Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2024
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Privacy Policy

Saint Vitus > Saint Vitus > Reviews > The_Nose_of_Coney_Island
Saint Vitus - Saint Vitus

Homeless Hymns to a Nostalgic Nuisance - 70%

The_Nose_of_Coney_Island, May 15th, 2024

In his cramped yet cozy office, overflowing with dusty Cyrillic-scripted tomes and an ever-growing pile of NWOTHM vinyl releases, the Park Inspector slumped, musing wistfully on drearier times. The ability of Ivan Nostrilovich Sniffalov, once of the dreaded Okhrana, to shake off the sodden chains of Petersburg bureaucracy had been noted by more than one astounded critic as little less than miraculous.

Once off the boat in the New World, he had plied the immigration authorities with incessant, yet stealthily precise, questions as to where the finest supply of new metal music could be had. "Coney Island" had been the uniform reply. And so, the adventures of the once-feared apparatchik morphed seamlessly into the new and busy life of a Coney Island Park Inspector. It was in this capacity that he now received occasional visitors, most often the indefatigable local postman who supplied his requested metallic goods.

It was on a cold February morning that a particularly notable item caught the Inspector's attention. "Humph!", he harrumphed, nearly choking on a Nathan's Famous hot dog laden with Beluga caviar after the Tartar fashion. "God's in his Heaven and the Tsar is far away! Do my eyes deceive me? I could swear it's a new Saint Vitus album!"

Upon further scrutiny, the 31.43 cm hunk of cardboard proved indeed to be the most recent release by the celebrated Los Angeles doom brigade. The mere existence of such a rare beast filled the Inspector's heart with joy and his nostrils with the scent of crusty leather, sweat-covered guitar straps, and the metallic whiff of overdriven, slowly corroding Marshall speakers.

He eagerly placed the shiny black disc onto the bulky Victrola and cranked the handle in keen anticipation. Immediately, the office was filled with a colossal thud. The Gibson tone of axeman Dave Chandler, now delivered via a Flying V in place of his well-traveled SG, still retained its mournful, yet scabrous, tone. Newer inmates Pat Bruders and Henry Vasquez contributed to their share of the fiasco, delivering solemn support to the Sabbath-tributing riffs and Blue Cheer-ish squalls essayed by their biker-bearded overlord.

Dirge followed slow-to-mid-paced, sociopathic dirge for an unusually long-winded (by Vitus standards) 41 minutes. As concerned park denizens poked their heads through the office door to ascertain whether the stylus was not ensconced in motion-slowing quicksand, the Inspector's nostrils were suddenly filled with the scent of abrupt revelation. The vocal lines floating atop this sludgy, yet oddly airy, concoction were not those of "Wino", an aptly named gentleman whose boozy, plodding rasps were synonymous with acknowledged classics a la "Dying Inside" and "Living Backwards."

It took the Inspector several moments to realize that this latest release conveyed the return of no less than the infamous Scott Reagers, the wailing Nosferatu of yore. Indeed, the voice whose sepulchral tones imbued the earliest releases with undead vigor seemed oddly appropriate for this outing. His dulcet corpse emissions gravely dignified such lyrical gems as "Say your prayers, or I'll say them for you" and "The sun has split, it's brain dead."

The afternoon waned during multiple spins on the aging Victrola, leaving the Inspector free to finalize his various conclusions. As the lone Inspector patrolling the park during its off-season, he had plenty of time to himself with which to mull over his future. Similarly, the aging, Yeti-scruffed hulks comprising one of his favorite musical outfits were themselves at a crossroads. Unlike previous outings, this particular self-titled disc clearly showed signs of weariness and existential exhaustion. Clearly a step or two had been lost, though where it had vanished to was beyond the Inspector's paygrade.

Tracks like "12 Years in the Tomb" and "Bloodshed" were certainly lively, laden with Iommi-vintage rhythm lines and plenty of atonal Morse-coding feedback. "Useless" finished things off nicely with a bit of a history lesson for youngsters whose idea of "hardcore" was Soul Glo and the like. However, other offerings, such as the lyrically redundant "Wormhole" and the interminably overstretched reminiscent-of-and-as-quickly-rejected-by-late-era-Candlemass snoozer, "Last Breath", depressed rather than intrigued him.

He replaced the nebulous groove-encrusted cylinder back into its cardboard cover, noting as he did so the image of a grainy, grey-misted "V" floating in the midst of what may have been the blue crystalline atmosphere of Neptune or merely the smoky haze of a dumpster fire. With a sigh that exhaled through his nostrils like the weary bleat of an untuned French horn, he drew his notebook out of his overcoat pocket and jotted down the conclusive figure of "70%."