Saint Vitus – Saint Vitus

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(Seasons Of Mist)

Total Playing Time: 44:01

SAINT VITUS, the legends of the American Doom Metal return after seven years of absence with the ninth album of their career, which is simply titled “Saint Vitus”. Since it’s the second time releasing a self-titled album, I don’t know if this is a sign of them telling us they’ve come full circle. Time will tell. In the years that intervened from “Lillie: F-65” Mr. Wino left the band to focus on the OBSESSED, the original singer Scott Reagers returned after 20 + years of absence, while Pat Bruders (DOWN, crowbar) replaced Mark Adams on bass who is unfortunately suffering from the Parkinson disease.

Let’s talk about the music now. SAINT VITUS continue to do what they know best. To play pure and honest traditional Doom Metal. In their new album they go a step further and return to the times of proto-Doom Metal with the production of Tony Reed stripping down their sound and making it quite primitive. Lord Chandler’s riffs are here and so are his noisy solos (which unfortunately sound tiring at times). The songs alternate between slower threatening moods (Remains, Last Breath), more aggressive and up-tempo (Bloodshed, 12 Years in the Tomb) as well as a bit of groove (Wormhole). Although SAINT VITUS are a traditional band, they’re not shying away from a little bit of “experimentation”. “A Prelude to…” is an attempt at an atmospheric ballad, “City Park” is gathering of sounds accompanying the almost whispering vocals of Chandler, while in Useless, the surprise of the album, the band decides to close the 2nd self-titled album with a one and half minute’s punk dynamite (perhaps as a tribute to their punk past). Bruders’ bass shines in all tracks and is definitely one of the highlights of the album. Reagers’ voice has maintained its dramatic character and continues to alternate from clean to gritty in almost every song, offering this way some variety to the album. Unfortunately, his 20 + years of absence from the music scene had a small impact on his voice.

To sum it up, SAINT VITUS offer us an honest record of pure Doom Metal, but nowhere near the greatness of their old records. A bit of Reagers’ voice being off form, a bit of Chandler’s over fuzzed solos and a bit of the 2-3 “experimental” tracks not achieving their purpose, the album gets a…

Dimitris Benetatos

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