Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Venomous Maximus - The Mission
Before you start agreeing with me (as I'm sure you will) let me explain why.
Some time ago, this pummeling, rampage of an EP came into the office, politely asking for a listen and a review. One quick tasting, and I knew it deserved a Ripple write up. Then came my mistake. Included in the EP was a CD copy of the vinyl that I needed to share with one of our dedicated scribes who I knew would dig this as much as I. So I pulled the CD out and mailed it off.
Unfortunately, that's where the story ends. I assumed the writer would write it up. He probably assumed I would. Neither of us did.
I'm an idiot.
But today, I'm gonna make amends. If you like it seriously hard and frighteningly heavy, you gotta check this Houston collective out. Doom, mixed with a down and heavy stoner vibe, but amped up with the dynamics of straight, kick-ass thrash, The Mission is one freaking lethal assault of heaviness. There's even an underpinning of punk spit and snot wrapped up in the thrashing. And it's all done seamlessly and as unrepentant as a charging panzer division.
Title track, "The Mission" kicks it off like a howitzer cannon blast to the face. Huge, despondent doom smashes me sideways before the throttling riff kicks in, full of that underlying punky attitude and thrash anger. The drums and bass roll along like the treads of that panzer, vocals are barked out like killing orders, and the guitars rage across the land leaving the earth scorched and barren in their wake. Heavy doom, but with a killer, rolling stoner groove and a mouth full of angry snot. Toss in the fact that from the photo on the back cover it looks like any one of the four dudes in this band could kick my ass and steal my lunch money, I'm frightened. Very frightened.
"The Rider" does noting to lessen my anxiety. A roar of NWOBHM styled guitar (think Angelwitch or Venom) and a more sinister vocal and this is simply a terrifying cut. Flipside, "The Gift" declares war on my auditory system with it's venomous (sorry) doom riff. Thick and heavy, imposing. The groove hides as the riff pummels, but sneaks back in after the introductory threats. Sometimes, doom metal can be too slow to really get the fist pumping and the heart thundering. Not here. This is doom for the mosh pit, elbows and fists flying in fits of rage. All the while, never losing it's poisonous tone. "Wicked Ways" wraps up side two with another rolling blitz. Again, touches of NWOBHM thrashing reign here like an overlord as the army of doom marches endlessly across the battlefield.
Yeah, I've been mixing my metaphors like crazy here, but that's OK, because Venomous Maximus mix their influences just as much. And that's why it all works and rises to the top of the heavy world. In the end, it's one killer blitz of pumped up, middle-finger raised, doom. Ugly and barren and devoid of any light, but full of life. It's seriously heavy and seriously good.
And did I mention that the guys could all kick my ass?