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Venom Prison - Primeval Award winner

Venom Prison
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 05 November 2020, 6:53 AM

The 90s represents an important moment in Metal history, because the evolution provided the needed changes for the genre to resist the end of commercial success from the 80s. The coming of new elements into the genre, provided by new generations, make things improve, as the use of Southern Rock elements that created Groove Metal, the use of electronic samples to set the foundations of Industrial Metal, and many more. This evolution is the same that made Metal back in the end of the 60’s, the same that allowed Punk Rock/Hardcore elements to be introduced on Metal bands (what created the extreme Metal genres), and more than can be said. So to hear what exists in this compilation from North American quintet VENOM PRISON called “Primeval” isn’t something.

Their musical work can be faced as a blend between Death Metal with Groove/Modern Metal influences, like DEATH could shake hands with FEAR FACTORY, HATEBREED and PANTERA. But these words don’t mean that the band has no personality, it’s the opposite: they bear a personal amazing energy, with careful musical arrangements, but their musical violence is tempered with catchy grove parts that makes the musical work sounds fresh and new. And their music is really very good. This compilation was mixed and mastered by the hands of Tom Dring, the one who worked on the recordings as well. Yes, recordings, because these songs come from their EPs “Defy the Tyrant” and “The Primal Chaos” (both released back on 2015, before their first album), but were re-recorded. And this means that they gained a boost on energy and sonority. It’s aggressive, nasty and greasy, but in a way that can be understood by anyone.

All the songs are good, and they are in the same order that they had on their original releases (with “Defy the Tyrant” songs coming before the ones from “The Primal Chaos” to keep the order). But even the update due the rerecording, “Usurper of the Throne”, “Life Suffer” and “Path of Exile” show a brutal and energetic work that is usual from a first release (and a kind of ingenuous ambience, something that comes from the inexperience), filled with massive grove parts and excellent aggressiveness. On the other hand “Babylon the Whore”, “Narcotic” and “The Primal Chaos” are showing a more balanced work, keeping the original aggressive energy of the band, but tempered with wisdom. And the two new songs, “Defiant to the Will of God” and “Slayer of Holofernes” is proof of a band that evolved a lot, that learned how to use such aggressive musical genre tempered with many different influences, and a different insight on their own music, and maybe they’re pointing for a great work in the future.

Maybe the greater part of the Metalheads can welcome “Primeval” as it deserves due the modern outfit of the band’s musical work, but no one can deny that VENOM PRISON is here to stay, and their music is really great.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Usurper of the Throne
2. Life Suffer
3. Mortal Abomination
4. Path of Exile
5. Defy the Tyrant
6. Babylon the Whore
7. Daemon Vulgaris
8. Narcotic
9. The Primal Chaos
10. Defiant to the Will of God
11. Slayer of Holofernes
Larissa Stupar - Vocals
Ash Gray - Guitars
Ben Thomas - Guitars
Mike Jefferies - Bass
Joe Bills - Drums
Record Label: Prosthetic Records


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