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Album Review

Venom Prison – ‘Primeval’ [Album Review]

Taking fans back to their grimy roots, death metal titans Venom Prison remaster their two early EPs for a trip down memory lane.



In 2016, Venom Prison dropped their monstrous debut album, Animus (and its bowel-rupturing follow-up, Samsara), on an unsuspecting metal scene. Their brutal, uncompromising death metal saw them grace the covers of the major metal press as both the underground and mainstream metal scene took the band to their hearts. However, if you had discovered the band prior to their Prosthetic Records debut, you’d have known that it was only a matter of time before the Welsh group hit the big time.

So, now, while the entire planet is stuck in lockdown, the band have raided their vaults to dig up a treat for longtime and new fans. Primeval, formed from their two early EPs, Defy The Tyrant and Primal Chaos, sees the musicians taking fans on a ride into their early days to show where their incredible journey began. Remastered for 2020, the older material may come with a glossy new sheen but, underneath that reworked coating, their sound has lost none of that raw, dirty feel synonymous with the British underground extreme metal scene of that period.

The beauty of listening to Primeval is that, while we know the band has, the material has aged well. Take “Path of Exile” where Venom Prison underpin their sledgehammer sound with an almost rocky groove or the Slayeresque “Daemon Vulgaris,” while their influences are clear, even at that early stage in their career, you can hear how the group stood head and shoulders above their rivals. Armed with tracks like “Defy The Tyrant,” their devasting death metal coupled with Larissa Stupar’s vicious vocals meant that their leap to the big time was never in doubt.

Roll forward to 2020 and, as it might be quite a while before we hear a new full-lengther from the band, Primeval comes with the added bonus of two brand new tracks. From day one Venom Prison has explored a range of subject matter from religion, genocide, and rape to colonialism, slavery, misogyny, and homophobia. These themes continue on the two tracks, “Defiant To The Will of God” and “Slayer Of Holofernes,” both songs that will not only do their bit to keep fans satisfied until a new record but also set the Welsh titans up to deliver an album that will rightfully propel them into the upper echelons of the metal scene.

Primeval Track Listing:

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

Run Time: 38:02
Release Date: October 9, 2020
Record Label: Prosthetic Records

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.