Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus, “Born too Late” Live at Roadburn 2009; 35th Anniversary Tour Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 12th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Kind of hard to believe it’s been five years already since Saint Vitus got going again. But it has. It was April 2009 that the Wino-fronted lineup of the ultra-seminal doom four-piece arrived on stage at the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, the Netherlands, and began the reunion that would lead to numerous North American and European tours since and the band’s first album in 17 years, 2012′s Lillie: F-65 (review here) on Season of Mist, for which a follow-up is reportedly in the works. They were celebrating 30 years at the time since Dave Chandler, Mark Adams and Armando Acosta founded the band as Tyrant in 1979 (then-vocalist Scott Reagers was obviously absent). In May, they’ve announced, they’ll embark on a West Coast run to celebrate their 35th anniversary playing 1986′s landmark Born too Late album in full.

Granted, at the average Vitus show — and yes, I do realize how fortunate I am to be able to speak of seeing them on “average” terms — you’re sure to hear the Born too Late title-track, usually in the encore, plus the speedier “Clear Windowpane,” and alcohol-induced “Dying Inside,” but side B tracks like “H.A.A.G.,” “The Lost Feeling” and “The War Starter” are rarer finds, so the chance to hear the whole thing front to back is something special to mark a worthy occasion. Vitus will be joined by emergent Portland, Oregon, rockers Sons of Huns, whom I was fortunate enough to catch recently at Hawthorne Theatre in their hometown (review here), for the tour which starts May 8 in Albuquerque, New Mexico and runs until it hits Dallas on May 25.

To celebrate the celebration, it seemed fitting to dip back to where this reunion started, to that reunion gig on the Main Stage at Roadburn 2009. If I’m not mistaken, they played a warmup show in New Orleans prior to leaving for Europe, but still, this was their official return, and they haven’t looked back since. The clip below of “Born too Late” is a little blown out and cuts off at the end — high definition-quality video recording was not as ubiquitous half a decade ago as it seems to be now, though I still can’t seem to manage it — but it should be enough to give some idea of how triumphant a return that of Saint Vitus was, and just how powerful they were when they took that stage.

Video and tour dates follow. Happy Wino Wednesday:

Saint Vitus, “Born too Late” Live at Roadburn 2009

SAINT VITUS: Legendary Doom Metal Icons Announce Thirty-Fifth Anniversary Tour

Legendary doom metal icons, SAINT VITUS, are pleased to announce a very special run of live rituals to celebrate their astounding thirty-fifth anniversary! Sponsored by Scion AV, the tour will commence on May 8th in Albuquerque and wind its way through fifteen cities, coming to a close on May 25th in Dallas. The band will be performing the planet-rumbling Born Too Late album — the first SAINT VITUS outing to feature the imperious voice of Scott “Wino” Weinrich — in its entirety alongside other renowned VITUS hymns. The band will be joined by Portland stoner rock power trio Sons Of Huns, supporting their recently released Banishment Ritual full-length on EasyRider Records. Comments the band of their coveted spot on the tour, “We can’t be any more stoked to support one of the finest purveyors of doom and crush many cities in our wake!” Tickets go on sale Friday, March 14th.

Starting April 1st, Scion AV will be giving away two pairs of tickets to every club show via Twitter. See www.scionav.com for details.

SAINT VITUS w/ Sons Of Huns
5/08/2014 Launch Pad – Albuquerque, NM
5/09/2014 Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
5/10/2014 Cheyenne Saloon – Las Vegas, NV
5/11/2014 The Observatory (Psycho De Mayo Fest) – Santa Ana, CA
5/13/2014 The Echo – Los Angeles, CA
5/14/2014 SLO Brew – San Luis Obispo, CA
5/15/2014 Strummer’s – Fresno, CA
5/16/2014 Thee Parkside – San Francisco, CA
5/17/2014 Branx – Portland, OR
5/18/2014 Highline – Seattle, WA
5/20/2014 In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT
5/21/2014 Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO
5/23/2014 Red 7 (Outside) – Austin, TX
5/24/2014 Fitzgerald’s Downstairs – Houston, TX
5/25/2014 Three Links – Dallas, TX

SAINT VITUS:
Dave Chandler – guitar
Scott Weinrich – vocals
Mark Adams – bass
Henry Vasquez – drums

https://www.facebook.com/saintvitusofficial
https://www.facebook.com/SonsofHunspdx
https://www.facebook.com/scionavmetal

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Dave Chandler of Saint Vitus

Posted in Questionnaire on February 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

In many ways, Dave Chandler and Saint Vitus are inseparable. You cannot have one without the other. Since founding the band as Tyrant in 1979, Chandler has been Vitus‘ principle songwriter and lyricist, presiding over some of American doom’s most essential works in albums like 1984′s Saint Vitus, 1986′s Born too Late and 1990′s V on SST and Hellhound Records. When Vitus were once again laid to rest after a 2003 reunion, Chandler formed Debris Inc. with Trouble‘s Ron Holzner on bass and a host of drummers, including Henry Vasquez, who’d later replace Armando Acosta in Vitus after they got together again in 2009 for a reunion that has, to date, stuck, resulting in tours around the world and their first studio outing since 1995′s Die Healing, the 2012 Season of Mist release Lillie: F-65 (review here), a tour de force of Vitus‘ trademark no-frills, no-letup doom that only served to demonstrate how many others in their wake have taken their influence but not managed to capture the same vibe — that’s not to say “magic” — that makes Saint Vitus wholly distinct in their approach.

In 2012, Vitus officially released the limited Marbles in the Moshpit, a former bootleg live album on vinyl, and they’ve worked with Scion A/V on two releases, 2012′s Live EP and a split single with The Casualties. A stage presence like none other, Chandler lives in New Orleans and reportedly has songs in progress for a follow-up to Lillie: F-65. As anyone who’s ever read his lyrics knows, he’s a master of word economy, and that’s as true as ever in his answers to The Obelisk Questionnaire.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Dave Chandler

How did you come to do what you do?

I learned how to play music very young in grade school and it eventually progressed to rock and roll.

Describe your first musical memory.

Playing the coronet, small trumpet, in the grade school band.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

That would have to be when we headlined the second stage at Hellfest in 2009.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

When we stuck to our guns and played what we wanted during what we called “the punk rock wars” within the first two years when we were signed with SST. Eventually we gained the respect of the people that didn’t like us because we refused change.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

That depends on oneself, but in can lead to a betterment of what you create.

How do you define success?

If you are happy with what you are doing, regardless of what it is, and you are happy with your life… you are successful.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Dead bodies on the street.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

Our next album.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

The legalization of marijuana throughout the United States.

Saint Vitus on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist

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Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus, Lillie: F-65 in Full

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Is it too soon? It doesn’t feel too soon. It’s been over a year and a half since Saint Vitus released their comeback long-player Lillie: F-65 (review here) through Season of Mist, adding studio work to the live reunion that began on stage at Roadburn 2009. The four-piece — guitarist Dave Chandler, vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Henry Vasquez — recorded the album with Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed while on a West Coast tour, and though to have put it to tape and mixed over the course of just a few days seems awfully quick, it was actually the longest the band, who began as Tyrant in 1979 and for whom Lillie: F-65 would serve as their eighth album and first in 17 years, had ever spent in the studio.

I said at the time and I still feel like what the album did best was capture the spirit of Vitus‘ classic Wino-fronted material. It was simple, but in being simple, that much easier to screw up. Chandler‘s guitar tone sounds dead-on to what he delivers live on “Let Them Fall” and “The Bleeding Ground,” and there’s no studio trickery or excess to it. At 34 minutes, Vitus are as aesthetically lean and efficient as they always were, and while it would’ve been a surprise on multiple levels had they emerged from the studio with some overblown, multi-layered prog opera, that they didn’t only served to reaffirm how much they, as a long-running act, still had to offer in terms of progression and staying true to what works within their sound. Lillie: F-65 has little room for screwing around — even the Wino-penned guitar interlude “Vertigo” is brief, and I’ll argue all day that “Withdrawal” is as necessary a finish as an album can have, even though it’s basically just feedback — and spends its time instead handing down visceral judgments, plodding riffs and the sense of unease that made Vitus distinguished from their peers during their initial run and continues to stand them out today.

