Label: Prosthetic Records
Though it was released in 2016, it feels like 2017 is the year when people really started to take notice of Animus. The debut album of Venom Prison has seen the young band work their way to the fore-front of underground death metal in the UK, with a relentless touring schedule seeing the profile of the band constantly rise. It’s only likely to get bigger in 2018, with a tour with Trivium leading even The Guardian to pay attention to the band.
All this hype is justified, though. Since I originally reviewed Animus for Broken Amp, I’ve come to appreciate the record more and more. It’s most obvious qualities – the righteous anger, the rush of energy – are still amongst its strongest, but time has shown the album to be a more intelligently crafted record than I perhaps initially thought, with its technical, pummeling death metal never feeling dull, or technical simply for the sake of it. Instead, it’s an album where the technicality helps emphasize just how bruising and physical an album it is, with a cathartic edge that raises Venom Prison above most other death metal bands active today. And all of this is without mentioning the feminist perspective of the lyrics, which take many death metal staples and delightfully turn them on their heads.