Venomous Maximus – Firewalker ALBUM REVIEW

I don’t think it’s exactly a secret at this point that I love old school production if it fits the music, and it does here in spades. The cover looks like it’s straight out of 1971, and the music is very similar to Black Sabbath in their heyday, though a bit heavier. The problem comes in that the first half of the album gives you the feeling that it’s repeating the same song, the same riffs, and giving the same vibe over and over again. And it’s not like what’s being played is bad, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, along with the fact that it doesn’t sound like anything particularly unique. Until that is the second half of the album begins. It still retains that Sabbath style, but it’s much more emotional and dare I say epic, along with the fixing one of the major problems of the first half, which is variety. The first half sounds like mostly the same song over and over again, while the second half uses a wide variety of dynamics and tones to make each song feel like a distinct entity. Probably my favorite example of this on Firewalker is My Machine. Very rarely does a track create a sense of emotional euphoria simply by the tone in which the song is played. And I don’t just mean major or minor key, or what particular key the track is in. I mean the tone in the vocalists voice, the tone of the instruments, the overall somber nature of the track. It feels heart wrenching without overly trying to be that way. It’s just such a shame that the first half had to be the way that it is, otherwise I could’ve easily given this a high 8, maybe even a 9. As it stands, this is still one of the better doom metal albums of this year, and is definitely worth a listen, even if you don’t necessarily love Sabbath.