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Venom is an early black metal band, formed in late 1978, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Influenced by various rock, punk and heavy metal acts such as Judas Priest, The Sex Pistols, KISS and Motörhead, Venom created a sound as well as an image that would be a big influence to early death, black, and thrash metal bands at the time. Mayhem, Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Death, Testament, Hellhammer, Exodus, Eudoxis and Morbid Angel cite Venom as a major influence. Though musically they are more closely related to speed metal, it was their lyrical topics and harsher vocals which separated them from other bands at the time (usually dealing with Satan and Hell and other "black" topics). Their first two records, Welcome to Hell in 1981 and Black Metal in 1982, set the bar for black metal to follow. The original members went by the pseudonyms Cronos, Mantas, and Abaddon.