Venomin James

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Venomin James
Origin Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Genres Doom metal, heavy metal
Years active 2005–present
Labels Kultland Recordings, Auburn Records
Associated acts Sparrowmilk, Pro-Pain, The Spudmonsters, Red Giant, Years of Fire, The Alter Boys, State of Conviction, Mudfoot, Spellchucker, The Great Iron Snake
Members Mike Martini
Tomasz Scull
Erin Corcoran
Joe Fortunato
Eric Matthews
Past members Jared Koston
Jim Meador

Venomin James is a doom metal band formed in Kirtland, Ohio in 2005.

Left Hand Man era (2005–2007)[edit]

Venomin James was formed early Fall 2005 with Tomasz Scull, Erin Corcoran, and Joe Fortunato beginning to write songs while actively searching for a drummer and vocalist to complete the lineup. This core trio recorded a series of demos with Night Sweats/Living Stereo/Sidecar frontman Brandon Abate on drums, to hand out to prospective members. Early in 2006, vocalist Jim Meador was added to the lineup, and the band began playing Cleveland area shows with Abate filling in on drums. Drummer Jared Koston was recruited in June 2006, and the band played a number of live dates to hone and complete their material. The band recorded their first full length album Left Hand Man throughout late 2006 and 2007, released on Kultland Recordings on September 18, 2007. Mastering was handled by Alan Douches (Mastodon, Converge, The Misfits) of West West Side Music in New Jersey.

The album garnered the band some attention among the underground doom, metal, and stoner rock scenes,[1][2][3][4][5] as well as radio play from local KROQ-FM affiliate 92.3. College radio picked up on the band's retro/doom/metal sound, and college stations across the country began playing the album in moderate rotation. Local college radio personality, and creator of the respected "Metal On Metal" show, Bill Peters of WJCU 88.7FM,[6][7] began playing the album on his show, starting a friendship with the band that would help begin their move toward the next level in the coming years. Bill Peters is also the president of Auburn Records, a record label based in Medina, Ohio, that has released albums from Shok Paris, Breaker, Destructor, and Purgatory.

In Q3 of 2015, the band plans to digitally reissue "Left Hand Man" as a remixed and remastered deluxe edition.

Crowe Valley Blues era (2007–2010)[edit]

Immediately after the release of Left Hand Man, the band finished writing and recording the follow-up album, Crowe Valley Blues. In the fall of 2008 local Parma, Ohio businessman and club owner, Phil Lara, promised financial backing for tour support and the recording and release of Crowe Valley Blues. When this deal fell through in a Cleveland scene-wide scandal, the release of Crowe Valley Blues was put on hold indefinitely.[8][9] With Lara's deal broken, the band was unable to fund the mastering of the album, again by Alan Douches.

At this point, Bill Peters stepped in, and offered to release Crowe Valley Blues on Auburn Records. Peters financed the mastering and manufacturing of the album, and secured worldwide distribution. Crowe Valley Blues was released in Europe in July 2010, with a US release following on September 14, 2010. The Auburn release of Crowe Valley Blues included the Death's Wings EP as a bonus, containing remixes, demos, and outtakes from Left Hand Man-era sessions, as a thanks to fans who had patiently waited for the album's release. Videos were filmed for the singles "Cosmonaut" and "Make No Mistake".

Reactions to the album have been positive, building upon the respect of the underground doom, stoner rock, and metal communities.[10][11][12]

Crowe Valley Blues made Apple iTunes' "Best Metal Albums" of 2010, and Venomin James was named one of iTunes' "Best New Metal Artists" of 2010.[13]

Death of Jared Koston (2010)[edit]

Early in 2005, Koston was diagnosed with Stage III Melanoma, which was removed from his left shoulder. A small tumor returned in 2008, and Koston again underwent surgery. In the spring of 2009, Koston again noticed a growth in his left shoulder, this time diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer stemming from Melanoma. The previous surgeries had not been successful in removing all the cancerous cells. From the summer of 2009 until late spring of 2010, Koston received chemotherapy as well as radiation therapy. Early in 2010, doctors discovered that the cancer had spread to his liver, bones, and into his brain. The metal community worldwide rallied around Koston, sending messages of support, and financial assistance for his medical treatment.[14]

Despite ongoing treatments, Jared Koston died on 1 June 2010.[15]

Unholy Mountain era (2010–2013)[edit]

Following the death of drummer Jared Koston, the band again recruited Brandon Abate to drum for a few live shows to support the release of Crowe Valley Blues. In October 2010, the band was approached by drummer Eric Matthews (Pro-Pain, The Spudmonsters, Red Giant, Years of Fire, The Great Iron Snake) to become Venomin James' touring/live drummer. Throughout the end of 2010, and into 2011, the band played a series of shows with Matthews to support Crowe Valley Blues, and in preparation of their appearance at the 2011 Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany.[16]

Venomin James performed at the Wacken Open Air Festival at 12:15AM, on 6 August 2011 to crowd of approximately 8,500 on the W.E.T. Stage.

