Saint Vitus - Lillie F-65 [Season of Mist - 2012]History lesson, St. Vitus began back in 1978, and to most they are the godfathers of American doom metal. Influenced by Black Sabbath, Pentagram and Black Flag, the band hustled out their early years on tours with Black Flag. Slowly their name became synonymous with doom metal. Today bands from Electric Wizard, Corrosion of Conformity, Down and Cathedral all cite the band as a clear inspiration.
Their first album in 17 years (and the first with Scott “Wino” Weinrich back on vocals since 1990’s “V” and the first album featuring Henry Vasquez on drums) is not so much of a rebirth as it is a salute to the band and their past. Yes you can hear that slow, methodic and intense feeling that is prevalent in all their releases. Yet with Lillie F-65 it is an affirmation to what St. Vitus is as a band.
Lillie F-65 is the rare perfection bands (doom metal or otherwise) try to achieve in uniting tight musicianship, passionate vocals and articulate lyrics into a seamless display of honest emotions and compelling music.
Seven songs are here, two are instrumentals; each one a testament to sadness, hope, destiny and misery. Starting with “Let Them Fall” it is the extremely slow heaviness of the guitars, the thunderous bass of Mark Adams, the bombastic drums and emotional vocals that lend to an incredible slice of vintage St. Vitus. Every song after this only confirms that fact. The two instrumentals “Vertigo”, a lazy melancholic guitar piece and “Withdraw” a hyper-intense din of feedback and distortion all courtesy of guitarist Dave Chandler feed upon the framework of Lillie F-65, keeping the sadness and aggression in check all the way.
The lyrics herein punctuate the harshness of the music as on “Let Them Fall”- “Why do I beat my head against the wall-I made a simple plan-they complicate it-Now they’re near the edge-Let them fall”; and on “Dependence”- “Woke up sick again today-it doesn’t really matter-My end is here, nothing else to do- I depend on you”. The anger and slow acceptance of pain, suffering (self induced or not) and fate ooze out of every song.
The fact that it’s all over in 33 minutes is a testament of the bands ability to create songs that get to the point. St. Vitus have influenced a myriad of bands not only in the metal genre but outside of it too. Where would bands like Trouble, Electric Wizard and Candlemass be without St. Vitus; and to that extent where would St. Vitus be without Black Sabbath and Pentagram? 30 Years on and they still are creating music that defines a genre while building on the foundation, upholding the sound and intensity brilliantly.Viktorya Kaufholz