Being a musician from the Black Sabbath school of Metal, I was very anxious to hear the latest product of these Sabbath specimens; St. Vitus. Out of all the bands that play “doom” metal like Trouble, Pentagram, Dream Death, Prophets Of Doom, Candlemass, Tyrant, Millenium, Witchfynder General, etc., only St. Vitus capture the late 60’s- early 70’s hippie feel of early- Black Sabbath.
I’ll be damned if “The Lost Feeling” off this new LP, “Born Too Late”, doesn’t sound like “Hand Of Doom” off Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” album. All 6 songs off this time-wise long record run at a snail’s pace, especially compared to all the speedy stuff coming out alongside this release.
The production of a St. Vitus album is sludgy with all the heaviness of
a handful of downers. Scott Weinrich (Wino) fits their extremely doomy
style to a tee, sounding like an American Ozzy Osbourne. I had the
words to “Dying Inside” on my mind for days. Wino gives this song his
best Ozzy-ish depression & drugs, vocal performance on the whole LP. A
lot of the lyrics are about drugs (check out the song “Clear
Windowpane”), extolling the virtues of bad acid. David Chandler is no
Tony Iommi but he knows how to use that ancient artifact called a
wah-wah pedal, expertly, highlighted on the extended soloing of “The
War Starter”. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there is one song,
“H.A.A.G.”, that I can’t get into at all because it sounds dated, and
this album is copyrighted late 1986!
St. Vitus tell us what it’s like to be ’80’s hippies in “Born Too Late”. This song being a perfect title for the album, I might add. If you would like a refreshing
alternative to speed metal, (Trouble fans pay very close attention!),
that is just as heavy as that faster stuff.
I’d recommend that you try St. Vitus out. They have three previous releases out: “St. Vitus”- 1984, “Hallow’s Victim”- 1985, and “The Walking Dead”, all in the grand Sabbath tradition!
– Rich Castle
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