It would be easy to go on, to talk about Chandler‘s lyrics and Wino‘s vocals, Adams‘ basslines in “The Bleeding Ground,” or Vasquez stepping in to fill the role of original drummer Armando Acosta, or my hopes for a new album if not in 2014 then early next year, but at this point, Lillie: F-65 has been around long enough to speak for itself. Probably better to do that than ramble.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Saint Vitus, Lillie: F-65 (2012)

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Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus, Mournful Cries in Full

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 8th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Granted, when it was released in 1988, Mournful Cries had a damn near impossible task in following 1986′s Born too Late, but no matter how you want to look at it, the two are very different records. The eye-catching bright pink of the earlier album cover is replaced by a grand dragon unfolding its wings, guitarist Dave Chandler shows a budding interest in getting on the mic, and instead of the inward-looking judgments of “I was born too late/And I’ll never be like you,” songs like “Dragon Time” and “Shooting Gallery” turned their eye outward, storytelling rather than describing. Maybe that’s simplifying it — certainly there were tracks on Born too Late that examined the world around them and told stories (“The War Starter,” to an extent) — but Mournful Cries wound up with a vibe much changed from its predecessor for coming only two years later.

It was the second of three full-lengths (the Thirsty and Miserable EP arrived directly after Born too Late, in 1987) in Scott “Wino” Weinrich‘s first tenure as the band’s vocalist, and with Born too Late on one side and 1990′s V on the other, Mournful Cries is very much the middle child. Vitus was moving away from the simplicity at root in their approach, and the songs were less grounded musically and lyrically as a result. “Dragon Time” is a good example of this — what did Vitus know about a medieval thematic? — but even if it or “The Troll” were intended as metaphors, the simple fact that metaphor was used at all was a step forward, though again, “The War Starter” touched on some of that idea without going quite as far. V would combine both approaches successfully, resulting in landmark Vitus cuts like “I Bleed Black” and “Angry Man,” but Mournful Cries brought elements at work in the band’s sound to the fore that never were there before and never were there again in quite the same way.

I don’t think Mournful Cries gets the kind of acclaim as Born too Late or V, and part of that is down to the lack of an outsider-epic like “Born too Late” or “Angry Man” — “The Troll” is probably as close as the LP gets, and Vitus still play the song live — but it’s got its place in the Saint Vitus canon and for both how it relates to the rest of the discography and what it has to offer on its own level, it’s easily worth another listen.

Please enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Saint Vitus, Mournful Cries (1988)

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Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus’ “Ice Monkey” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 18th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

For the most part, the Saint Vitus video for “Ice Monkey” is standard operating procedure. The clip comes culled from a variety of sources — studio footage, live footage and a performance section that seems to have been put together just for the shoot. There’s also some material that looks like it was filmed on tour. As that was about 23 years ago, that would’ve been something of a novelty at the time for a band of Vitus‘ stature and probably required a sizable piece of equipment. At the start of the clip, there’s a shot where they’re playing to one person — entirely possible that’s a soundcheck and even if not, I’m sure it’s a joke at their own expense because if you’re not looking to laugh about it you don’t put that in your video, but my understanding is they had more than a few shows where that kind of thing happened.

The real kicker about “Ice Monkey” is that Wino‘s playing guitar the whole time. Of course, he always contributed some to Vitus over his years in the band, it’s just strange to see it in the context of the video looking like business as usual. I don’t know how much he would’ve shared duties with Dave Chandler – who, if you catch it, has some pretty righteous costuming going on in the video — but it definitely doesn’t happen these days and must have created an interesting dynamic on stage. With Chandler being such a presence on guitar, and 1990′s V, from which “Ice Monkey” comes, being the last Vitus album with Wino on it until last year’s Lillie: F-65, it’s easy to read some measure of veering interest there before Wino went off to revive The Obsessed full-time, but who the hell knows what the situation actually was at that moment. Other than the band, I guess.

It’s a pretty rough quality video — there are a couple different versions out there, one with worse sound, one with decent video and audio, but that cuts off the last 20 seconds or so — but should be enough for you to get the idea. Please enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Saint Vitus, “Ice Monkey” official video

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Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus, “Let Them Fall” Live in Cambridge, Oct. 2013

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 6th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ve had my eye out for footage from the latest Saint Vitus East Coast tour more or less since it started, and some has started to surface. The tour ran for three weeks, 21 days exactly, from Oct. 4 to Oct. 25, and along with support from Pallbearer and The Hookers and Gozu, Vitus hit the Middle East in Cambridge on Oct. 15. It was an early show, and a fantastic show (review here), and I felt fortunate to see all the bands, but especially Saint Vitus again, since they’re a group who just a few years ago I never imagined I would hear play live. And with as tight as vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, guitarist Dave Chandler, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Henry Vasquez have gotten over the last couple years and as smoothly as the newer songs from 2012′s Lillie: F-65 (review here) have been integrated with the many classics from the Vitus catalog, it was all the more a pleasure to witness.

Among the cuts that most easily meshed with Vitus‘ legacy material was the single “Let Them Fall.” Shorter than some of the others on Lillie: F-65 and stripped down to its bare structural essentials in the tradition of “Born too Late” or “I Bleed Black,” it made for a perfect single to the album, which came across likewise as a continuation of the spirit of Saint Vitus at their Wino-fronted grittiest. A strong hook, a harsh lyrical righteousness, a slow plod and that tonal “voom” that nobody since Chandler has been able to make come from an amplifier in quite the same way — “Let Them Fall” had everything most essential about 21st century Saint Vitus. It was also the band’s first-ever video, which Chandler mentioned on stage at the Middle East, giving a special fuck-off to the “internet critics” who didn’t get the message of the clip in the process. Hardly a group of people who need to be taken down a peg, but fair enough.

The back of my silly big head is front and center for that rant and the rest of the video below, but other than that, it makes a great addition to Wino Wednesday and I hope that more from this tour begins to show up. Until then, enjoy:

Saint Vitus, “Let Them Fall” Live at the Middle East, Cambridge, MA, Oct. 15, 2013

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Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan Cover The Obsessed and Saint Vitus Live in 1999

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 23rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Even as far as Wino Wednesday posts go, this one’s pretty Wino‘ed out. The date was May 28, 1999, and Spirit Caravan was playing in Wheaton, Maryland, at a club called Phantasmagoria that they would play many times over their years together, both earlier as Shine and later until their breakup in 2002, and right in a row in the set the now-legendary three-piece of Scott “Wino” Weinrich, Dave Sherman and Gary Isom covered “To Protect and Serve” by The Obsessed and “Bitter Truth” by Saint Vitus. One Wino-fronted band taking on songs by two others. It couldn’t get any more Wino if the dude was wearing a Shine shirt at the time — oh wait, he was. So there you go.

Separated by a span of six years, “Bitter Truth” and “To Protect and Serve” work pretty well together, especially since it’s Spirit Caravan playing them. The Saint Vitus song appeared originally on 1988′s Mournful Cries, which is kind of the bastard child of Wino‘s first era as Saint Vitus vocalist (the second era, by the way, is happening now), sandwiched in the discography between the landmark 1986 outing, Born too Late, and 1990′s V. Cuts like “The Troll” and “Shooting Gallery” still feature in Vitus sets at least as of last week, and rightly so. Likewise, “To Protect and Serve” was a single from The Obsessed‘s 1994 swansong, The Church Within, and that material has always hit heavier live than on disc.

