Venom Prison are part of what I like to class as the new wave of modern death metal, bands such as Gatecreeper, Celestrial Sanctuary, Fuming Mouth and Tomb Mold all make this personal classification as well, as they have all exploded onto the scene over the past few years.
From the depths of South Wales came Venom Prison, to join the ranks of this emerging modern metal movement, forming in 2015 with a clear intent to make the best damn death metal they possibly could. Erebos is the third full-length album and is in my opinion the best yet. The best metal, in my opinion, comes from bands who are not afraid to take chances with their sound, forge an identity unlike any other and own it; take Rivers of Nihil for example (as well as the aforementioned bands), these bands present a unique sound that has become unmistakable. Always a standout band Venom Prison have found that sweet spot. Erebos has only propelled them up to the next level as they firmly carve out a section of the death metal landscape for themselves.
The album is brutally heavy as expected but the chaos makes way for sections of haunting pianos and clean vocals or dungeon-synth like parts. The production is tight and clean, everything is turned up to the max to ensure complete devastation and when this one hits the tour circuit it’s going to open up some apocalyptic pits.
As with most Venom Prison releases, society’s ills are exposed and directed with cutting lyrical content from frontwoman Larissa Stupar but guitarist Ash Gray summed up Erebos best, “Erebos has really opened our horizons as a band, making us want to be more creative as a whole. For us, it has always been about evolving musically and progress with every single step we take, and that will never change. We have a lot more to explore and we are confident that we’re capable of doing so. The grind must continue.”
Overall, Erebos is an early contender for album of the year, setting the bar high for the remaining eleven months. A thoroughly enjoyable death metal record, listenable, well put together and well worthy of repeated listens, expect to hear a lot of this one throughout the year.
Erebos is out February 4th via Century Media.