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Saint Vitus – Lillie: F-65

Saint Vitus
Lillie: F-65
by Phillip Lawless at 17 May 2012, 10:23 AM

SAINT VITUS are back! You heard me. Galloping great days of goodness are here again!

“Let Them Fall” begins with a sparse drum beat; then it kicks in – mean, straight-forward and old-school to the hilt. Dave Chandler’s guitar still has its classic, thick tone; Wino’s golden but gruff voice sounds clear and comfortable; and new drummer Henry Vasquez manages to pick up right where Armando (R.I.P.) left off. In this opening track, Chandler’s noisy guitar solo alone is worth the full price of admission.

Up next is a burner of a doom riff. Simple and strong, its sound echoes all the classic riffs of the band’s earlier albums. Seriously, this riff will cause some déjà vu. “The Bleeding Ground” is over six minutes long. The song lopes along, showcasing the tasty guitar licks and crystal-clear vocals for four minutes, and then another fast section and screeching guitar solo are thrown in. Yes, yes, yes.“Vertigo” is a guitar instrumental. It’s about two and a half minutes of eerie soloing built on a foundation guitar part and occasional drum intrusions. Though it starts with wailing distortion, “Blessed Night” ends up being the catchiest tune on the album. For a classic Doom tune, it’s downright bouncy. For four minutes, this track never lets up. The drumming is on full showcase here, with beats rolling and running every which way. I’m not sure SAINT VITUS have ever rocked this hard or this frantic.

But don’t worry too much about tempo; the epic “The Waste of Time” slows the album back down to a desperate crawl. Burly and badass, sick and suffocating… This is another track where the sparse guitar and sluggish drums lock into that classic SAINT VITUS groove. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Chandler’s screeching, violent guitar solo pushes this song into the stratosphere.

The album’s masterpiece, “Dependence”, begins with a stark acoustic guitar intro. The actual riff doesn’t kick in until over a minute in. But, when it does, good God! Here, the lyrics are classic SAINT VITUS fare. Substance abuse, pain and discomfort – it’s all covered. The typical verse and chorus structure sticks for about two minutes before another wild guitar solo begins. A minute later, all instruments except the guitar drop out. Chandler continues to abuse his strings, making his guitar scream like a dying banshee. The riff reappears with just a minute left, and the band rejoins once again for a final chorus. “Withdrawal”, the album’s closer, is a layered and uncomfortable guitar track. Altogether, Chandler has put together some of the most oppressive, unmusical guitar solos I’ve heard in quite a while.

Wrapping up, this is an amazing Doom album. It’s got everything and more that I wanted to hear when I learned of SAINT VITUS returning. Though there are only five true songs, the consistent quality and the strength of the material make up for the album’s somewhat abbreviated contents. In a world where SLEEP, HIGH ON FIRE and WITCHCRAFT are worshiped and adored, there’s no reason why this album shouldn’t finally push SAINT VITUS to that same level of popularity.

5 Star Rating

1. Let Them Fall
2. The Bleeding Ground
3. Vertigo
4. Blessed Night
5. The Waste of Time
6. Dependence
7. Withdrawal
Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich – Vocals
Dave Chandler – Guitar
Mark Adams – Bass
Henry Vasquez – Drums
Record Label: Season Of Mist


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