Hitting a new stride

Venom Prison have spent some time building their reputation upon a combination of brutal death metal and hardcore without crossing over into the much maligned deathcore arena, simply by keeping it harder and more unrelenting than their nearest similar bands.

In the lead up to this album, the band promised things were going to change, perhaps a bit uncomfortably for some of the fan base. From the outset of Judges of the Underworld, those changes are obvious: clean vocals barely buried underneath heavy but melodic riffs, and a production so clean you can hear the spit hitting vocalist Larissa Stupar’s microphone.
The melodies hit Carcass levels of clean and modern death metal as guitarists Ash Gray and Ben Thomas play off against each other on Comfort of Complicity, creating another level of comfort for the fan that is ready to follow the band into this new, more melodic territory.

The biggest test for their new sound is the untested electronics and pure clean vocals of Pain of Oizys. This track will be a take or leave affair, but it shows some growth in a similar vein to the first time Whitechapel much the same.

Venom Prison then spend the second half of the album limiting the experimenting just as the listener settles in, and starts battering them about the ears. Golden Apples of the Hesperides and Gorgon Sisters are particularly vicious slabs of social commentary that they have previous built their foundations upon.

Overall, the clarity and experimentation may put the casual fan off, but to those who dig deep enough, it is obvious Venom Prison have just started to hit a new stride. Aided by the lack of distractions that a global pandemic that has society in lockdown can produce, this is without doubt a peak, an that should ensure they maintain a place as one of the top modern metal acts.

96%
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