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In ’84 it was an odd alliance indeed for a mostly punk/HC label like SST to sign a crew of hippie doom metal stoners. But music makes really weird bedfellows, and so it was. See Saint Vitus were (alongside The Obsessed and Pentagram) one of the U.S.’s first post Sabbath doom metal bands to scurry out of the marijuana haze and record.
And in the course of only five cuts, Saint Vitus made a louder sonic doom boom than any other band to that point. Hell, now that I think of it, I dunno if the term “doom metal” had even been invented yet! But I, as almost always, digress. Vitus’ sound at this stage was full of sonically appealing aspects. Whether it be Dave Chandler’s fuzz and wah drenched handling of his Gibson SG, or Scott Reagers’ odd, but fueled vocal style, or the massive THUD of a rhythm section that Armando Acosta and Mark Adams create. For one half of their debut the band keep matters fairly up-tempo, and both “Saint Vitus” and “Black Magic / White Magic” storm along with decent heads of steam and some truly massive riff-age as well. But for their second movement, Vitus begin their long and slow slouch towards sonic oblivion. Both “Burial at Sea” and “The Psycho Path” hover around ten minutes each, and lay on the DOOM like nobody’s business, especially the former. But in spite of their girth, both are memorably constructed, and reveal the tight versus loose style that Vitus would continue to excel at.
Much like Pentagram’s debut, the sound is pretty mud-caked and worn, but that only adds to the album’s live feel, kinda like if the band set up in your family's TV room and started jammin’. (If only!) More good work would follow, so be sure to tune into channel Vitus for more fun as their discography unfolds!