Beginning in the summer of 2010, the band sifted through all the demo recording sessions for their third album, Unholy Mountain. Through this process, the band determined that the audio fidelity of the multitracked drums would allow for the last recorded performances of former drummer Jared Koston to be used in the creation of the new album. The band commenced recording throughout the end of 2010 and well into early 2012. Unholy Mountain was originally scheduled for release via Auburn Records sometime in Q3 of 2013, but funding was lost and the album was put on hold. The album features collaborations with several notable Cleveland-area musicians, including James Bulloch of Ringworm, Damien Perry of Red Giant and The Great Iron Snake, and Gary Kane of Forged In Flame.

In December 2012, Venomin James parted ways with founding vocalist, Jim Meador. The band stated that they wanted a change in vocal direction, and would continue writing material for an unnamed 4th release.[17]

On July 23, 2013, the band released a new single, "Sailor's Grave", featuring new vocalist Mike Martini.[18]

December 13, 2013, the band released another single, "33rd Degree" to all digital outlets.[19]

Wake The Dead and Unholy Mountain LPs (2013-2016)[edit]

The band released the Wake The Dead album digitally via BandCamp in November 2014. The album also became available via major digital outlets like Apple's iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon Music on February 17, 2015. All previous digital singles from 2013 were remixed and new tracks "Wake the Dead", "Slow Decay", and "Ghosts of Yesterday" were added. The BandCamp version includes the original 2013 single mixes as bonus tracks. The album became available on CD December 21, 2015.

The band announced in early 2014 that plans were underway to finally release Unholy Mountain as a deluxe 2-CD edition: First disc containing the original mixes with former vocalist Jim Meador, and a second disc containing instrumental mixes, similar to what Mastodon had done with the score version of "Crack The Skye". Via a message on the band's Facebook Page, the double album will be available on CD January 31, 2016.

Band members[edit]


Release Label Year
Summer of Horror EP Kultland Recordings 2006
Left Hand Man LP Kultland Recordings 2007
Crowe Valley Blues LP/Death's Wings EP Auburn Records 2010
Unholy Mountain EP Kultland Recordings 2012
Sailor's Grave Digital Single Auburn Records 2013
ZERO DAY EP Kultand Recordings 2013
33rd Degree Digital Single Auburn Records 2013
Wake The Dead Kultland Recordings 2015
Unholy Mountain Auburn Records 2016


Compilation Track Released by Year
Blowin' Smoke "Desert Rider" Stoner Rock Ohio 2010
Monuments of Steel II "Cosmonaut" Hard Rocker Magazine, Issue #17 2010
The Soda Shop Comp Vol. 1 "Cosmonaut" The Soda Shop 2011
The Soda Shop Comp Vol. 3 "Unholy Mountain" The Soda Shop 2012
The Ripple Effect Presents: Volume 1 - Head Music "Seven Years" Ripple Music 2012


  1. ^ Noktorn. "Venomin James - Left Hand Man". Noktorn. Retrieved 2 January 2008. 
  2. ^ Barnes, Chris. "Venomin James - Left Hand Man". Hellride Music. Retrieved 26 June 2008. 
  3. ^ DoomGrind. "Venomin James - Left Hand Man". DoomGrind. Retrieved 22 June 2008. 
  4. ^ Severin, Todd. "Venomin James - Left Hand Man". The Ripple Effect. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  5. ^ Koczan, JJ. "Firing Squad". Metal Maniacs. Retrieved 31 January 2009. 
  6. ^ Farrar, Justin. "Metal Guru". Cleveland Scene Magazine. Retrieved 12 September 2007. 
  7. ^ Gallucci, Michael. "Bill Peters Wins Most Kick-Ass DJ of the Year Award". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Ferrris, D.X. "Forged in Lies". Cleveland Scene Magazine. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  9. ^ Ferris, D.X. "The Jig Is Up". Cleveland Scene Magazine. Retrieved 18 March 2009. 
  10. ^ DoomMantia. "Venomin James - Crowe Valley Blues". DoomMantia. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  11. ^ Kronik OS. "Venomin James - Crowe Valley Blues". Spirit Tribe. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  12. ^ Ling, Dave. "Reviews". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  13. ^ "Venomin James makes iTunes "Best of 2010" Lists". Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  14. ^ Peters, Bill. "Venomin James bandmates release statements on drummer Jared Koston's passing". Auburn Records. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  15. ^ Segall, Grant. "Jared Koston drummed for Venomin James". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  16. ^ WackenHelge. "Venomin James and Onslaught - confirmed for W:O:A 2011". Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
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