CD Review: VENOMOUS MAXIMUS MMIX - MMXI
That there title represents that this CD compiles two out of print vinyl releases by Houston's Venomous Maximus, namely the The Mission EP and the "Give Up the Witch" 7".
The occult imagery might tip your expectations toward a blackened doom sound, but truthfully these guys are more of a traditional, uptempo stoner band. There's a Sabbath influence to be sure, but there's an equal amount of Fu Manchu boogie, Clutch-via-Mountain jamming, and Savannah, GA sludge going on here. The riff is dominant, the mood is "let's party", the fists are pumping.
It would be unfair to say Venomous Maximus sound like former touring mates (and distant neighbors) The Sword, but it would be totally accurate to say that if you like The Sword this is exactly the kind of 70's-drenched, weed toking rock 'n roll that's right up your alley.
The one downside to these six songs is that perhaps too much emphasis was placed on the riffs: the vocals are buried way too deep, in fact sounding downright muddy compared to the rest of the capably retro-produced instruments. It's not necessarily a small gripe befitting this particular release, but with a competent producer and a decent recording budget Venomous Maximus have the chops to call their own shots in this league. "Give Up the Witch" alone sounds like a modern classic in search of a little polish.
The MMIX – MMXI CD and both vinyl releases it compiles are available through Big Cartel.