In my reviews of the previous Venomous Maximus albums, I covered their musical style and direction as a sort of throwback to NWOBHM, like early Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, and even Diamondhead. The band continues this path on their third full length release, No Warning, but they add more dimension and distinction that tells their listeners that they own this sound. It is a crushing album, and I feel it’s the band’s best offering yet.
After the brief synthesizer intro, simply entitled “I,” the band returns to full form with their classic sound on “Spellbound.” Greg Higgins’ distinctive vocals and riffs are immediately recognizable. “Pray For Me” is a bit more laid back, and the guitar interplay between Higgins and Christian Larson is huge. “Return of the Witch” is my favorite here, and it may be my all-time favorite from the band. It harnesses everything the band is about, including blazing riffs, galloping beats, a memorable chorus, and an evil, occult undertone. “All Of My Dreams” shows the band’s ability to slow it down with only an acoustic guitar, yet they still maintain the power for which they are known. It’s beautiful and dark as hell. The title track is a punishing, powerful bruiser of a song. The guitars remind me of something Hank Shermann and Michael Denner did on the first few Mercyful Fate albums. “Blood for Blood” slows it down a bit and definitely brings forth a more evil overtone. The riffs are still razor sharp, and Higgins’ reverb-laden vocals are haunting. “Endless” is a three-minute instrumental acoustic song that leads into perhaps the heaviest song the band has ever done: “Sea Of Sleep.” This is a fine example of the band’s capabilities and it’s crushingly heavy, although it retains melody in the guitars and vocals.
Venomous Maximus have a monster on their hands with No Warning. This band continues to get better with each release, and I can’t wait to see which of these new songs make the live setlist!
No Warning is out July 28 on Shadow Kingdom Records. Buy it here!
Tags: action pr no warning Shadow Kingdom Records Venemous Maximus