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Gloom and doom - 100%

SleepingFinger, July 21st, 2010

Out of all the metal bands to come out of Los Angeles back in the days of real metal, Saint Vitus was one of the least popular bands. They weren't like any of the other bands from L.A., they weren't glam metal, thrash metal, crossover thrash, or even regular heavy metal. Saint Vitus was known as doom metal. This album is very good and very unique. There is plenty of the doomy feeling that you would expect from Black Sabbath to be found on this album.

The music here is very cool, the constant slowness may turn some people off, but this is great metal. The guitars are very droney and are often not melodic. A lot of the ominous riffs that Dave Chandler throws at us would sound very fitting on any early Black Sabbath album. But his guitar solos are often much faster than the pace of the song, this sometimes makes the guitar solos sound a little out of place. But the guitar solos are very good and manage to work fine. The guitar doesn't sound really heavy, but it works for this type of music. Wino has a clean vocal style that fits the ominous feel of the music very well. There is no high singing on this album, the vocals are a little on the deeper side. The drumming is slow and tribal and fits in with the droning guitar very well. The bass is kind of hard to hear over the guitar, but it sounds fine on the occasions that you do hear it. The production is fine here, nothing to complain about.

Even though all of these songs are slow, some are more ominous sounding than others, while others tend to be just slow. "Born Too Late", "Clear Windowpane" and "H.A.A.G." all sound like they should be on Black Sabbath's "Master Of Reality" album. They all contain Black Sabbath type song structures and lyrics, especially "Clear Window Pane" on its quicker parts. "Dying Inside" has an overall sad sound with a lot of eerie droning riffs, and a guitar solo that's much faster than the rest of the song, although the solo does tend to be a little sappy at times. "The War Starter" is also a bit on the sad side too, but just a few riffs here and there. "The Lost Feeling" is a little ominous, but is mainly just very slow with whispered vocals. The bass is more audible on this song than any other song here, enough of the time you only hear bass and drum.

I think that this album is definitely worth checking out simply due to its unique nature. I wouldn't exactly recommend this album to everyone though. This isn't your typical metal album, this isn't the kind of metal that will get you head banging, this is more like relaxation metal. I think Saint Vitus might be a bit of an acquired taste to some, but they are the kind of band that doesn't take too long before you start liking them. Give this one a shot, you might be surprised.