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4 in a row - 87%

Scotar, March 23rd, 2009

Saint Vitus's follow up to their legendary Born Too Late LP is worthy to bear the name of metal's favorite patron saint, even though to tell the truth, all of their albums are good. See the mighty V are one of those bands where you know what to expect with every album. There aren't going to be any EBM drum machines, rapping, or neoclassical guitar shredding; just solid no-frills doom metal by four burnt out hippies.

This is something that is completely lacking in today's metal and even of the glorious days of old, a band with something good that decides to max out 7 albums with little changes and simple-to-heart honesty that's a breath of fresh air from the pretentious theology-obsessed kvlt black metal that dominates the scene at the moment. Those who always demand something new and shiny, with a lot of whiz bang gimmicks and over-board technicality, take warning, Saint Vitus is for those who think that if ain't broke, don't fix it.

On Mournful Cries, the big V decide to mix up the sound a little bit without changing the fundamentals. You still have the traditional blues-based doom that the V are masters in. Wino is at the helm and he personally is my favorite as frontman for Vitus and his gruff, masculine better suited thier mud caked sound than Reager's gothic tone. Dave Chndler still does his wah-molesting leads and the bass and drums rumble along in true Cro-Magnon glory. What is key to their sound is the subtlety and emotion that lies behind those simple roadhouse riffs. Saint Vitus create the perfect soundtrack to the great biker tragedy that was never filmed. This is a dark journey down that desolate highway in America where heroin and suicide wait the ill-fated protagonist. But the band trudges along anyway, saying a big fuck you to the world in the process.

This is one of their more complex and diverse albums, not that complex from a technical standpoint but theres a few curveballs now and then. The uptempo opener The Creeps takes the listener by surprise but are soon greeted by the familiar roar of Dragon Time. Other surprises include the apocalyptic drum domination at the end of Shooting Gallery and the drawn out drone of The Troll which even for Vitus feels lethargic (but in a good way). Overall the sound is sounds like a more nuanced and slighlty better produced Born Too Late.

While this isn't my favorite work from this band (that would go to Die Healing) all of their albums are good and this is one of their albums. So if you like solid, no-bullshit metal, go out and buy this instead of the new Mastodon.