Venomous Maximus – The Mission LP. There’s a lot to The Mission that makes me think of fellow retro-metal dudes The Sword or Mastodon. Although Venomous Maximus seems to be steering less towards the wizards-and-warlocks realm of metal and more towards more ambiguous, stoner rock-tinged stuff like Early Man, Red Fang, High on Fire and Priestess. The guitars are heavy and thrashy like vintage Metallica without turning into hardcore-tinged neo-thrash a la Iron Age. They don’t indulge in too much soloing, but when they do, it’s more Sabbath than speed metal with punishing riffs splattered all over the place. This is music that was born to be spun on your turntable. LP LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!