By Allyson Kingsley
UK based death metal Venom Prison is set to deliver their 2nd full-length album entitled Samsara, which is originally a Hindu-based belief in a continuous cycle in which the soul is reborn over and over again according to the law of action and reaction. At death, many Hindus believe the soul is carried by a subtle body into a new physical body which can be a human or non-human form (an animal or divine being).
Vocalist Larissa Stupar adopted this belief into an album that explores being reborn into a neverending cycle of suffering. The songs tackle sociopolitical topics relevant to our world today, including abuse of political power, rape, misogyny, and sex trafficking. Venom Prison was noted for the Metal Hammer Golden Gods award in 2017 for best new band in 2017.
From a listen to the album, Larissa holds a strong imposing presence and sways the listener with her unbound passion. Her vocals are shrill, grim and vile and the riffs are bitterly cold- a sonic blizzard that leaves the ears numb. The musicians exhibit competent compositional skill and the many parts serve the whole. Drums and guitar make good use of their influences which all blend well together to communicate the message of anger and outrage to the listener. This opus was quite faithful to the tradition of death metal as it should be performed, both adventurous and straight to the point. The only blemish I find is that its personality could have shined a bit more at some parts to capture the attention more. Otherwise, that weakness is minor as this is a wonderful testament to death metal musicianship. Venom Prison is set to tour with Fit for an Autopsy, Vulvodynia, and Justice for the Damned in May/June. 7/10 Rating
Larissa Stupar: vocalist
Ash Gray: guitarist
Ben Thomas : guitarist
Jay Pipprell: drummer
Mike Jeffries: bassist
Produced by Arthur Rizk (Code Orange, Power Trip, Inquisition)