I received a package recently from Houston’s Venomous Maximus, and to my surprise they sent not just a CD, but a large, flat CD like object as well. Only it was black and wouldn’t fit in my CD player. That’s right, they sent me vinyl. I have to say that is about the coolest thing I’ve received here at RMC. Sure, vinyl is still alive and for a premium you can get many albums today in the format, but you still don’t expect to get a copy for review. Looking at the sleeve really creates a longing for the old days when the album art loomed large and you read the liner notes. Due to space and storage issues I’ve pretty much gone all digital in my personal music collecting, though sometimes you get PDFs of the album art, but it’s just not the same; I rarely even look at the booklets anymore.
The vinyl version of “The Mission” contains four songs, but the CD version includes two bonus tracks. My first listen through gave me the impression that Venomous Maximus play a stoner/doom style of metal. But on subsequent listens I feel like this could also fall into that retro classic metal niche occupied by the likes of Devil, In Solitude, Green & Wood, The Devil’s Blood, and of course, Ghost. Each of these bands has their own style really, they don’t sound alike, but they all have a certain retro metal feel about them that binds them together. The music and mix have a very raw sound that also reminds me of a retro 70s/80s Pentagram style sound.
The songs themselves are pretty cool. Lots of cool guitar riffs and the vocals are clean. The pace doesn’t get too slow like some overly trippy stoner/doom albums; they keep things fairly mid-tempo. The album has a bit of a southern voodoo vibe about it as well. Yeah, like if Black Sabbath had been from New Orleans rather than Birmingham, England. I also hear just a wee bit of old Acid Bath sound in there too.
I hope these guys are busy writing more songs because I want to hear a full length album. With the exception of Ghost, I like “The Mission” better than anything I’ve heard from the more well-known bands listed above. I want to hear what else they can do. In the meantime, to quote from their bio info - “Hail Satan and pass the chicken feet.”