When Venom Prison released Primeval in 2020 they were effectively running a victory lap, re-recording their first demo and EP as a means to show just how far they had come as a band. Erebos shows the band were also drawing a line under the past, trading in the chaotic scrappiness of youth to mete out more measured doses of aural punishment.
Put simply, Erebos is to Samsara what Heartwork was to Reek Of Putrefecation: the moment a great hope of the British extreme metal underground realised their potential and truly became a world-beating act. Venom Prison haven’t turned their back on death metal – Judges Of The Underworld should put paid to any of that guff – but rather they have found ways of achieving maximum devastation within the sonic realms that we have come to know and love whilst expanding their repertoire.
With Erebos, producer Scott Atkins fully realises each of the disparate elements that make Venom Prison so formidable whilst ensuring the overall effect isn’t buried beneath a cacophony. The result is some of the band’s most anthemic and stirring moments to date. From the snarled ‘Guilty as charged’ that serves as chorus and mosh-call alike on Judges Of The Underworld to the soaring guitars of Comfort Of Complicity and Svalbard-esque crashing melodies of Pain Of Oizys, Venom Prison maximise the sheer scope of their sound across these 10 tracks.
In 2015, Larissa Stupar and Ash Gray took a leap of faith, moving from Germany to Wales in pursuit of a band that could afford them a bright new future. Seven years later they take the plunge again, this time buoyed by a reputation as one of Britain’s brightest new extreme metal acts. With Erebos, Venom Prison now have fully realised their potential, and there is no plateau too high for them.
Erebos is out February 4 via Century Media