That’s all the more the case with Sherman‘s bass carrying the groove alongside Wino‘s riffs (nothing against Guy Pinhas, who played on the record, or Reid Raley, who’s been The Obsessed‘s bassist on their current reunion run). As Wino takes a solo around two minutes into “To Protect and Serve,” you can hear Sherman hold out notes and kick back in, and it’s telling of the kinds of grooves go on to proffer in Earthride.

Really, the tall dude up front who spends the whole time headbanging and pumping his fists has the right idea, so I’ll shut up and let this one play out. Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Spirit Caravan, “To Protect and Serve” and “Bitter Truth” live in Wheaton, MD, May 28, 1999

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Wino Wednesday Live Review: Saint Vitus, Pallbearer, The Hookers and Gozu in Boston, 10.15.13

Posted in Reviews on October 16th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I won’t lie: The fact that Saint Vitus were playing on a Tuesday night had added nerdy glee for me for Wino Wednesday prospects. I was going to the show one way or another, but the fact that I could do two years in a row of live reviews for Wino Wednesday was an extra appeal. Last September, they played Brooklyn on my wedding anniversary and it was one of the best shows I’d ever seen. Doesn’t feel like more than a year ago, but the numbers tell it. Been a hell of a year.

Including, apparently, for Saint Vitus, who rolled through the downstairs space at Boston’s famed Middle East – a name I’ve seen on lists of tour dates forever but hadn’t actually ever been to until this show; the fact that I’ve only lived here for two months might have something to do with it — with Pallbearer and The Hookers in tow. Now well past their “reunion band” novelty and into the sphere of working a tour cycle, Saint Vitus delivered probably the most professional set I’ve seen from them. Gozu had joined the bill as local support, so I made sure to arrive early at the Middle East, which was a fortunate decision for the traffic I sat in getting there, and catch the start of the show.

That itself was also early, with Gozu going on around 7:30 following 7PM doors. I parked a couple blocks away and hustled in my lurching way to get into the venue and to the front of the stage, and here’s how it went from there:

Gozu

Stop me if you’ve heard me say this about Gozu before, but the Beantown natives have hit that echelon of performance where the only thing that can possibly bring them to another level is touring. A band gets to a point where they’re so tight, so crisp in their delivery and so cohesive as a unit that just doing a show, even a relatively big one, which this was — that Middle East stage is wide, and deep; you could put a couch up there and make it your living room — is only going to do so much for them. Two albums in, Gozu have hit that point, so with the prospect of European dates around their impending Roadburn performance in the Netherlands next spring, it was a joy to watch them take a victory stomp over the hometown crowd. I hadn’t heard “Jan-Michael Vincent” from Locust Season in a while, with its funky vocal riding atop a fervent heavy rock groove, and though I still think they could milk that chorus for another round or two, it fit in well accompanied by “Ghost Wipe” from this year’s The Fury of a Patient Man (review here), from which the majority of the set was derived, though both swaggering opener “Meat Charger” and closer “Mr. Riddle” came from the earlier record, the latter following a blistering run through “Charles Bronson Pinchot” from the 2013 album. That song is about as aggressive as Gozu – guitarist/vocalist Marc Gaffney, guitarist Doug Sherman, bassist Joe Grotto and drummer Barry Spillberg, who seems only more righteously destructive every time I watch him play — have gotten to date, but even “Bald Bull,” which was comparatively unobtrusive in its studio form, was brought to life with considerable movement of air. Ditto that for “Signed, Epstein’s Mom.” I know for a fact that I’ll catch them again before they hit the road in Europe, but I’ll really be interested to see what some solid touring brings to their approach. As it was, they were an early treat well worth the rush-hour traffic to catch.

The Hookers

Monks of the First Church of Lemmy, Scientist, the Kentucky-based metalopunks The Hookers were demented, loud, energetic, and fun. How they wound up on a touring bill with Pallbearer and Saint Vitus, I have no idea, but they were a good time all the same, and seemed to revel in their standout position, frontman Adam “Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw” Neal pumping his fist to the d-beat sprint in songs like “Rock ‘n’ Roll Motherfucker,” “Black Magic” and “Black Thunder.” Even their “slow” stuff was fast and they knew it, and I’m not sure if they’ve gotten a mixed response at other shows, but they seemed to think they’d be worse received than they were. Maybe that’s part of the show, positioning themselves as hated to play up the scumbag aspect, but it’s worth noting that toward the end of the set, when bassist/backing vocalist Juan Badmutha came down from the stage into the crowd, he was almost immediately invited to partake in somebody’s PBR, which that showgoer even carefully poured into his mouth so he didn’t have to stop playing. That’s courtesy. They were a long way away from being “my thing,” but they hit hard from the stage and made no effort to pretend they weren’t enjoying themselves or that it wasn’t fun to sing songs about horror movies and booze and whatever else, and I certainly respect the hell out of that. Even from Gozu, who can be plenty uptempo when they get to it, The Hookers were a swift change, covering themselves and their audience in whiskey-soaked grit metal, unabashed in a high-speed AC/DC kind of way with several shredding guitar solos tossed off with foot-on-the-monitor command.

Pallbearer

Most of what Arkansas doomers Pallbearer played was new, as in, after the release of their 2012 full-length debut, Sorrow and Extinction (review here). Two of the songs — the set opener and another of the total three (I think) new ones — didn’t yet have vocals, but the double-guitar four-piece still used one of the instrumentals as the wrap of their set proper because, as guitarist/vocalist Brett Campbell put it, “It’s fun to play.” Campbell is emotive enough on stage to cover for lyrics most of the time anyway, and Pallbearer‘s leads, provided either by him or fellow guitarist Devin Holt, are so mournful that the feeling is conveyed one way or another as bassist Joseph D. Rowland and drummer Mark Lierly hold together the huge, spacious-sounding plod of the material, the former also putting on a headbanging clinic for anyone fortunate enough to be there to watch. Rowland had a whole side of the stage to himself, which was different from every other time I’ve seen Pallbearer Campbell was front and center, splitting Rowland and Holt, where in the past he’s been to the left, with the bassist and guitarist in subsequent left-to-right line. The shift made Campbell come across all the more like a frontman, particularly for that portion of the set which had vocals, including the distinct “Devoid of Redemption” from Sorrow and Extinction, and a surprising but potent take on Black Sabbath‘s “Over and Over,” the closing track from Mob Rules, which was the finale/epilogue to their time. It’s always a bold choice to take on Dio material, whether it’s Sabbath or not, but to their credit, Pallbearer were wise not to try to capture the same kind of feel as the original version, instead slowing it down, thickening it out, and letting Campbell deliver the lyrics — which actually fit pretty well with Pallbearer‘s consistent downer thematics — in his own style. Not only was it the shortest song in their set, but it played to an influence I wouldn’t have expected on the part of the band. A young woman in the crowd shouted, “Put out another fucking album!” and that seemed to be the prevailing sentiment all around. Hopefully in 2014.

