If you did a double take after hearing “Pain Of Oizys”, the first single from Venom Prison’s upcoming new record, thinking this very melodic piano heavy ditty couldn’t possibly be from the same outfit who produced the blistering bombast of Samsara in 2019 then you’re probably not alone. But if you abandon the Welsh outfit after that one small bite of what Erebos has to offer then you’ll definitely be alone and missing out on hearing the ongoing evolution of Venom Prison.
Digging into Venom Prison’s latest and there’s one thing that’s glaringly apparent: There’s a LOT happening here. In the best possible way. The heaviness is ramped up and more deliberate and pointed while the melodic aspects of VP are so much more at the forefront than ever before. Groove is a big factor here, leaning on legends like Lamb Of God and Pantera as well as Thrash icons like Testament, to bring a more focused, leaner, and meaner Venom Prison to your earholes in 2022.
From the second “Born From Chaos” ascends into our collective consciousness with a thundering Joe Bills drum line and a hypnotic Larissa Stupar refrain it’s apparent that Erebos will be a different kind of beast with “Judges Of The Underworld” solidifying that statement as a menacing synth line holds court over the heavy riffage brought to life by Ben Thomas and Ash Gray. “Nemesis” is intrinsically intricate and some next level Metal and “Comfort Of Complicity” is a nice melding of Thrash and ’80’s New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (Think Judas Priest and Iron Maiden) with a powerful rhythmic bravado from Bills and bassist Mike Jeffries that devolves into some seriously epic heaviness.
The aforementioned “Pain Of Oizys” sits like a fulcrum in the middle of Erebos bringing Stupar’s brilliant clean vocals into the light for this moody number that’s emboldened by the musicianship within the rest of Venom Prison. “Golden Apples Of The Hespirades” offsets the heady murk with this straight up shreddy maelstrom showcasing Gray and Thomas while “Castigated In Steel And Concrete” is a sinister atmospheric banger with Lupar’s melodic undertones adding a depth as they accompany a growl akin to what Sara Taylor does in Youth Code.
Diving back into the Thrash pool, “Gorgon Sisters” sounds like Testament merging the Death Metal experimentation of Demonic with the brutality of new(er) school thrasher The Gathering, “Veil Of Night” ramps up the Groove especially with Thomas and Gray’s call and response riffs to start adding a little ’90’s NYHC to their already impressive musical palette, and “Technologies Of Death” is a vicious album ender with Stupar delivering a maniacal performance that’s just as equally schizophrenic and stupendous as the sounds crafted by Jeffries, Gray, Thomas, and Bills.
Erebos arrives on February 4th through Century Media Records. Pre-orders are live now in a variety formats which you can check out by heading here and for the latest on Venom Prison, follow the trail of socials by heading here, here, or here.