Riff Police! Pull Over! #129: Venom Vs Nirvana!

When it comes down to brass tacks, there was a strong possibility that Geffen Records could have found themselves on the wrong end of a law suit from Combat Records over  “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana in 1994. A song which everyone and their mother knows, a Grunge staple and something that everyone learning guitar has to come across, it ended up becoming more of a hinderance to Kurt Cobain as it was what the fans wanted to hear when the band played live. As anyone of a certain age who isn’t a Nirvana fan and they will point to the song as the one that they know. However, if you go back to 1982 and Impulse Studios in Newcastle, England where Venom were recording their sophomore album “Black Metal“, which has both Nordic and early Thrash roots, you’ll find “Countless Bathory“. Cronos must have turned his head when he heard Kurt Cobain playing a riff which was written by his main man Jeff “Mantas” Dunn. But then Satan works in mysterious ways and while Venom have always been championed as being a major influence on early Thrash, Death and Black Metal scenes from the 1980’s onwards, their lingering love of the occult has often lead them down controversies long and winding road…

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