Venom Prison began as a collaboration between Russian-born vocalist Larissa Stupar and guitarist Ash Gray with the line-up rounded out by guitarist Ben Thomas, bassist Mike Jefferies and drummer Joe Bills. They have carved an uncompromising space for themselves over the course of two full-length albums, “Animus” (2016) and “Samsara” (2019) with 2020’s “Primeval” reinvigorating the band’s earlier EPs with two newly written tracks added.
About the release of their new album, Venom prison enthuse,
“We are extremely proud to have our 3rd full length, ‘Erebos’, finally out in the world. Bringing VENOM PRISON forward on this release, we’ve explored new avenues and added more depth and layers to our sound which listeners will find a new experience; ‘Erebos’ is full of surprises to say the least. It truly touches on social issues as expected, but this time it’s personal – with more emotion and attachment than ever before, anger with compassion. Balancing the darkness with light and showing a truer side to what really haunts through sound and words.”
From a hesitant start album opener ‘Born From Chaos’ creeps out of the speakers before exploding with some tasty lead work. The band released some well judged singles from this album, one being ‘Judges Of The Underworld’ where we get to grips with Stupar’s vocal growl. A foot to the floor based head banger its a perfect introduction to the bands furious brand.
The brutality continues with the other singles ‘Nemesis’ and ‘Comfort Of Complicity’. Both huge headbangers that don’t let up. Stupar’s vocals cannot be ignored as she owns these tracks with her ferocious growl that conveys so much aggression and emotion.
After the heavy beginning the album then shifts to a more melodic slower pace with some clean singing from Stupar over gentle piano. ‘Pain Of Oizys’ comes on with the full emotion when Stupar unleashes her pain filled growled on the chorus. With ‘Pain Of Oizys’ the band have shown what they can do when they blend death metal with some progressive elements.
Alternating from a blusey rook hook to frantic squealing riffing ‘Golden Apples Of The Hesperides’ brings the death metal back with vengeance. The demented screaming and crushing riffs pulsate with a hard edge before the band stamp on the death peddle and let all hell loose. The track comes to a close with a progressive thrash guitar theatrics.
A progressive death metal masterpiece ‘Castigated In Steel And Concrete’ sees Joe Bills bring stadium sized drums to pulverise, rather than relying on sheer aggressive speed and double bass drum chaos. A masterclass in drumming. A nod to Scott Atkins for keeping the band heavy with out muddying the waters. He has managed to capture the bands signature sound. The guitar duo once again create some interesting and intricate melodies
Thrash noodling on ‘Gorgon Sisters’ and addictive riffing on ‘Veil Of Night’ bring the album to close as last track ‘Technologies Of Death’ is a huge mosh pit anthem thats aggressive in all the right places. Ending the album on a high with guitar work that is next level. Melodic and heavy, the guitar duo rip through this track and even treat us to a bluesy guitar solo all the while Stupar goes full banshee.
Erbus sees Venom Prison go from an established metal act to really pushing their boundaries and exploring their musical palette. By adding progressive elements and melodic elements they have crafted an album that goes beyond expectations and is set to raise the band up to the lofty heights of death metal greatness.
Check out the bands track Pain Of Oizys, below:
Purchase the album here