For those already hip to Houston’s harbingers of headbanging, Venomous Maximus, the band’s sophomore effort, Firewalker, has been a long time comin’. But los grillos slept on the much-celebrated doom of debut Beg Upon the Light, so Firewalker is our introduction to the band’s no bullshit, in the red metal– and a helluva introduction it is. After the sinister, occult-tinged “Intro” they launch right into the galloping, dual guitar lead attack of “White Rose” and never let up. And over it all is the impassioned, possessed dark howl of vocalist/guitarist Gregg Higgins. Almost goth in its low end moan, borderline exclamatory in its this-is-how-it-fuckin-is delivery, it’s a distinctive voice that– along with the hyper-melodic, relentless riffage of guitarists Christian Larson and Higgins, and locked-down rhythms of bassist Trevi Biles and drummer Bongo Brungardt– maximizes the shit out of the band’s venom. Play it loud.
Firewalker is out now via Shadow Kingdom Records. Check it out here.