Venomous Maximus is a Houston, TX-based quartet who came to Shadow Kingdom's attention with their approach to attitude and will to play music with conviction without any genre barriers. That uncompromising approach certainly paid off on 2015's Firewalker, where the band truly nailed not just "good" songs, but rather writing great memorable songs that varied in length, tempo, and especially emotion. Venomous Maximus definitely had their sound down cold with their 2012 debut, Beg Upon the Light, but they were on to something really special with Firewalker.
Now, they've managed to trump that accomplishment with their staggeringly awesome third album No Warning. Everything that's been loaded up so far in the Venomous Maximus arsenal - heaving heaviness, haunting melodicism, sweaty grit, red-blooded swagger, rock-god vocals - is taken to 11 here, resulting in a clutch of anthems that sound almost effortless in their execution. You can hear traces of all the rich 'n' diverse songcraft Black Sabbath explored during the entire 1970s alongside a spacier, more psychedelic element that Roky Erickson accomplished in his solo career and also with the 13th Floor Elevators, but never without losing the granite-thick heft so special to classic heavy metal and hard rock.
And yet, with this familiar-yet-foreign approach, the band bespeak their own personality, one that's now become undeniably and definitively Venomous Maximus. It's timeless through and through, as powerful songwriting always wins out over stylistic classification; it always comes down to the songs, and No Warning has 10 of 'em that span a variety-spiced 42 minutes.