The Pitch: After creating quite a buzz with their debut album, female-fronted extreme metal band Venom Prison make that look like child's play with a blistering sophomore effort via Prosthetic Records. FFO: Immortal Bird, Power Trip, Mammoth Grinder
What I Like: Despite blowing up in 2016, Animus was an album that never really resonated with me. I was intrigued enough to put the band on my radar for the future, but something about the overall songwriting left me unimpressed. All of that has changed with Samsara. Named after the Buddhist concept of being reborn into a never-ending cycle of suffering, rarely have I seen such a massive step forward in a single album cycle. Expect very little in the way of slower, doomier moments like "Immanetize Eschaton"; this time around it's very much full speed ahead.
While you'll often see the band tagged as simply "death metal;" the descriptor barely begins to scratch the surface of Samsara. Within this album you'll find doses of everything from tech death and black metal to hardcore and thrash. And regarding the latter, numerous moments like "Uterine Industrialisation" had me thinking about the dark crossover fury of Power Trip. This makes extra sense when considering that Venom Prison worked closely with producer Arthur Rizk who has worked with both PT and Code Orange in the past. These influences were certainly present on Animus, but Samsara finds them in much greater harmony. From the Forever-esque breakdowns of "Implementing The Metaphysics Of Morals" to the black metal tremolos and vocals of "Self Inflicted Violence," Venom Prison bring together a vicious hodgepodge of extremity that I can only compare to similarly eclectic act Immortal Bird.
Critiques: There's still some general room for improvement when it comes to tightening up the songwriting and creating smooth transitions between styles, but this crew is well on their way.
The Verdict: From the songwriting and performances right down to the production, Samsara is undoubtedly Venom Prison's finest material to date. If you were lukewarm on Animus like me, this one is likely to change your attitude. Likewise, if you already loved what Venom Prison was dishing out, I'm confident that you'll love this one even more. Fabulous stuff.
Flight's Fav's: Implementing The Metaphysics Of Morals, Megillus & Leana, Self Inflicted Violence
- Review by FlightOfIcarus
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