Venomous Maximus - No Warning album review
Houston riff-wielders join the 80s post-punk/goth party
Written during the band’s tour supporting High On Fire and Pallbearer, it’s hardly surprising that Venomous Maxmimus’s new outing delivers a neck-abusing onslaught of thick, metal riffage. Thankfully, their third full-length is anything but a classic metal rehash of 2015’s Firewalker. Fixing their gaze back on the early 80s, Gregg Higgins’ funereal post-punk vocals invest the tracks with an icy foreboding that steers just clear of camp. Belters like the title track and closer Sea Of Sleep bristle with chugging NWOBHM riffs and moody swagger, as if Saxon and The Sisters Of Mercy had holed up in a candlelit basement, drinking absinthe and jamming ’til dawn. Offsetting the steelplated fretwork that dominates the heavier cuts, two acoustic tracks, All Of My Dreams and the instrumental Endless, showcase a gratifying sense of ambition, though not quite matched by the quality of songwriting on either. This isn’t ‘occult metal’ – No Warning stands on its own as a rich and captivating slab of thoroughly modern metal.