Saint Vitus

Right in the middle of their set, just before they launched into “Let Them Fall” from last year’s über-excellent return outing, Lillie: F-65 (review here), Saint Vitus guitarist Dave Chandler got on his mic — which was there solely to address the crowd in such a manner — and say that the song was their first-ever music video and that it got panned by “internet critics,” so let the internet critics fall. That’s always a bummer. Nonetheless, Vitus absolutely destroyed. A Tuesday night, still the beginning the week, I don’t really know what I was expecting, but they came out to “Vertigo” from Lillie: F-65 and with a one-two of “Blessed Night” and “Clear Windowpane,” ignited the crowd and proceeded from there to pummel with classic after classic from their catalog. They’ve toured with some consistency since the record came out, and among the encouraging signs I took from their set was that cuts like the aforementioned “Blessed Night” and “Let Them Fall,” as well as “The Bleeding Ground” and “The Waste of Time” fit exceedingly well with essential Vitus tracks like “Living Backwards,” the anthemic “I Bleed Black” and “War is Our Destiny.” Chandler, vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Henry Vasquez looked like a band who’d been playing shows for the last 11 nights in a row — that is, set in their execution like the whole thing was muscle memory — and the crowd couldn’t have been more into it. Moshing broke out during “The Bleeding Ground,” as Chandler noted, and a couple of surprise inclusions later on like “Shooting Gallery” from 1988′s Mournful Cries and “White Stallions” from 1985′s Hallow’s Victim, which seemed to take the place of their eponymous song in closing out their regular set, made for welcome additions to “The Troll” and the other older material. Vasquez got on mic before the encore to talk up the crowd and introduce the band coming back out. Mark Adams was “Original Member Number 69″ and “the King of Beers” both, and Chandler was “Mr. Doom Himself” or something thereabouts, while Wino was the “Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla” (somebody was a wrestling fan). Each of the three came out on cue and Saint Vitus capped the night with “Dying Inside” and, of course, “Born too Late” – Wino and Chandler both hopping off stage and into the crowd during the course — which only underscored how on their game the band is some four years into what’s apparently (and thankfully) an ongoing reunion. I had some hopes in the back of my mind for a new song, as they put word out in July that Chandler has started writing for their next album, but no dice there. As dead on as they were, I could hardly call it a loss, though, especially with the comfort I get to have in saying “maybe next time” about a band who, a few short years ago, I was convinced I’d never get to see live. Fucking awesome.

As a side note to the review, I just want to say that I met John Perez from Solitude Aeturnus at the show. A personal landmark. There working for Vitus along with former The Gates of Slumber drummer J. Clyde Paradis –which if nothing else should be indicative of the respect doom has for its forebears — he’s someone I’ve been in contact with periodically for the last decade or so who’s been perennially awesome to me, whether I’ve been covering his band or stuff on his Brainticket Records label, whatever it might be, or even just generally offering me advice and shooting the shit back and forth. An all-around great dude and a hand I was very glad to have an opportunity to shake after so long.

Thanks for reading. More pics after the jump.

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Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus, “I Bleed Black” Live in Germany, 2009

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 18th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

By the time Saint Vitus did a weekender tour of the East Coast in October 2009 (the Brooklyn show was killer), they’d replaced drummer Armando Acosta with Henry Vasquez, who was brought on board having worked previously with Vitus guitarist Dave Chandler‘s Debris Inc. project in addition to front-drumming his own band, Blood of the Sun. Earlier in the year, however, Vitus played both a warmup show in New Orleans and debuted their reunion at the Roadburn festival in the Netherlands before embarking on a European tour. Blown away as I was by actually getting to see Saint Fucking Vitus play for the first time — somewhere there’s a picture of a very drunk me with a very drunk Chandler afterwards — you could tell looking at Acosta that he wasn’t healthy.

It would  be more than a year later, in December 2010 that Acosta passed away, and of course the Saint Vitus reunion was in full swing then and continues now as the band moves past their 2012 release, Lillie: F-65, and on to the prospect of a second full-length for Season of Mist. The lineup of Chandler, Vasquez, bassist Mark Adams and vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich have been back and forth to Europe a couple times at this point, and toured across the States as well, so although their original drummer didn’t live to see it, the continued success of the Vitus comeback I think says something about the timelessness of his work in the band, as well of course as that of the band overall.

Chandler spoke about his relationship with Acosta in an interview early in 2010 and about bringing Vasquez in as a replacement. It was a big deal at the time because although Vitus had been through a couple singers – Scott Reagers, Wino, Chritus Linderson — those were really the only lineup changes since they started out in 1978 as Tyrant. Subsequent touring and his work on Lillie: F-65 would prove Vasquez was indeed perfect for the drummer role — really all you had to do was watch him on stage with Adams and Chandler – but it was a surprise at the time nonetheless. Acosta‘s last tour with Vitus was that which followed Roadburn in 2009, and it’s from that run that this week’s Wino Wednesday clip comes.

Filmed in Cologne, Germany, by B-Light.tv at the Underground club, “I Bleed Black” is among Saint Vitus‘ most potent anthems. Originally appearing on the 1990 album V, it’s right up there with “Born too Late” and “Dying Inside” as some of Chandler‘s best lyrical declarations of the band’s first Wino-fronted era. Acosta sounds pretty rough here, but the band as a whole delivers an awesome rendition of the song anyway.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Saint Vitus, “I Bleed Black” Live in Cologne, Germany, April 27, 2009

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Buried Treasure: Meeting the Megabox

Posted in Buried Treasure on August 30th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Here’s the story of how I came into possession of over 250 audio and video bootlegs all at once:

A few weeks ago, when I could still consider myself gainfully employed and not go into some kind of simultaneous laugh-cry about it, I got an email from a dude who reads the site. Knowing I’d almost certainly post about it later, he asked pretty early on not to be named. He said he had a bunch of live stuff from Wino he was looking to get rid of, that he’d been a big CDR and DVDR trader for bootlegs over the years and had got together a good collection. Needless to say, my interest was piqued.

He wrote that he wanted it to go to “a good home.” I said I was happy to provide one and to send over his list. I’ve never traded boots, but I know that in the days when physical trading was a thing, you were your list. He sent it over and I read it in slow motion. As advertised, there was a ton of Wino, from The Obsessed playing in 1983 and Warhorse at their high school in 1978 up to Saint Vitus in New Orleans in 2009, with a healthy dose of Shine/Spirit Caravan and The Hidden Hand stuff in between, audio and video. I found a video of a show from The Hidden Hand that I went to at the Khyber Pass in Philly, Feb. 5, 2004. I’m pretty sure you can see my big goofy head in the shot.

But the Winory is just the start of it. From The Atomic Bitchwax live at Roadburn in 2003 to shows from Warning, Valkyrie and a slew of sets recorded at Emissions from the Monolith (there’s a lot of “Live in Youngstown, OH” in late May 2003 and 2004), there are gigs from Revelation, Solace, Blood Farmers, YOB, Buried at Sea, Goatsnake, Test-Site and Acid King, Iron Man and Paul Chain. I said to the guy that I’d take everything on the list, and that’s just what I did. For $100 to cover the cost of discs, sleeves and shipping, I got 266 discs, some with more than one show included on them.

Here’s the full list:

