Venomous Maximus

Fitzgerald's, 11/05/13

Metal, Doom metal, Stoner rock


Doom Fest Houston with Venomous Maximus

I've been to Fitzgerald's probably a hundred times, but it's rare that I see a show that delivers this kind of impact. Behold: The band you and I will probably still be listening to in twenty years, Venomous Maximus. Gregg Higgins, vocals and guitar; Christian Larson, guitar; Trevi Biles, bass; and Bongo Brungardt, drums, are a band to keep your eye on. Hailing from Houston, Texas, their sound is a rich blend of infectious guitar riffs, and dark, dramatic metal. On this day at Doom Fest, Venomous Maximus was strikingly on point. They were like a well tuned engine blowing steam and about to blow. Higgins brings a wickedly superb vocal arrangement, and at times had the expression he was losing his mind. His ability to quickly blacken the hearts of his audience is somewhat uncanny. When they played "Give Up the Witch", the crowd went crazy, heads were banging, and hair was flying everywhere. Higgins, who writes the music and lyrics says, "I look inward when writing, instead of looking outward - following somebody else". But wait - Don't call them Doom! I asked how he feels about being part of the Doom Metal scene. He said, "First of all, we hate that term 'Doom.' When I think of Ozzy, I don't think of Doom. It's just rock'n'roll." Previously this year, Venomous Maximus supported heavyweights Down on a leg of a U.S. tour. When asked how the fans had responded to them, Biles said, "Surprisingly, very well. We didn't know what kind of reaction we would get - what to expect. It turned out well". To date the band has released EPs in 2010 and 2011. They released a compilation, as well as a full-length effort in 2012, Beg Upon the Light. In 2013 they signed with famed European label Napalm Records. I asked them about the rumors swirling around that they had more than one option of representation when they signed. Higgins quickly said, "Not true. No truth in that whatsoever. We went with Napalm because they offered us everything we need".

Venomous Maximus will be touring the U.S. beginning June 18, 2013. -- Angela Domaingue

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