As Damnation Festival approaches once again, we thought we had better brush up on the line-up. As always, there are plenty of old favourites and upcoming gems that we know and love on the bill. Then there are the “Never heard of them” category bands. Damnation, more than most festivals desperate to sell tickets, often have plenty of those tucked away ready for us to discover in November.
So a quick skim through the newly complete line-up and a band that fits into the aforementioned category are Venom Prison. They sound like a band that would fit in just fine at Damnation with that name, but here we are starting from scratch with this band…
The Facebook page doesn’t give too much away, which we admire a little. A bit of mystery is never a bad thing in metal, is it?
Anyway, the band is made up of L, A, B, J, M. And they are from South Wales. Very informative…
Oh, and they play DEATH METAL! Pretty damn fine DEATH METAL as it happens!
‘Animus’ is the debut album from L, A, B, J and M and it will politely punch you right in the teeth. Truth be told, if you read around a little bit further than Facebook, then you will quickly find out that the band members do have actual real names. LABJM is quite catchy though.
‘Abysmal Agony’ kicks off with some spinning buzz-saw riffing up there with the finest (Entombed) and some guttural roar to snap you out of any lull that the intro put you into. It’s a whirlwind of a track that clatters and spins along with relentless aggression. Just how we like it!
Next up we have ‘Celestial Patricide’ which stirs up some jagged Carcass momentum before spiralling off into a temporary melodic section. Don’t panic. The madness soon resumes…
‘The Exquisite Taste Of Selfishness’ bowls along with almost a groove to it whilst ‘Devoid’ will tear your face of with it’s blistering black metal tinged blast. All proving that Venom Prison aren’t just one-trick ponies; ‘Animus’ may well stick reasonably close to the death metal blueprint but there are certainly many elements in here to make the album stick out from the pack.
Here’s hoping that we get to hear ‘Immanetize Eschaton’ live in the near future. It is one of the more moody tracks on the album, but builds a black old atmosphere and shows off a powerful streak in the band that is usually reserved for genre stalwarts.
What about ‘Womb Forced Animus’ for a track title? A composed and measured attack to finish off one hell of a debut record!
So ‘Animus’ is a damn fine long player and Venom Prison have just gone onto the ‘Must See’ list at Damnation Festival. It’s so good that half way through writing this review I had to break off and buy one of their t-shirts!