Earlier this fall, U.K. death-metal brutalizers and Revolver favorites Venom Prison announced Erebos, the highly anticipated follow-up to their acclaimed 2019 full-length, Samsara. Today (November 4th), they unleashed its lead single, the ear-shredding "Judges of the Underworld." Venom Prison, fronted by the rabble-rousing Larissa Stupar, are known for their socio-politically charged approach to death metal, and their latest cut continues in that vein, addressing the cycle of violence of the legal system and the prison industrial complex. Crank the song above via its Thomas Coe Brooker–directed music video, and check out the group's commentary below.
"'Judges of the Underworld' deals with the crippling reality of people who face incarceration, who oftentimes are followed by violence over a lifetime," Venom Prison said in a joint statement. "This violence can present itself as a dominating factor in a context of structural poverty and racial inequality, creating roles in an individual's life where they are not only the victim, but also witness and offender at different times in different situations. But the violence we address in our courts and prisons is judged out of social context and can therefore not lead to a fair and personalized resolution for people who are stuck in a cycle of violence and systematic oppression.
"It was important for us to visualize this feeling of isolation, anxiety and repeated violence in the music video for 'Judges of the Underworld' and the idea was to show an individual that is stripped down to their basic needs and instincts. Consumed by their helplessness to navigate in an everyday situation, feeling isolated within themselves whilst going under in a sea of people that face similar conditions. This is where Thomas Coe Brooker comes in as a director and cinematographer, with his unique eye for detail he was able to bring out this combative helplessness and aggressiveness of said individual. He was able to convey the feeling of being alone in a crowd, suffering the same fate as many others, where isolation becomes your existence and a vicious cycle of your life at the hands of systematic violence."