"Beg Upon The Light"

By Dr. Abner Mality

It's well-known that the metal scene today is weighed down by unoriginal bands imitating the innovations of others. The doom/sludge scene especially is infested with a bunch of followers instead of leaders. Well, here is a band that is different, a band that can make a difference...Venomous Maximus.

If you find it hard to describe a band easily, that's a sure sign they are on to something unique. VM draws upon well known influences and styles, yet manages to come up with a take that is all their own. In "Beg To The Light", I hear traces of bands like Candlemass, Mastodon, Thin Lizzy, Down and Neurosis. But none of it is very overt. There are a lot of ornate twin guitar melodies woven with doomy, chugging riffs and an unpredictable progressive feeling. Vocals are also unique...very emotional and dramatic, with a lot of melody but sometimes venturing into bellows of outrage and angry snarls. They can be hard to absorb and some may call them overdone, but they also help to make Venomous Maximus an original band.

The album starts strong with the eerie intro "Funeral Queen" and the bomastic "Path of Doom", which is a good introduction to the VM sound. Lots of variety on this album..."Give Up The Witch" is anthemic, "Father Time" is acoustic, "Battle For the Cross" brings the doom and "Venomous Maximus" is very aggressive. The all-out showstopper is "Moonchild", which is a crunchy prog metal jam of the type Mastodon used to be able to do. This song is chock full of killer riffs. Also take note of the very sad "Mother Milk", full of weeping cellos and utter gloom.

"Beg Upon the Light" demands careful listening and attention for all its secrets to unfold. This is quite a mystical piece of metal mastery and a band that ought to make a big impact on a flagging scene.