"Until you eat the sand, wield a bloody hand, sleep among the scorpions, we're not the same" - "Downer" by Venomin James.
Venomin James's music recalls classic bands like Black Sabbath, Cream, and Led Zeppelin, and contemporary sounds like Kyuss, Down, C.O.C., Acid Bath, and Entombed. The band describes their music as "Stoner Metal" or "Heavy Doomrock".
On Venomin James' debut album, "Left hand man", some of the doom-soaked themes are directly influenced by vocalist Jim Meador's experiences serving as a Sergeant in Iraq. Meador is one of thousands who are now haunted by memories of intense violence and the unforgiving ugliness of war. Political statements, however, are notably absent. Within the lyrics of such songs as "Abu Ghraib" and "Downer", there are only lyrical snapshots of what soldiers face on a day-to-day basis. The album's lyrics as a whole act as a conduit for Meador's repressed emotions, attempting to exorcise demons and ghosts plaguing his thoughts. The overriding arc of "Left Hand Man" deals not only with violence and war, but also of situations existing within contemporary society.
Says Meador of the themes present in Venomin James' music: "There is an apocalyptic vibe everywhere these days. Mass media, news, art, music, the stock market, and even our environment is soaked with the feeling of impending doom." He adds, "I think our music reflects the uncertainty, fears and confusion of this generation."
When Meador returned to the States after his tour was up, he sought an outlet. He had faced his mortality and was ready to speak about it. In the spring of 2006, the band Venomin James were seeking a vocalist that would compliment their heavy, doomrock sound.
Guitarists Tomasz Scull and Joe Fortunato grew up as ravenous listeners of classic guitar rock and heavy metal. Bassist Erin Corcoran combines Geezer Butler's style from early Sabbath, with groove and tasteful dynamics. Drummer Jared Koston brings precision and power, a highlight to the band's hybrid metal sound. Meador's angry and introspective lyrics fit well with Venomin James' doom-laden music, and some of his harsh and more questioning observations communicate the group's more brutal and frantic pieces.
Venomin James is also heavily inspired by their home, the historic Kirtland area of eastern Cleveland, Ohio. Known as "Kultland" by the locals, Kirtland has a strange, esoteric past that reads like the gothic horror of Lovecraft or Poe. From the first Mormon temple in 1836 to the 1989 Lundgren cult slayings, there is a sense of mysticism and foreboding in the area - even the air feels noticeably colder as you travel through certain parts. "You know when you're in Kirtland because you feel it in your bones," says guitarist Joe Fortunato, "and our music embodies that feeling."
The band released their debut full-length album, Left Hand Man, in September 2007 on Kultland Recordings. They have begun work on their sophomore album, scheduled for release in spring 2008.
Venomin James has shared the stage with a variety of respected acts, including: Ringworm, Fu Manchu, Brand New Sin, Seemless, Unearthly Trance, Mushroomhead, Bad Wizard, Early Man, 3 Inches of Blood, facedowninshit, Artimus Pyledriver, Abdullah, Ringworm, Nightcrawler, Cellbound, and Red Giant.