It’s heavy, it harks back to things we’ve heard before, but Venomous houses some solid production and a natural flair for structure that makes this so much more than a two-dimensional heavy release.
Opener Rasputin eases the ears into a thickly atmospheric synth build that ebbs then flows under the crisp and melodic repeated guitar motif, but it's when frontman Jason Brown croons in that the penny drops. Before you know it we're in a territory that skirts somewhere around mid-'90s hard and alt-rock; it's easy to hear their penchant for a bit of Faith No More, for instance. But that's where the lads are happy to stay, and it translates. There are infectiously neat punk quips in the single-worthy Light it Up, cascading guitar wails in Down From the Mountain and some chugging riffs that stomp throughout the furious Shape Shifters. There's the odd lazy track here and there; Crossroads struggles to engage on much more than a mindless level, and Final Breath takes the pub-rock road with basic repeated riffs and an unchallenging rhythm.
It's heavy, it harks back to things we've heard before, but Venomous houses some solid production and a natural flair for structure that makes this so much more than a two-dimensional heavy release.