Recently we have seen the likes of Pentagram, Bedemon, Saint Vitus, Grand Magus all come forward with exceptionally strong releases in the area of doom metal. This is but a sampling of the new material created under the doom genre and as of late there has been a tremendous resurgence in this area. Amidst strong rumors of an actual Trouble reunion, those of us who love doom are like kids in the proverbial candy store. Enter “Beg Upon The Light” from Texas doom outfit Venomous Maximus, exit a monolith of granite crushing ear rupturing ecstasy.
This quartet announced their arrival in 2010 and since then have become one of the pre-eminent metal bands in the Houston. “Beg Upon The Light” is the follow up to their EP “The Mission” and has firmly marked these rowdy Texans as USDA prime metal. Complete with electric organ occult style introduction as suited to this album as well as any horror movie, this release kicks off like an atom bomb with ‘Path of Doom’. Higgins and Larson have evidently earned their PhD in riffage, with fellow doctoral recipients in beats, Biles and Bongo. Lets be honest here, any band with a drummer that goes by Bongo how can we really go wrong. As the track proceeds with its pounding note and riff, Higgins vocals on first blush may seem high for this style. Be patient, this concern disappears fast and by “Give Up The Witch” you see the beautiful blend of his unique vocal styling mix as one with the fabric of the music. Higgins is able to impart so much emotion in his delivery that the blend of timing and chord selection all become one, hard to imagine one without the other.
“Give Up The Witch” and “Moonchild” are both standout tracks for me personally. They are my own image of what Venomous Maximus stands for musically and lyrically. The vocalization, chord choices, beat progression, solos all are blended so well that we are left with rock solid examples of doom/occult metal examples. These two tracks testify strongly as to what is right with this style of music. In short if I had to describe this quartet I would suggest putting these two tracks on high volume, insert ear buds and find out what the soul of the band is about.
Venomous Maximus have hit us with a collection of ten rib shattering songs. This is essential listening for all metal lovers and in particular those who dabble in the doom or occult metal sub-layers. Wanting more is an understatement as the final track closes, they could have easily added another ten tracks and we would not be happy that those ended. I myself am in the double digit of listening sessions with no end in sight. When you have something this powerful you are compelled to hit play, in the end there is no choice the music of Venomous Maximus calls and we must obey.