Venomous Maximus, The Mission

Venomous Maximus, The Mission

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching and reading far, far too much post-apocalyptic stuff lately, but to my ears, at least, there’s something seriously end-of-the-world-sounding about Venomous Maximus’s latest EP, The Mission. (It works ridiculously well as the soundtrack to The Passage, for one thing…)

It’s not so much the lyrics, honestly, as it is just an overall feeling of foreboding and menace I get from the whole thing, particularly singer/guitarist Gregg Higgins’ delivery. His vocals are thankfully a far cry from most metal growling/shrieking these days, but at the same time he manages to convey this warning hint that your doom is waiting right around the corner, about the obliterate everything you know.

There’s a lot to The Mission that makes me think of fellow retro-metal dudes The Sword or Mastodon (the latter especially in the beginning of “The Gift”), although Venomous Maximus seems to be steering less towards the wizards-and-warlocks realm of metal and more towards more ambiguous, stoner rock-tinged stuff like Early Man, Red Fang, High on Fire, or even Priestess. These guys are less interested in following some sort of genre, I suspect, so much as they just want to rock the fuck out, but at the same time they’ve crafted a set of interesting little story-songs that definitely do have distinct plot lines, oblique though they are.

The guitars (courtesy of Higgins and fellow guitarist Christian Larson) are heavy and thrashy like vintage Metallica without turning into hardcore-tinged neo-thrash a la Iron Age, instead making the music bassy as hell, with an almost scratchy, lo-fi sound it it. Larson and Higgins don’t indulge in too much soloing, but when they do, it’s more Sabbath than speed metal, and that’s no bad thing. They throw out these twisting, curling, flanged licks that wind their way into your skull and bury themselves there.

By the end, I’m seriously enjoying myself, half-hypnotized by the sludgy, retro-heavy sound and trying to puzzle out what the fuck Higgins is talking about on all four of the songs on the 12″ EP. I’ll definitely be coming back to dig deeper, and someday, maybe, the end of the world will be revealed…

(Feature photo by Jess Brungardt.)

[Venomous Maximus is playing its 12” release 8/19/11 at Fitzgerald’s, along with Eagle Claw, Maleveller, Carry the Storm, TeXXXas, The Energy, A dream Asleep, Turbokrieg, Tornahdo, & Legion.]
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Friday, August 19th, 2011. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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4 Responses to “Venomous Maximus, The Mission

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Venomous Maximus (Rev’d!) + Mason Lankford + The Handshake + Kashmere Stage Band + More on August 19th, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    […] for the new Venomous Maximus 12″, The Mission — got a new review of it up right over here, and I have to say, I’m liking it a hell of a lot. Take some Kill ‘Em All-era […]

  2. FuckyourDead on December 15th, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Venomous Maximus is so unoriginal, gimme a fuckin break. I don’t understand why people keep mentioning them. Go buy a Sabbath album you tards

  3. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: Balaclavas + Venomous Maximus + The Hunger + Faceplant + More on October 18th, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    […] favorite metal bands around town this past year or so — see the review of new EP The Mission here. They’re playing with a bunch of bands I’m not real familiar with, but hell, check […]

  4. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Skatestock + The 71′s + Venomous Maximus + ZZ Top + We Scare Coyotes + More on October 20th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    […] heard it yet, myself, but it sounds pretty promising, and I really liked last year’s The Mission (check out Jason Smith‘s interview with the band a few months back, […]

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