This is Part 7 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two we’re announcing today, click here.
When I started the rollout of this list, I explained that I had expanded the range of my metal listening during 2012. I even opened my mind to more music in the stoner/doom vein despite (gasp!) the presence of clean vocals, because there’s so much meat on those riff bones, and I do love a pulverizing riff.
Genre boundaries blur, and I don’t think either of the bands whose songs I’m adding to our list today clearly fit into that stoner/doom category, though there’s some kinship. Their classic riffs bring the beef in truckloads and their vocals are (sort of) clean. In fact, ironically, for me the vocals have been a main draw for both of these bands.
Houston-based Venomous Maximus are yet another band with a superb 2012 album that we never got around to reviewing. I feel especially guilty about that, given how many aural orgasms Beg Upon the Light has given me.
Venomous Maximus lace together classic heavy metal riffs, ominous melodies, and a pile-driving rhythm section. They write songs that are dark and powerfully addictive, with an air of occult menace. And they’ve got a vocalist in Gregg Higgins whose wailing delivery gives this band an unforgettable identity.
Beg Upon the Light gave me several candidates for this final list, including the fantastic “Give Up the Witch”, and I bounced back and forth in trying to pick just one. I finally pulled the trigger on “Moonchild”. Check it out below.
“MOONCHILD”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Venomous-Maximus-Beg-Upon-The-Light-06-Moonchild.mp3|titles=Venomous Maximus – Moonchild]
For frequent visitors to this site, this New Zealand collective needs no introduction. We premiered a song from their self-titled debut album and we’ve featured videos from the band on multiple occasions.
The whole album is simply amazing. Every song has its own character, yet they’re related to each other through the presence of powerful, earth-moving riffs, enormously catchy hooks, and the stunning vocals of Matt Hyde (this is another instance in which a band’s vocalist is a vital and irreplaceable part of its identity).
I really can’t say enough about Hyde’s vocal performance on the album. It’s dramatically varied and tremendously powerful. Calling them “impassioned” is an understatement — there are times when you’re positive that the recording studio must have been splattered with blood from his ruptured jugular and exploded chunks of his own lungs.
I had real trouble picking a song from Beastwars for this list, but I settled on “Damn the Sky” in large part because, in addition to the beefy, hammering riffs, it features one of Hyde’s most searing, harrowing vocal deliveries.
“DAMN THE SKY”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/01-Damn-the-Sky.mp3|titles=Beastwars – Damn the Sky]