Live & Demo CDs
35007, Roadburn Festival 2003
Abdullah, Cleveland, OH 10/18/01
Acid King, Baltimore, MD 10/2/00
Acid King, San Francisco, CA 7/16/01
Acid Mothers Temple, Chicago, IL 10/20/02 (2 CDs)
Agony Bag, Piss Out Your Trash Demo
Asylum, Demos 1986-88 (3 CDs)
Asylum, Baltimore, MD 4/13/07
Atomic Bitchwax, New Jersey 9/10/99
Atomic Bitchwax, Roadburn Festival 2001
Atomic Bitchwax, Berlin, Germany 5/11/04
Atomic Bitchwax, Switzerland 5/6/05
Dax Riggs, The Skeletal Circus Derails – Demo
Dead Meadow, Peel Sessions 2002
Deadboy & The Elephantmen, Demos
Deadboy & The Elephantmen, 10/9/03 Lafayette, La
Debris Inc., Cincinnati, OH 5/27/04
The Dictators, Asbury Park, NJ 6/8/91
The Dictators, Philadelphia, PA 5/30/98
Fu Manchu, Sweden 6/18/99
Grand Magus, Demo + Live 3/30/02 London
Helmet, Compilation (Rare, B-Sides Etc.)
Helmet, Blacktop 2/28/91
Helmet, New Orleans, La 8/5/91
High Rise, NYC, New York 3/14/00
House Of Large Sizes, I.O.W.A. – Live
House Of Large Sizes, Iowa City, IA 8/11/90
House Of Large Sizes, Davenport, IA 2/9/91 (2 CDs)
House Of Large Sizes, Cedar Falls, IA 8/16/90
House Of Large Sizes, Cedar Falls, IA 2/16/91 (2 CDs)
Internal Void, Frederick, MD 6/13/98
Internal Void, Indianapolis, IN 6/19/04
Iron Boss, Baltimore, MD 12/31/02
Iron Man, Force (Pre Iron Man)
Iron Man, Frederick, MD 12/31/07
Iron Man, Cincinnati, OH 3/14/00
Kyuss, Black Jeweler (B-Sides Etc)
Kyuss, San Francisco, CA 11/12/94
Kyuss, Desert Heavies
Kyuss, Desert Storm
Kyuss, Live At Bizzare Fest
Kyuss, Mercurious Pools
Kyuss, Norfolk, VA 12/18/92
Kyuss, To Infinity And Beyond
Kyuss, “Sons Of Kyuss “”Demo”" 39 Mins.”
Kyuss, Muchas Gracias
Nebula, Sweden 6/15/00
Opeth, Chicago, IL 10/02
Orange Goblin, Osaka, Japan 6/11/99
Orange Goblin, Austin, TX 5/10/02
Orange Goblin, Cincinatti, OH 5/27/04
Pale Divine, Frederick, MD 6/13/98
Pale Divine, Wheaton, MD 6/18/99
Paul Chain, Rimini, Italy 4/10/82
Paul Chain, Milan, It 1/15/90 (2 CDs)
Saint Vitus, First Album Demos
Saint Vitus, Koln, Germany 3/12/95
Saint Vitus, Firburgo, Swi 3/17/89
Saint Vitus, Torino 12/02/90 + L.A. 1984 (2 CDs)
Saint Vitus, Brain Sabbath – Boot
Saint Vitus, Washington, D.C. – 4/2/86 (2 CDs)
Saint Vitus, (Tyrant) Rehearsal 1978
Saint Vitus, Torino, Italy (2 CDs) 3/29/89
Saint Vitus, Tilburg, Holland (2 CDs) 4/24/09
Shine, Washington, D.C.2/13/98
Shine, Hagerstown, MD 5/14/98
Shine, Powertime E.P. + 3 Live + 9/20/97
Shine, Dallas 5/21/98 + Interview
Shine, Live 1997
Shine, Wheaton, MD 12/31/98
Shine, Washington, D.C. 12/13/97 (2 CDs)
Shine, NYC, NY 8/15/98 (Cuts)
Shine, Wheaton, MD 12/31/97
Shine, Washington, D.C. 8/10/97 (Slight Glitches)
Shine, Washington, D.C. 10/29/98
Shine, Baltimore, MD 8/16/98
Shine, Frederick, MD 9/20/97
Shine, College Park, MD 8/21/98
Shine, Washington, D.C. 6/6/97
Sixty Watt Shaman, 6/26/99
Solstice, Demos 1992-93
Spirit Caravan, Long Branch, N.J. 7/8/99
Spirit Caravan, Chicago, IL 4/26/02
Spirit Caravan, San Francisco, CA 7/16/01 (Glitches)
Spirit Caravan, St. Louis, MO 4/23/02
Spirit Caravan, U.K. 12/1/01
Spirit Caravan, Philadelphia, PA 8/3/01
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 5/15/99
Spirit Caravan, Wheaton, MD 8/14/99 (39 Min)
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 7/27/00
Spirit Caravan, Maryland 5/18/01
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 5/4/02
Spirit Caravan, Chicago, IL 7/26/01
Spirit Caravan, Brooklyn, NY 5/2/02
Spirit Caravan, New York City, NY 1/16/00
Spirit Caravan, Old Bridge, NJ 1/21/01
Spirit Caravan, Long Branch, NJ 2/18/00
Spirit Caravan, Cambridge, MA 8/1/01
Spirit Caravan, Munich, Germany 9/14/99
Spirit Caravan, Denmark 9/22/00
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 5/3/99
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 7/22/00
Spirit Caravan, Baltimore, MD 10/02/00
Spirit Caravan, Wheaton, MD 12/31/98
Spirit Caravan, Wheaton, MD 1/12/00
Spirit Caravan, Toledo, OH 1/14/01
Spirit Caravan, Youngstown, OH 9/3/00
Spirit Caravan, Youngstown, OH 5/27/01
Spirit Caravan, Toledo, OH 4/27/02
Spirit Caravan, Washington, D.C. 10/4/00 (Gaps)
The Hidden Hand, Pittsburgh, PA 2/12/07
The Obsessed, History Of Vol. 1 (Doom Records)
The Obsessed, History Of Volume 2 (Doom Recs)
The Obsessed, Live At The Wax Museum (Doom Recs)
The Obsessed, Washington, D.C. 3/14/85
The Obsessed, 9 Song Demo
The Obsessed, Various ’80′s Live
The Obsessed, Tucson, AZ 7/31/92
The Obsessed, Tucson, AZ 10/15/92
The Obsessed, Columbia Studio Session
The Obsessed, FM Broadcast December 1992
The Obsessed, Stuttgart, Germany 12/28/92
The Obsessed, Carrboro, NC 4/19/94
Trouble, Stuttgart, Germany 1/2/93
Trouble, One For The Road
Trouble, Aurora, IL 5/4/02 (2 CDs)
Trouble, South Barrington, IL 5/18/02 (2 CDs)
Unida, Chico, CA 5/24/00
Unida, Vienna 11/5/00
Unida, Unreleased 2002
Unorthodox, Asylum Demos 12/15/90
Unorthodox, Frederick, MD 10/14/00
Unorthodox, Frederick, MD 12/31/07
Unorthodox, Baltimore, MD 4/14/07
Wino, Tilberg, Holland 4/26/09
Wino, Athens, Greece 10/12/10

