|Review: Venomous Maximus - No Warning|
Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
Year released: 2017
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: August 7, 2017
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3/5 (60%) (7 Votes)
Shadow Kingdom scores a hit with this idiosyncratic 80s throwback of an album. Venomous Maximus have produced two full-lengths prior to this, but this was the first I had heard of them. No Warning is both a delightful slab of riffs, and a gleeful homage to the sound of the 80s golden age. This band starts with a thick, heavy guitar tone and they use it to wring out riff after riff of Traditional/Doom killing that will get your air-guitar hand in shape. The songwriting is solid, mostly providing a framework for the awesome riff-crunching, if never really producing anything fantastic on its own.
The vocals are a bit strange, and may be a sticking point for some people. Singer/Guitarist Gregg Higgins has a sort of dry, sotto-voiced style that recalls David Byrne or maybe Jon Astley (no, not Rick Astley, dumbass). It's a very 80s sound, and very strange to hear it on a modern recording – even a retro one. You get used to it, and he makes the music much more individual, since nobody else sounds like that except maybe Phil Swanson at his most theatrical.
So this is an occult riff-fest of epic proportions with hints of synthwave and traditional Doom all mixed in together to make a highly unique-sounding recording. If you like retro metal then this is an album you have to get, as songs like the title cut and "Spellbound" are some of the best riffs of the year.
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