Thursday, July 11, 2013

Venomous Maximus: Beg upon the Light (2012)

Slipped through the Cracks of Hell

There’s something infinitely rewarding about finding some hidden gem, an excellent album that nobody else knows about. Metalheads love that shit. For good or ill, those kinds of releases are getting fewer and farther between, because labels with clout will no doubt pick them up and re-release them.

That’s what’s going on with Venomous Maximus’s debut Beg upon the Light. Supposedly it was released on Occulture last October—as far as I can tell, that means it was self-released on Bandcamp. Napalm Records took note of this extremely deserving record and has given it a lot more exposure.

The Texas four-piece play heavy/doom metal that takes the all the power, swagger, and hook-filled sing-along goodness of Grand Magus, then drops the Euro polish in favor of a down-and-dirty The Gates of Slumber rawness. That sentence should be enough. Seriously. If you haven’t already left this review to purchase the album, I don’t know how to help you, but it is evident that you do need help.

If you’re still not convinced, skip past the nifty electric organ intro and ignore the two downbeat acoustic tracks. Pay attention to the perfect combination of riffs and leads. Oh, there are many leads. No lazy guitarists here. Note the incredible dynamics of tempo, speeding and slowing to emphasize everything—there’s a technique all too rare these days. Finally, pay attention to those cleanly-sung choruses, especially “Give up the Witch.” Or “Moonchild.” Or “Battle for the Cross.” Or “Path of Doom.” Hearing any one of those will be enough to convince any skeptics who are still wasting their time on my words when they could be banging their heads.

It’s metal the old way, with songs that stick in your head and make you want to listen again and again.

The Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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