DVDs
Acid Mothers Temple, 4/22/07 Charlottesville, VA 80 Min
Alabama Thunderpussy, 11/4/06 Richmond, VA 62 Min
Asylum, 6/26/88 College Park, MD 115 Min
Atomic Bitchwax, 1/12/99 New York City, NY 64 Min
Atomic Bitchwax, 7/8/05 Baltimore, MD 63 Min
Atomic Bitchwax, 11/23/05 Washington, D.C. 54 Min
Blood Farmers, 4/15/07 Baltimore, MD 57 Min
Brant Bjork & The Bros, 5/21/05 Washington, D.C. 78 Min
Buried at Sea, 5/29/04 Youngstown, OH 30 Min
Clearlight, 8/14/99 Wheaton, MD 49 Min
Dead Meadow, 6/16/06 Washington, D.C. 46 Min
Debris Inc. – 5/29/04 Youngstown, OH 45 Min
Delicious, 5/27/04 Youngstown, OH 33 Min
Dixie Witch, 5/27/06 Youngstown, OH 42 Min
Doomed Nation, Volume 1 2004 65 Min
Doomed Nation, Volume 2 2005 85 Min
Dragon Ass, 9/5/03 Baltimore, MD 38 Min
Earthride, 9/3/05 Frederick, MD 18 Min
Earthride, 11/23/05 Washington, D.C. 34 Min
Fu Manchu, 1/30/96 Los Angeles, CA 38 Min
Goatsnake – 5/24/99 – Eindhoven, Germany 55 Min
Grief, 5/27/06 Youngstown, OH 57 Min
High On Fire, 12/15/04 Richmond, VA 65 Min
Hounds Of Hasselvander, 3/14/08 Washington, D.C. 65 Min
Internal Void, 8/28/04 Washington, D.C. 60 Min
Internal Void, 3/4/05 Baltimore, MD 28 Min
Internal Void, 9/3/05 Frederick, MD 69 Min
Internal Void, 11/23/05 Washington, D.C. 48 Min
Internal Void / Kelly Carmichael, 12/10/05 Frederick, MD 101 Min
Iron Man, 12/31/99 Wheaton, MD 68 Min
Iron Man, 4/15/07 Baltimore, MD 57 Min
King Valley, 9/5/03 Baltimore, MD 31 Min
King Valley, 8/28/04 Washington, D.C. 32 Min
King Valley, 3/4/05 Baltimore, MD 39 Min
King Valley, 5/26/05 Youngstown, OH 27 Min
King Valley, 6/25/05 Newark, DE 36 Min
King Valley, 9/3/05 Frederick, MD 34 Min
King Valley, 2/3/06 Leesburg, VA 40 Min
Kramer, Wayne, 7/13/02 Baltimore, MD 70 Min
MC5 / DKT, 6/18/04 Washington, D.C. 81 Min
Nebula, 6/2/02 Baltimore, MD 50 Min
Nitroseed, 6/2/05 Washington, D.C. 39 Min
Ogre, 4/14/07 Baltimore, MD 46 Min
Ostinato, 5/26/04 Washington, D.C. 48 Min
Ostinato, 10/29/04 Washington, D.C. 40 Min
Pearls & Brass / The Amoeba Men, 1/29/06 Richmond, VA 80 Min
Penance, 4/14/07 Baltimore, MD 63 Min
Revelation I, 4/14/07 Baltimore, MD 63 Min
Revelation II, 4/15/07 Baltimore, MD 57 Min
Revelation, 3/14/08 Washington, D.C. 65 Min
Rwake, 5/29/04 Youngstown, OH 40 Min
Saint Vitus, 7/21/87 Albany, NY 53 Min
Saint Vitus, 1987 Indianapolis, IN 42 Min
Saint Vitus, 1993 Florida 100 Min
Saint Vitus, 7/1/03 Chicago, IL 56 Min
Saint Vitus, 4/11/09 New Orleans, LA
Shine, 12/29/96 Columbus, OH 27 Min
Shine, 2/14/97 Baltimore, MD 31 Min
Shine, 4/12/97 Washington, D.C. 54 Min
Shine, 8/15/97 Wheaton, MD 75 Min
Shine, 10/18/97 Wheaton, MD 65 Min
Solace, 5/28/04 Youngstown, OH 51 Min
Solace, 7/3/04 Baltimore, MD 30 Min
Solace, 9/5/04 Youngstown, OH 44 Min
Spirit Caravan, 7/8/99 Long Branch, NJ 61 Min
Spirit Caravan, 7/10/99 Richmond, VA 55 Min
Spirit Caravan, 8/14/99 Wheaton, MD 84min
Spirit Caravan, 2/2/00 Richmond, VA 59 Min
Spirit Caravan, 2/14/00 Cleveland, OH 67 Min
Spirit Caravan, 4/15/00 Youngstown, OH 53 Min
Spirit Caravan, 7/22/00 Baltimore, MD 28 Min
Spirit Caravan, 12/12/00 Hungary 68 Min
Spirit Caravan, 2/9/01 Springfield, VA 42 Min
Spirit Caravan, 5/18/01 Baltimore, MD 70 Min
Spirit Caravan, 8/1/01 Cambridge, MA 65 Min
Spirit Caravan, 1/19/02 Baltimore, MD 50 Min
Spirit Caravan, 5/2/02 Philadelphia, PA 60 Min
Spirit Caravan, 5/4/02 Baltimore, MD 56 Min
Stinking Lizaveta, 5/29/04 Youngstown, OH 40 Min
Suzukiton, 12/15/04 Richmond, VA 35 Min
Suzukiton – 5/29/07 Charlottesville, VA 38 Min
Test Site, 9/5/04 Youngstown, OH 35 Min
Test-Site, 6/1/05 Washington, D.C. 39 Min
The Hidden Hand, 12/31/02 Baltimore, MD 37 Min
The Hidden Hand- 2/22/03 Washington, D.C. 48 Min
The Hidden Hand, 6/24/03 Baltimore, MD 47 Min
The Hidden Hand, 8/29/03 Washington, D.C. 63 Min
The Hidden Hand, 1/16/04 Baltimore, MD 50 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/5/04 Philadelphia, PA 60 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/10/04 Baltimore, MD 45 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/12/04 Lancaster, PA 30 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/13/04 Washington, D.C. 45 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/25/04 Washington, D.C. 54 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/26/04 Washington, D.C. 52 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/29/04 Youngstown, OH 42 Min
The Hidden Hand, 10/28/04 Philadelphia, PA 56 Min
The Hidden Hand, 10/29/04 Washington, D.C. 67 Min
The Hidden Hand, 1/15/05 Washington, D.C. 52 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/12/05 Gaithersburg, MD 45 Min
The Hidden Hand, 4/16/05 Washington, D.C. 51 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/20/05 Hartford, CT 48 Min
The Hidden Hand, 6/25/05 Newark, DE 52 Min
The Hidden Hand, 7/2/05 Washington, D.C. 47 Min
The Hidden Hand, 12/29/06 Washington, D.C. 56 Min
The Hidden Hand, 2/9/07 St. Paul, MN 60 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/13/07 London, England 60 Min
The Obsessed, 1993 Fort Worth, TX 27 Min
The Obsessed, 4/18/94 Hampton, VA 36 Min
The Obsessed, 4/19/94 Carrboro, NC 40 Min
The Obsessed – Documentary 27 Min
Trephine, 12/11/04 Baltimore, MD 28 Min
Unorthodox, 6/19/04 Tradesmen Party 22 Min
Unorthodox, 7/31/04 Washington, D.C. 44 Min
Unorthodox – 9/4/04 Youngstown, OH 48 Min
Unorthodox, 4/14/07 Baltimore, MD 74 Min
Valkyrie, 3/4/05 Baltimore, MD 39 Min
Valkyrie, 11/4/06 Richmond, VA 37 Min
Valkyrie, 3/9/07 Richmond, VA 41 Min
Valkyrie, 4/14/07 Baltimore, MD 37 Min
Valkyrie, 5/29/07 Charlottesville, VA 37 Min
Warning, 4/16/05 Goppingen, Germany 64 Min
Wino, 1/28/09 Washington, D.C. 25 Min
Wino, 2/7/09, Washington, D.C. 57 Min
Witchcraft, 5/28/05 Youngstown, OH 66 Min
Witchcraft, 11/11/06 Washington, D.C. 45 Min
Wooly Mammoth, 6/16/06 Washington, D.C. 36 Min
Wooly Mammoth, 10/29/04 Washington, D.C.41 Min
Wooly Mammoth, 12/29/06 Washington, D.C. 36 Min
Wretched, 8/28/04 Washington, D.C. 30 Min
Wretched, 9/4/04 Youngstown, OH 24 Min
Wretched, 4/15/07 Baltimore, MD 42 Min
YOB, 5/20/05 Hartford, CT 45 Min
Warhorse, 1978 Rockville, MD 28 Min
The Obsessed, 3/80 Rockville, MD 106 Min (2 DVDs)
The Obsessed, 7/3/82 Washington, D.C. 74 Min (2 DVDs)
The Obsessed, 11/83 Kensington, MD 45 Min
The Obsessed, 2/11/84 New York City, NY 35 Min
The Obsessed, 6/16/84 Long March, PA 40 Min
The Obsessed, 4/17/94 Washington, D.C. 45 Min
Shine, 9/29/96 Wheaton, MD 45 Min
The Hidden Hand, 5/25/03 Youngstown, OH (Bass Heavy)

I’ve taken to calling it The Megabox.

