Friday, 7 July 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Venomous Maximus - "No Warning"

By: Ben Fitts

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 28/07/2017
Label: Shadow Kingdom Records


In some places on the album, those qualities are phrased in the same ways that fans have come to expect, and so admirably, but in other spots on “No Warning”, Venomous Maximus explore new ways to do that which they’ve always done: create infectiously and wonderfully diabolical music.


“No Warning” CD//DD//LP track  listing:

01. I
02. Spellbound
03. Pray For Me
04. Return Of The Witch
05. All Of My Dreams
06. II
07. No Warning
08. Blood For Blood
09. Endless
10. Sea Of Sleep



The Review:

Venomous Maximus have never been about pushing their musical envelope, expanding upon or diverging from what they do, but that is fine, because what they do is simply wonderful. “No Warning” is the third full-length album from the Houston-based doom metal quartet, and will not disappoint. “No Warning” is loaded with all the thick, vintage fuzz guitar tones, epic riffing, hazy atmosphere and awesomely vampy vocals that made Venomous Maximus’ last two albums so great, and what fans of the band have come to expect.

Just popping in the album and pressing play might throw a listener at first, due to the forty-eight seconds of buzzy, devilish synthesizer that opens “No Warning” on the instrumental track “I”, but any trepidation is instantly dispelled once the thudding guitar riff on the next track, “Spellbound”, kicks in. “Spellbound” is classic Venomous Maximus, with their natural, psychedelically occult vibe (and lyrics), and driving doom riffs, inflected with classic heavy metal. While these qualities are also present on other tracks throughout the album including, “Blood For Blood”, the album’s jammy nearly ten-minute long closer (although to be fair, the track contains almost 3 minutes of complete silence) “Sea Of Sleep” and perhaps best manifested in “Return Of The Witch”, one of the best songs the band has ever recorded, “No Warning” does demonstrate that Venomous Maximus have more than one trick up their collective sleeves.

While “No Warning” is still true to the sound and identity the band established on their past two albums, some tracks do find new ground, previously unwalked by the band, that still manages to exist safely within the confines of their musical territory. Tracks “Pray For Me” and the album’s title track see the band wander old school metal terrain, with muted, propulsive power chords and operatic, melodramatic melodies. Conversely, the tracks “All of My Dreams” and “Endless” see Venomous Maximus unplug for bleak, folk-influenced music, with “All of My Dreams” nearing the grim sounds of modern day gothic rock acts like King Dude.

“No Warning” shows Venomous Maximus continue to deliver material bursting with the qualities that makes their music so appealing. In some places on the album, those qualities are phrased in the same ways that fans have come to expect (and there is nothing wrong with that), and so admirably, but in other spots on “No Warning”, Venomous Maximus explore new ways to do that which they’ve always done: create infectiously and wonderfully diabolical music. 

“No Warning” is available to buy/preorder here



FFO: Grand Magus, Castle, Sahg, The Sword

Band info: Facebook || Instagram || Bandcamp

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