Saint Vitus

My girfriend is a pretty amazing woman, and she’s really helped me enjoy life to its fullest.  One gift she gave me early on in our relationship was a renewed love for slow, groovy, doom-laden heavy metal, in the vein of Black Sabbath. She taught me all about Pentagram, and Witchcraft, and from there I learned about Witch and a host of other goodies (which in turn helped me kind of re-appreciate Death Metal and Black Metal).

But it also reminded me of that time in my early early teens, when I had just left Metallica and Anthrax behind to embrace punk rock.  I remember shortly after making the switch, while buying and absorbing all the Richard Hell, Ramones, and Stooges cassettes I could find in Tulsa, I stumbled upon SST’s The Blasting Concept compilation, and got all confused.  There were punk bands on this thing (the Minutemen, Black Flag, Saccharine Trust, Husker Du), but there were also bands on it that were definitely heavy metal.  One of them, Saint Vitus, I remember not liking very much, because lyrically their song seemed simple.  And it was kind of slow.

Looking back from where I am now, though, I realize I’d been blind to one of the great doom rock renaissance revivalists of the eighties!  These guys had a hard-edged, dirgey guitar sound somewhere between Sabbath and My War-era Black Flag, with a great singer, powerful playing, and wah-wah choogling guitar solos that hinted at some of the extremes Dinosaur Jr. would soon be getting into.  They’re kinda reminiscent of the good parts of Danzig and Motorhead too (without any of the crap, and with better singing!), and definitely bridge the gap between Pentagram and the doom rock of this century.

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