Monday, 15 October 2012

Venomous Maximus - Beg Upon the Light

The first time I heard Venomous Maximus I nearly shit myself.  I thought, these guys are gonna be huge.  The song I heard was "The Mission", still a favorite of mine.  Then I heard the rest of their six song EP and it all sounded a bit same-y to me, especially the vocal delivery, which never seemed to change, either range or melody.  It just made the songs all kind of sound the same.

Vocalist and band leader Gregg Higgins seems to have worked on his vocal skills over the past year or so revealing more of a range and even adding a growl in certain places for emphasis and it works.  That promise that I first heard in the band has been fulfilled with the release of their debut full-length.

There's an epicness to the music that I never really picked up on before but now seems to be the band's identity or signature.  It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise after having read this interview with the band.  What really comes across in the interview as well as in the music is the dedication and enthusiasm the band members all have to be the best they can be, to write the best songs they can.  It speaks for itself musically, it comes across in the playing and it's something that can't be faked.

Interestingly the band decided to re-record another favorite of mine from their original three song demo recorded in 2010, "Give Up the Witch."  Comparing the demo version with this new version really reveal the work Higgins has put into varying his delivery and style over the course of the past few years to great effect.

Another nice touch which actually provides the album with its sense of fullness of scope and vision are the intro track "Funeral Queen" and two interludes which are more than just interludes, more than just filler.  These tracks were just as planned, thought out, poured over and perfected as much any full song on the album.  "Funeral Queen" has got to be up there with the best album introductions of all time.

Throughout there is an epic fantasy feel to the songs and the overall album in general tracks like "Battle for the Cross", "Path of Doom", and "Hell's Heroes" at times reminding me of Lord of the Rings or Army of Darkness.  These are all great songs by the way.

Reminds me of: BNWOHM, Monster Magnet

My Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: Doom Metal, Psychedelic, Heavy Metal, Stoner

1). Funeral Queen (1:49)
2). Path of Doom (5:49)
3). Give Up the Witch (4:58)
4). Father Time (2:03)
5). Dream Again (Hellenbach) (5:04)
6). Moonchild (5:07)
7). Battle for the Cross (5:53)
8). Venomous Maximus (4:39)
9). Mothers Milk (3:43)
10). Hell's Heroes (7:06)
Total run time: 45:54

Release Date: October 30, 2012

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Swinging swords and splitting heads from crown to teeth.

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