It’s been here more than a week now and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it contains. A Spirit Caravan show here, some Acid King there. At that rate, it’ll probably be years before I get through everything — if I ever do — and I have no idea how to organize it, because it can’t stay in the Megabox forever, but screw it, there was no way I was going to let an opportunity to own such a collection pass me by, even if it is CDRs in sleeves. Someone poured their heart into getting all of this. I was flattered even to be asked if I wanted it.

Yeah, some of it is available on YouTube or whatever blog or forum group, but considering I spent less than 50 cents for each of these shows and especially considering the human element in the media and the passion that clearly went into putting the collection together, I’m still ready to call it the bargain of the year.

Nebula, “All the Way” Live at the Ottobar, Baltimore, MD, 06.02.02

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Saint Vitus Announce East Coast Tour Dates for October

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 23rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The fact that Saint Vitus are heading out in October to tour the East Coast with a couple dates in the Midwest as well is excellent enough. Frankly, I’m just glad these dudes got enough of a response from 2012′s triumphant return album, Lillie: F-65 (review here), that they still want to be a band at all, let alone one that hits the road multiple times a year, either in support of that record or otherwise. Mark it down again, Saint Vitus touring is fucking awesome.

That said, we already know they started writing new material back at the beginning of last month, and we know from past experience that when guitarist Dave Chandler works, he doesn’t waste any time putting things together. You can see where this is going. My question is whether or not Saint Vitus could possibly be road-testing new material for a possible 2014 follow-up to Lillie: F-65. I know that seems like a pretty quick turnaround, but records like Born too Late, Mournful Cries, V and the recently-reissued C.O.D. all had two years from one to the next, so they’d be right on pace.

I’ll be keeping my doomed fingers crossed for a new song or two in the set while I mark the calendar and start nerding out at the chance to see Vitus again. Here are the dates:

SAINT VITUS October 2013 U.S. headlining tour dates

with PALLBEARER, ZOROASTER & THE HOOKERS
https://www.facebook.com/saintvitusofficial
Oct. 4 San Antonio TX @ Korova
Oct. 5 Norman OK @ The Opolis
Oct. 6 St Louis MO @ Firebird
Oct. 7 Minneapolis MN @ 7th St Entry
Oct. 8 Chicago IL @ Reggies
Oct. 9 Grand Rapids @ Pyramid Scheme
Oct. 10 Detroit MI @ Magic Stick
Oct. 11 Cleveland OH @ Grog Shop
Oct. 12 Pittsburgh PA @ Rex Theater
Oct. 13 Baltimore MD @ Metro Gallery
Oct. 14 Upstate NY @ Bogie’s
Oct. 15 Boston MA @ Middle East
Oct. 17 West Chester PA @ The Note
Oct. 18 Brooklyn NY @ Europa
Oct. 19 TBA
Oct. 20 Springfield VA @ Empire
Oct. 21 Richmond VA @ Strange Matter
Oct. 22 Asheville NC @ The Orange Peel
Oct. 23 Nashville TN @ Exit / In
Oct. 24 Atlanta GA @ The EARL
Oct. 25 New Orleans LA @ One Eyed Jacks

Saint Vitus, “The Waste of Time” Live at Sweden Rock 2012

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Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus Live at St. Vitus, 09.25.12

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 7th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that Saint Vitus at the St. Vitus bar in Brooklyn last year was one of the coolest shows I’ve ever seen. I’m still not really over it, to be honest with you, and here we are coming up on a year since it happened. Of course, I reviewed it at the time, but it was one of those nights that you just keep going back to. It becomes a touchstone; a standard for other gigs to meet and fall short to. Vitus at the venue that bears their name would’ve been enough, but to have the top-notch Southern sludge of Sourvein and Weedeater both as well? I’d have gone to see any one of those bands and called it a good night. All three was something special.

The place was packed out. I didn’t care. I stayed up front for as long as I could, and then when beer started getting tossed around made my way to the back for a dryer vantage. Vitus were stellar and guitarist Dave Chandler seemed particularly tickled that there was a venue with the same name as his band. You have to figure, right? Here’s a guy whose band hasn’t gotten shit for recognition for two and a half decades and all of a sudden the friggin’ New York Times is writing up the show. It was fun to watch. Wino‘s vocals were dead on — you can see his seething in the Wino Wednesday header above; the pic comes from that night — Mark Adams and Henry Vasquez killed it, whether it was the raging “War is Our Destiny” or the super-plod of “The Troll,” and the crowd was duly appreciative of the one-of-a-kind experience to which they were being treated.

Venerable Brooklyn-based filmographer Frank Huang (check out his site here) captured the full Vitus set in all its glory, and it’s with a deep personal pleasure that I present it to you on this, the 99th consecutive Wino Wednesday. Please enjoy:

Saint Vitus, Live at St. Vitus bar, 09.25.12


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audiObelisk: Stream Saint Vitus’ “Children of Doom” from C.O.D. Reissue

Posted in audiObelisk on July 15th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

It’s something of a blip in the Saint Vitus catalog, but 1992′s C.O.D. is ignored only at the peril of the listener involved. After the departure of prior vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich to front the reformed incarnation of The Obsessed, Vitus guitarist Dave Chander, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Armando Acosta teamed with Christian “Chritus” Linderson. Linderson had fronted Count Raven on their first album, 1990′s Storm Warning, and came aboard with Vitus at a crucial moment in their career.

Vitus has released V in 1990, an album that still counts high among the all-time classics of American doom. Teaming with Linderson was a risk from the start, but the two were labelmates on Hellhound Records, and looking at it objectively, the emotionality and ultra-doomed vibe the singer was able to capture has made C.O.D. easily the most underrated of Saint Vitus‘ albums. From the “Born too Late”-esque epic title-track to the moment when Chandler himself took the frontman role for “A Timeless Tale” to the reworking of “Hallow’s Victim” that closed out as “Hollow’s Victim (Exhumed),” C.O.D. is a strange but singular moment that contains some of the boldest forays of Vitus‘ career and some of the band’s most quintessential riffing.

By the time 1995 rolled around, Saint Vitus re-teamed with original singer Scott Reagers to issue Die Healing, which would remain their final studio outing until last year’s reunion triumph, Lillie: F-65. Linderson meanwhile fronted Terra Firma and can currently be found in Lord Vicar and Goatess, whose self-titled came out just a couple weeks ago (review here). Next month (Aug. 16 in Europe, Aug. 20 in North America), Season of Mist – the imprint that oversaw the release of the aforementioned 2012 outing — will reissue both C.O.D. and Die Healing. The two albums have long been out of print and not exactly easy to come by, so with these editions, a new generation of doomers gets to experience the sheer weirdness that ensued toward the end of Vitus‘ original run.

Check out the remastered version of “Children of Doom” on the player below, courtesy of Season of Mist:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

SAINT VITUS are now reissuing two long overlooked classics from their impressive catalogue: “C.O.D.” (1992) and “Die Healing” (1995). There can be no doubt: SAINT VITUS are the godfathers of American Doom Metal. And for “C.O.D.”, meaning “Children of Doom” as revealed by the same titled song on this album, the band teamed up with a Swedish Doom legend: singer Christian “Chritus” Linderson of COUNT RAVEN. This trio together with compatriots CANDLEMASS have created their own Doom empire in the north of Europe. SAINT VITUS and Linderson successfully combined their trademark qualities: The singer brought his emotional, despairing and gloomy vocals to bear, while SAINT VITUS added the cataclysmic and unmistakable guitar sound of co-founder Dave Chandler – full of reverbs, feedbacks, flanger and apocalyptic distortion leading to amazing and magical solos. The timing of these re-releases coincides with SAINT VITUS’ celebrated return to the metal world.

