Venom Prison

VENOM PRISON is an death metal band from the UK who formed in 2014. "Erebos," […]
Venom Prison - Erebos album cover

VENOM PRISON is an death metal band from the UK who formed in 2014. "Erebos," is their fourth full length all album. VENOM PRISON has always had other influences in their music, particularly hardcore, but "Erebos" sees the band stretching their sound a bit further, specifically with Larissa's clean vocals. Although her cleans sound good, I do feel they sound a bit out place on some songs. For example, there are moments on "Judges Of The Underworld," where she layers them with her death growls. In moments like this, the sound becomes too cluttered and distracting. However, later in the song, when the only vocals are the cleans them I find it works for the song much better.

Musically, the band still treads the waters between death metal and hardcore but without sounding deathcore at all. Their brand of punishment is becoming increasingly more comfortable introducing melodic elements, and that is certainly not a bad thin "Comfort Of Complicity" opens with melodic riffs that smoothly transition into an equally melodic guitar solo. The song is rather energetic and hard hitting but the speedy, melodic riffing makes this more in line at times with ultra intense melodic death. Again, not a bad thing at all.

There are other experimentations as well through out the album, such as the use of ambient textures. "Castigated In Steel And Concrete," uses it very well, the backing layer of synths/keys that actually makes the song more urgent. The mid portion of the song is spacey and sci-fi like but it works within the parameters of the band's sound because they are always working towards a new build up of action.

The most obvious case of experimentation is "Pain Of Oizys," which heavily showcases Larissa's cleans. In places, the music is moody and even somewhat blues oriented. The track itself is great--its climatic nature is nothing short of astonishing. With that being said, it feels out of place in the middle of the album. This is a song that definitely has a feel of finality to it and would be better served as the last track, especially with the way it ends with a piano outro.

The album's last track, "Technologies Of Death," is a real banger though and ends the album well enough on its own. The first two and a half minutes of brutality smoothly flow into a clean section, where the bass becomes of the focus. The music returns to death metal just as smoothly but this time more melodic-this song shows how well the band is at adapting various moods and styles into their overall sound.

The last minute and a half is pulverizing, with Larissa screaming her face off over thick, hammering riffs. "Erebos" is quite the achievement. It is an album that manages to push the band's sound forward while still retaining their death metal roots.  It can be hard at times for bands to evolve but VENOM PRISON successfully embraces change.

8 / 10









"Erebos" Track-listing:

1. Born from Chaos
2. Judges of the Underworld
3. Nemesis
4. Comfort of Complicity
5. Pain of Oizys
6. Golden Apples of the Hesperides
7. Castigated in Steel and Concrete
8. Gorgon Sisters
9. Veil of Night
10. Technologies of Death

Venom Prison Lineup:

Ash Gray - Guitars
Larissa Stupar - Vocals
Mike Jefferies - Bass
Ben Thomas - Guitars
Joe Bills - Drums

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