Houston TX metal outfit Venomous Maximus may be relatively new on the scene, but listening to their quintessential debut “Beg Upon The Light,” you would never know they have only been around for three years. Formed in 2010, the band’s sound in rooted heavily in 70’s classic rock and the NWOBHM, interwoven with doom metal undertones to create something unlike anything else in music today. It is an unsettling amalgamate of darkened, atmospheric musical tones and ominous lyrical content akin to something from H.P. Lovecraft.
The band is comprised of frontman Gregg Higinns on guitar and vocals, Christian Larson on guitar, Trevi Biles on bass and a gentleman who goes by just the name Bongo on drums. From day one, they have made it their mission to produce something of a much higher caliber than the popular trends in today’s music. “Beg Upon The Light” encapsulates that desire to push those boundaries and delivers on that pretense.
The endeavor begins with a creepy organ driven dirge called “Funeral Queen,” that spills over into the Mercyful Fate/King Diamond inspired “Path Of Doom.” “Give Up The Witch” is one of the albums most inimitable tracks. It’s anthemic guitar riff pays homage to the Metal Church song “Fake Healer.” “Father Time” is another simple, yet effective musical digression reminiscent of Crimson Glory’s “Lost Reflection,” that flows seamlessly into another of the albums standout tracks, “Dream Again.”
Ghost and Mastodon fans are going to love the hard hitting swagger of lead single and video “Moonchild.” While admirers of Oz and Running Wild will be drawn in by the epic “Battle For The Cross.” The eponymous track “Venomous Maximus” is a melee of The Sword, High On Fire and Iron Maiden and “Mother’s Milk,” is an eerie spoken word voiceover cleverly blended with intricate layers of lush string arrangements. The album draws to a close with the thought provoking, Misfits influenced, “Hell’s Heroes.”
Here’s the bottom line. We live in a world where what is popular in music is crammed down your throat at every turn, while at the same time bands that have the balls to strive to be different are hidden away like some dirty little secret. It is refreshing to hear a band this unique trying to convert the masses to a more diverse way of thinking.
A real hidden gem that deserves a listen. 8.5 out of 10.