Saint Vitus (band)

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Saint Vitus
Saint Vitus in Memphis.jpg
Saint Vitus performing in Memphis, 2012. From left to right: Dave Chandler, Henry Vasquez, Mark Adams, Scott Weinrich
Background information
Also known as Tyrant (1979–1980)
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Years active
  • 1979–1991
  • 1992–1996
  • 2003
  • 2008–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website www.saintvitusband.com
Members Dave Chandler
Scott Reagers
Henry Vasquez
Patrick Bruders
Past members Armando Acosta
Scott Weinrich
Christian Linderson
Mark Adams

Saint Vitus is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles in 1979. They are one of the first doom metal bands, [1] alongside Pentagram, Witchfinder General, Trouble and Pagan Altar. Having released eight studio albums to date, Saint Vitus never achieved a popular breakthrough, but have exerted great influence on the development of doom metal, sludge metal, [2] and stoner rock. [2]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Doom metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other heavy metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. The genre is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, who formed a prototype for doom metal with songs such as "Black Sabbath", "Children of the Grave", "Electric Funeral" and "Into the Void". During the first half of the 1980s, a number of bands from England, the United States and Sweden defined doom metal as a distinct genre.

Pentagram (band) American heavy metal band

Pentagram is an American heavy metal band from Alexandria, Virginia, most famous as one of the pioneers of heavy metal, and the subgenre of doom metal in particular. The band was prolific in the underground scene of the 1970s, producing many demos and rehearsal tapes, but did not release a full-length album until reforming in the early 1980s with an almost completely new lineup. Throughout the band's history the only constant member has been vocalist Bobby Liebling. The revolving lineup of Pentagram has featured many well respected musicians in the local doom metal scene, with members spending time in other acts such as Raven, the Obsessed, Place of Skulls, Internal Void, Spirit Caravan, among many others. The band's current lineup consists of Liebling (vocals), Matt Goldsborough (guitar), Greg Turley (bass) and "Minnesota" Pete Campbell (drums).

Contents

The original line-up consisted of Dave Chandler (guitar), Mark Adams (bass), Armando Acosta (drums) and Scott Reagers (vocals). They recorded their first two albums before Scott Weinrich replaced Reagers in 1986. The line-up of Chandler, Adams, Acosta and Weinrich is the longest-lasting. The third album Born Too Late (1986) is generally acknowledged as their best release. [3]

Scott Weinrich American musician

Robert Scott Weinrich, known as Wino, is an American rock singer, guitarist and songwriter.

<i>Born Too Late</i> album by Saint Vitus

Born Too Late is the third studio album by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus, which was released in 1986. This was the first Saint Vitus album featuring former The Obsessed singer Scott "Wino" Weinrich. It is generally cited as their best selling release.

After breaking up in 1996 and briefly reforming in 2003, Saint Vitus reunited again in 2008 with the band's "classic" line-up, featuring Weinrich, Chandler, Adams and Acosta, and embarked on a successful tour. However, after 30 years in the band, Acosta left Saint Vitus in 2009 due to worsening health, and was replaced by Henry Vasquez. By 2016, both Weinrich and Adams had left Saint Vitus and were replaced by Reagers and Patrick Bruders respectively, leaving Chandler as the only constant member of the band and reuniting two-fourths of the original lineup.

Patrick Bruders American musician

Patrick Bruders is an American musician, best known as the current bassist for heavy metal supergroup Down, the former bassist of the blackened death metal band Goatwhore from 1997 to 2004, and the former bassist for the seminal sludge metal band Crowbar from 2005 until 2013. In 2008 he joined Eyehategod side project Outlaw Order and began live bass duties for the band, but has since parted ways with the group. He began touring as live bassist with Down in early 2011, replacing former bassist Rex Brown, before being added as a permanent member, performing bass duties live and in the studio. Bruders is also a member of the New Orleans-based crust punk band Gasmiasma, Austin-based country band Pure Luck, and joined legendary doom metal band Saint Vitus in 2016.

Biography

Formation and first two albums (1979–1985)

The band was formed in 1979 under the name Tyrant, with Scott Reagers (vocals), