The 10 best death metal albums, chosen by Venom Prison

Venom Prison
(Image credit: Jake Owens)

If you’re looking for the most exciting new death metal band then look no further than Venom Prison. Their debut album Animus tore our ears off, and their subsequent live shows supporting the likes of Trap Them and on the main stage of Bloodstock were as intense as they come. Coming up through the hardcore scene, the band soon developed a love for death metal, and melded these two worlds into their own brand of violence. The band just keep going from strength to strength, and their latest release Samara is, in the words of Dom Lawson, a modern death metal classic. 

We caught up with vocalist (and all-round badass) Larissa Stupar for a chat about the records she think are the best death metal albums ever. It’s about to get nasty.

Sepultura – Arise

“This album was based on very good songwriting and a great collection of riffs. It’s an incredible mix of death and thrash metal. Lyrically it’s very impressive – I love the lyrics of Sepultura and Max Cavalera in that era. It’s my favourite Sepultura record. I love Chaos A.D. as well, but this one is more memorable and stays in your head.”

Carcass – Heartwork

“It’s basically a masterpiece of death metal. Heartwork is timeless; it changed a lot in the genre of death metal and created new sub-genres. We all need to be grateful for this record. They’ve 100% influenced Venom Prison lyrically and musically. I’ve always enjoyed that Carcass’ lyrics are really graphic but it’s not nasty, that’s what I love about them, it’s more medical horror ha ha.”

Cryptopsy – None So Vile

“I really like this because of the artwork; it’s an incredible album but it’s complemented by the artwork. In death metal you always have these horror, gross artworks, but this one is so clean and so horrible at the same time – it’s just a head on a fucking plate. They inspired us to some extent because of the style of artwork; it’s a painting and not necessarily horrible.”

Entombed – Wolverine Blues

“It’s the biggest amount of groove packed into one record ha ha. I love every single song, two of my favourite songs are on this album – Wolverine Blues and Demon. Entombed have a connection to hardcore, I know a lot of hardcore kids like Entombed, and there are so many bands that copy their riffs. There are two versions of Entombed now and I haven’t seen either of them because I don’t think it’s the same thing any more.”

Death – Symbolic

“There isn’t a bad Death record. The opening riff of Symbolic is something that I can listen to any time I go to bed and just dream of something really cool. When you explore genres and get into death metal, you want to see where it started off and that’s why I discovered Death, they’re one of the most important bands in the genre.”

Cephalic Carnage – Misled By Certainty

“This was the record that got me into technical death metal. Some of the influences they take on this are really inspiring and you want to listen to more stuff like that. The first time I listened to technical death like Gorguts I was like ‘What the fuck is this?’ I didn’t understand what was going on. You need to listen to it over and over again until a switch in your head goes off.”

Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme

Reign Supreme is my favourite Dying Fetus record, I don’t think I’ve ever skipped a track on it. They have the best use of beatdowns and hardcore elements that you can come across. I’ve seen them a few times and I always enjoy it; everyone is destroying themselves, so many people are stage-diving and moshing, it was so cool to see. I always stayed away from Dying Fetus because I didn’t know about the name, you don’t know if it’s against abortion or what. What the fuck is a dying fetus? I finally listened to them for the first time when Reign Supreme came out and I realised what I’d been missing all along.”

Bolt Thrower – Those Once Loyal

“This is the last record before they broke up. There’s something about this record that’s very special because you can hear the progression of the band growing up, and it’s just an amazing record to end on. They were a great band when they started and they ended somewhere else, they became better musicians.”

Arsis – A Celebration Of Guilt

“This record is just all over the place. It has a good blend of different styles like technical death, melodic death, thrash… the technicality is very impressive and that makes it stand out. This is another record where I was like ‘What the hell?’ It sounds really interesting but you don’t really understand what’s going on. You know it’s good but you need to understand it.”

Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction

“I wasn’t a big fan of their older stuff, but the last two releases are fucking incredible. It’s got a perfect mix of groove and black metal elements, and the vocals are some of the best I’ve ever heard. It’s probably my most-listened to record form 201617, I listened to it every day. The songwriting, they’ve got really interesting structures, some of them are like pop songs, and that’s what I really enjoy about this record. It’s really good and it’s addictive.”

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.