing In The Fire and Rock 'N' Roll Disease as well as seven tracks from the Venom album and seven tracks from the Venom Calm Before The Storm rehearsal sessions.

Overall, Hell To The Unknown - The Cronos Anthology is a pretty good retrospective of the bands short lived existence. It's actually an excellent place to start for those that are interested in hearing the musical direction Cronos decided to follow after he departed from Venom. He adopted more of a rock/metal approach with much better production values than any Venom album. He incorporated more melody and harmony into the songs by actually trying to sing. There was also a dual axe attack with plenty of flashy guitar playing and catchy songs. Lyrically, not every song was about Satan or the occult anymore, but more about sex, girls and partying. The final product was met with mixed results.

Every track on Hell To The Unknown - The Cronos Anthology has been digitally remastered. The sound quality is awesome. I noticed a huge difference when listening to this new compilation and the original discs. The remastering has helped give the music alot more bass and fidelity, where as the original discs sound thin and watered down.

The CD booklet includes some rare photos and has an overview of the history of Cronos; how they started and how they finished.

As for the track order, I'm not sure how Cronos decided that but he mixed everything up so it's not in chronological order.

One complaint I do have about this release is that it's missing three very incredible original tracks from what would have been the third Cronos album. Know Evil, Babylon and Ye Of Little Faith were originally released on the Venom compilation. These were tracks that were taken from the recording sessions of what would have been the Triumverate album. It never saw the light of day due to technical difficulties and some unfortunate circumstances that affected the band members. These three tracks were actually some of the best written material by Cronos. They seemed to take a much rawer approach similar in sound and style to classic Venom. Alot of that had to do with the re-recordings of the Venom tracks from the Venom album. The band found a new interest in that style and wanted to take a stab at it again. What it actually did was make Cronos rethink his current situation. He felt in his heart it was best to try and reform with the original members of Venom. As a result, Cronos disbanded and Venom reformed, recording what would be there best album in years, Cast In Stone.

The seven tracks from the Venom Calm Before The Storm rehearsal sessions are available here for the very first time. They are much rawer versions than what ended up on the final release. The recording quality is pretty good considering. Nothing Sacred is the only track that never made it onto the final release of Calm Before The Storm.

Another minor complaint I have is that there are a few over lapping tracks. Cronos ( Live Concert Intro Tape) is basically what the title says and despite that it's only one minute and thirty seconds in length, it's a track that could have been left off. This actually overlaps into In League With Satan. Chinese Whispers overlaps into Lost & Found. Where as the original version of Don't Burn The Witch and In Nomine Satanas were combined as one on the Venom release, they are both separated into their own tracks here. All of this just makes for some choppy track transitions if you want to rip into MP3's.

Cronos Hell To The Unknown - The Cronos Anthology is still worth picking up. The original discs are very hard to come by but it doesn't even matter because the remastering alone justifies the purchase. There is still a chance that somewhere down the road the Triumverate album may see the light of day, so as for the three rare tracks that didn't make it onto this anthology, you might have to hunt down the Venom album.


Killing Songs :
CD 1: Vampyr, At War With Satan, Dancing In The Fire, Fire, Old Enough To Bleed, Don't Burn The Witch, In Nomine Satanas, Speedball, 7 Gates Of Hell CD 2: Aphrodisiac, 1000 Days In Sodom, Rock N' Roll Disease, Sweet Savage Sex, Hell To The Unkno
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