Saint Vitus - Saint Vitus review




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Band: Saint Vitus
Album: Saint Vitus
Release date: May 2019


01. Remains
02. A Prelude To...
03. Bloodshed
04. 12 Years In The Tomb
05. Wormhole
06. Hour Glass
07. City Park
08. Last Breath
09. Useless


You already know that all the bands that feature the words "weed", "dope", "bong", etc. as part of their names or their song/album titles should pay royalties to Saint Vitus, right?

Along with bands like Trouble and Pentagram, they were among the pioneers of a style of music that was directly influenced by the first Black Sabbath albums, and their new record was one of the two most eagerly awaited ones for nostalgic doom lovers this year (the other one being The Door To Doom by Candlemass). Bizarrely enough, it is another self-titled release, 35 years after Saint Vitus's debut.

Scott Reagers is back for this one and all you Wino lovers (including the reviewer) should stop whining immediately for two main reasons: the first is that the theatricality of Scott's delivery has always been more interesting than the "stoned" approach of Wino and the second, and maybe more important, is that the last time Saint Vitus were great was with Reagers singing in Die Healing and that was 24 years ago.

The first thing I did when I got the album was to check out its runtime. Saint Vitus are renowned for almost never overstaying their welcome and the only time that they did, in C.O.D., it ended up being a disaster. I was pleased to find out that the album clocks in at just over 41 minutes so the only thing left was to actually listen to the music.

And the music is sweet. At least most of the time.

The beginning is very strong with the slow, heavy and menacing "Remains"; a classic Saint Vitus tune. The two singles "Bloodshed" and "12 Years In The Tomb" are quicker-paced and aggressive doom tracks with great bite and fantastic vocals, even though Chandler's improvisation in the solos went wrong somewhere along the way. "Wormhole" and "Hour Glass" both feature riffs that call for slow motion headbanging or walking dead-like moshing, and "Last Breath" is a truly remarkable song and easily the best of the album, mainly due to its wonderfully dark and foreboding atmosphere.

Saint Vitus had all the ingredients to be grand. The original vocalist is back and he's alive and kicking; in fact, Reagers surprisingly sounds as magnificent as he did decades ago. Chandler's guitar notes are wrapped in his familiar fuzzy distortion and he still churns out the coolest riffs to keep you company when you smoke with purple dragons. The two newer members give their all as well; Pat Bruders offers some super-meaty basslines and Henry Vasquez is impressive, holding one stick borrowed from Bill Ward and the other one from John Bonham. The sound is drier than the Sahara desert, so just like Saint Vitus have chosen it to be throughout their career.

However, and despite all the positives, it must be said that tracks like the doom ballad/intro "A Prelude To..." and especially the noise-y and experimental with spoken word "City Park" are not much more than filler material, and the hardcore/punk (!) closer "Useless" just feels completely out of place.

The band may be considering that they are coming full circle and thus decided to name this album Saint Vitus, but it's up to you to decide if its content entirely justifies this choice. It is definitely a vast improvement on Lillie: F-65 and, although it may feel a bit uneven at times, it allows them to go out on a high and wrap up their very distinguished career; if they actually decide to do so, that is.

"I always feel safe in a sacred place
Far away from the human race"


 



Written on 28.05.2019 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 104 users
28.05.2019 - 11:48
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Man some of those solos are so jarring

I did love "Useless" though
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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28.05.2019 - 12:19
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by RaduP on 28.05.2019 at 11:48

Man some of those solos are so jarring

I did love "Useless" though

Chandler always largely improvises his solos and he sometimes even goes to the studio to record without having prepared anything. In this album there are great solos (in Remains or Last Breath) and some not good ones like in the two tracks I mention in the review.

"Useless" is ok, it just doesn't belong. I understand that it's a reference to their early days when they were signed to SST and opened shows for punk bands but as part of the album it doesn't click. Maybe as a separate single or at least bonus track, it would be ok I guess.
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28.05.2019 - 15:48
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by nikarg on 28.05.2019 at 12:19

Written by RaduP on 28.05.2019 at 11:48

Man some of those solos are so jarring

I did love "Useless" though

Chandler always largely improvises his solos and he sometimes even goes to the studio to record without having prepared anything. In this album there are great solos (in Remains or Last Breath) and some not good ones like in the two tracks I mention in the review.

"Useless" is ok, it just doesn't belong. I understand that it's a reference to their early days when they were signed to SST and opened shows for punk bands but as part of the album it doesn't click. Maybe as a separate single or at least bonus track, it would be ok I guess.


on the cd Useless comes after about ten minutes of silence. So it is more or less a hidden track and works much better that way.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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28.05.2019 - 16:28
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 28.05.2019 at 15:48

on the cd Useless comes after about ten minutes of silence. So it is more or less a hidden track and works much better that way.

Thanks for this info, good to know. I don't have the cd yet but it definitely makes more sense to have it on the album like that.

I am really curious to know what you think of the album.
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29.05.2019 - 13:20
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by nikarg on 28.05.2019 at 16:28

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 28.05.2019 at 15:48

on the cd Useless comes after about ten minutes of silence. So it is more or less a hidden track and works much better that way.

Thanks for this info, good to know. I don't have the cd yet but it definitely makes more sense to have it on the album like that.

I am really curious to know what you think of the album.



Go to lordsofmetal.nl and throw the Dutch review through Google translate and you'll get my opinion on it

I pm'ed you the google translation (slightly edited due to some stupendously weirdly Google translated bits.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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29.05.2019 - 14:35
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Quote:
I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Incorrect. It is more likely that I was into this music when you were still in diapers.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
29.05.2019 - 20:38
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.05.2019 at 13:20

Go to lordsofmetal.nl and throw the Dutch review through Google translate and you'll get my opinion on it

I pm'ed you the google translation (slightly edited due to some stupendously weirdly Google translated bits.

We agree on almost all points, at least that's the gist I got despite the butchering by google translate.

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.05.2019 at 14:35

Quote:
I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Incorrect. It is more likely that I was into this music when you were still in diapers.

True that. You are part of an elite minority here to whom my bio-box quote does not apply.
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29.05.2019 - 21:21
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by nikarg on 29.05.2019 at 20:38

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.05.2019 at 13:20

Go to lordsofmetal.nl and throw the Dutch review through Google translate and you'll get my opinion on it

I pm'ed you the google translation (slightly edited due to some stupendously weirdly Google translated bits.

We agree on almost all points, at least that's the gist I got despite the butchering by google translate.

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.05.2019 at 14:35

Quote:
I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Incorrect. It is more likely that I was into this music when you were still in diapers.

True that. You are part of an elite minority here to whom my bio-box quote does not apply.


I actually chuckled when I read your review due to us agreeing on almost everything. As if our reviews inspired each other.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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11.06.2019 - 14:27
JoHn DoE
Some nice riffs, no doubt, but the guitar leads ruin it for me...
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