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Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Venomous Maximus

Occult Houston metallurgists cure hangovers

By Michael Toland, 9:15AM, Sun. Nov. 10, 2013

Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Venomous Maximus
photo by Gary Miller

“We’re Venomous Maximus, and we’re fucking hungover,” singer/guitarist Greg Higgins informed the sparse opening crowd for Saturday’s Fun Fun Fun Fest. “It’s very, very difficult for us to be up this early.” Technical problems didn’t help.

For starters, Higgins’ amp gave up the ghost by the second song. Even when that was fixed, his voice never found its optimum spot in the mix. Happily, sour head and stage gremlins aside, the Houston dark metallers provided an ass-kicking start to the day better than any cup of coffee.

The band’s Mercyful Sabbath blaze through devilish themes fits the quartet squarely in the current wave of occult metal acts, though with more of a horror movie aesthetic informed by Hammer films and Coffin Joe than obscure Satanic texts. Continuing development arrived in the form of a couple of new songs, both heavier-than-thou takes on Seventies metal.

Once Higgins felt comfortable with his gear, the energy level skyrocketed. The slow grind kicking off “Path of Doom” caused heads-down riffola that fried synapses like a cloven kick to the head, while psych metal mini-epic “Moon Child” – a song delivering on the promise of 2012 debut LP Beg Upon the Light – closed the barely 30-minute set with a similar smack.

With tunes that good and performances that breathe fire even when its members’ brainpans do the same, Venomous Maximus are poised for converts one stolen soul at a time.


For more Fun Fun Fun Fest coverage, see www.austinchronicle.com/fun-fun-fun-fest. For photo galleries from the fest, see austinchronicle.com/photos.
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