Sold out venues on their latest tours, performances at prestigious festivals all over Europe and a new masterpiece in their discography “Lillie: F-65″ (2012) have revived the career of the Americans. Seventeen years after their previous full-length “Die Healing” was released, these legends brought back their signature song writing style on “Lillie: F-65″. Doom adepts will delight in the honey slow dripping of notes and the sudden energetic outbursts, which are as painfully depressing as they are sweet. Formed in 1979, SAINT VITUS were largely influenced by BLACK SABBATH, whose song “Saint Vitus Dance” obviously inspired the moniker. Since debut album “Saint Vitus” (1984) these Americans have released six more full-lengths and two EPs that are summarily considered to be classics of their genre. Despite some hiatus and changes over the years SAINT VITUS remained as true icons of Doom. Now “C.O.D.” can be discovered anew with careful re-mastering and two bonus tracks!

Tracklisting
1. Intro
2. Children of Doom
3. Planet of Judgement
4. Shadow of a Skeleton
5. (I Am) The Screaming Banshee
6. Plague of Man
7. Imagination Man
8. Fear
9. Get Away
10. Bela
11. A Timeless Tale
12. Hallow’s Victim (Exhumed)
13. To Breed a Soldier (bonus track)
14. The Chameleon (bonus track)

Album line-up
Dave Chandler: guitars, vocals on “A Timeless Tale”
Christian “Chritus” Linderson: vocals
Mark Adams: bass
Armando Acosta (R.I.P. 2010): drums

Saint Vitus on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist

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Wino Wednesday: Saint Vitus Live at Hung Jury Pub, July 12, 1987

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 10th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

This week’s Wino Wednesday clip was recorded almost 26 years ago to the day. On July 12, 1987, Saint Vitus played Washington, D.C.’s Hung Jury Pub, and the entirety of their just-under-hour-long set was captured on video tape.

The band would’ve been touring at that point on the heels of their classic third album, 1986′s Born too Late, and about to release their follow-up single, the Black Flag cover, Thirsty and Miserable. That song is played, as are “White Stallions,” “War is Our Destiny,” the shuffling “H.A.A.G.” and a host of other classics. Here’s the full setlist:

Clear Windowpane
Dying Inside
Look Behind You
Thirsty and Miserable
War is Our Destiny
Born too Late
White Stallions
H.A.A.G
Darkness
Saint Vitus

Some things to note as you make your way through: Dave Chandler takes a raging, noise-soaked solo after “H.A.A.G.” that’s not to be missed, and at one point between songs, Wino asks someone named Chris for more vocals in the monitor. I couldn’t help but wonder if that was Chris Kozlowski, who’s engineered recordings for Pentagram and Blue Cheer and countless others and been a figure in the Maryland doom scene pretty much since before there was one. I don’t know if Kozlowski ever worked at the Hung Jury Pub, but it would make sense one way or another for him to be doing sound for Vitus. They sound great, so that also speaks to the possibility.

Either way, I decided to roll with this clip because last night, Saint Vitus reported that drummer Henry Vasquez and guitarist Dave Chandler have started working on new material. They posted a picture to Thee Facebooks to mark the occasion:

These 2 started working on new Saint Vitus today and spit out first 2 tracks of DOOM!!!!

With that kind good news, there was no way I wasn’t going to post something from the band for Wino Wednesday. Great to see the response to last year’s Lillie: F-65 was strong enough to encourage the band to continue, and it must be validating for Chandler particularly to discover that, indeed, it took the rest of the underground about a quarter-century to catch up to what he was doing.

New Vitus in 2014? Needless to say, I’ll be keeping an eye out. In the meantime, enjoy this one:

Saint Vitus, Live at Hung Jury Pub, July 12, 1987 (Full Show)

NOTE: On a Vitus-related tip, I’ll be hosting a track stream next Monday from the forthcoming remastered version of 1992′s C.O.D.. Something to keep a lookout for if you’re a fan of the band.

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Revisiting the Top 20 of 2012

Posted in Features on June 27th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

They always say you there’s no going back. I don’t know who they are, but they’re right. As I searched back through posts to find the Top 20 of 2012, I realized it had been way too long since I heard some of these records. It’s so easy to get caught up with what’s current and what’s coming next that sometimes I forget to actually listen to albums I already enjoyed. That happened a couple times along the way.

When a year ends and the lists start coming out, it’s like records as numbered, stocked and then forgotten. I guess I’m guilty of it too. With that in mind, here’s a quick revisit to what I had as my favorites of 2012:

The Top 20 of 2012 Revisited

20. Mos Generator, Nomads
I can’t even look at this album cover without hearing the chorus to “Lonely One Kenobi” play in my head. Still a sentimental favorite.

19. Golden Void, Golden Void
Haven’t put it on in a while, but probably should.

18. Wight, Through the Woods into Deep Water
Ditto. This record was great and if I made the list today, it would probably be higher than it is here.

17. Lord Fowl, Moon Queen
Didn’t I start this week off with Moon Queen? Well, I guess it’s pretty fresh on my mind.

16. Pallbearer, Sorrow and Extinction
I’ve seen them three times so far this year and they’ve delivered each time, but haven’t put on the album itself in a while. Still looking forward to new stuff though.

15. Kadavar, Kadavar
I think I’ve had more fascinating conversations about Kadavar than any other band in the last year. So many opinions, so widely varied. I dig the self-titled, will probably have the follow-up on my list at the end of 2013. Nuclear Blast needs to bring them over to tour, maybe opening for Witchcraft?

14. Stubb, Stubb
Yay fuzz! Catchy songs, easy formula, well structured and impeccably performed.My favorite straight-up heavy rock record of 2012.

13. Orange Goblin, A Eulogy for the Damned
Hard to fuck with these dudes. The production here was a presence, but the songs still hold up.

12. Ararat, II
No shit, I live in terror of having Ararat release their third album and missing it. Like all of a sudden the album will have been out for three months and I’d have no idea.

11. Ufomammut, Oro
Haven’t listened to Opus Primum or Opus Alter since. Can’t help but think if Oro was released as one record, I’d put it on from time to time.

10. Conan, Monnos
I put this in the top 10 for a reason. Because it’s fucking ridiculously heavy. I stand by my reasoning. Looking forward to their new one.

9. My Sleeping Karma, Soma
An album I couldn’t manage to put down even when I wanted to, and one I still pick up from time to time. Glad I finally gave in an bought a copy to get away from the shitty digital promo version.

8. Graveyard, Lights Out
Maybe I burnt myself out on this? I went on a binge after their show in January for a bit and then put Lights Out away and that was that.

7. Saint Vitus, Lillie: F-65
Every time I’m in a record store, flip through the Vitus selection and see my quote on the sticker on the front of the jewel case of Lillie: F-65, I feel like an entire decade of shitty career decisions is justified. No bullshit.

6. Ancestors, In Dreams and Time
Brilliant. Mostly brilliant for closer “First Light,” but that song was brilliant enough to get this spot on the list anyway.

5. High on Fire, De Vermis Mysteriis
Hard to argue with its intensity. Not much staying power as I would’ve thought, but god damn that’s a heavy record.

4. Neurosis, Honor Found in Decay
An overwhelming listen. I have to prepare my head for putting it on, but I continue to find it worth the effort.

3. Greenleaf, Nest of Vipers
It was the highlight of my year last year to see this material live. Greenleaf have a new lineup now and another album in the works, but if Nest of Vipersis how the last one was going out, they killed it.

2. Om, Advaitic Songs
Sometimes I fantasize about living in a temple where I wake up and Advaitic Songs is playing every day. That is 100 percent true.

1. Colour Haze, She Said
I’d probably listen to it even more if it was on one CD, but god damn, this record is amazing. Another one that’s kind of overwhelming, but it gets regular play as I expect it will continue to do into perpetuity.

All in all, pretty great year. Some stuff that’s fallen by the wayside, but a few landmarks as well that have carried over, and more importantly, some that seem like they’ll continue to carry over and grow in appeal as more time passes. Wight should’ve been higher on the list, but other than that, I’ll take it.

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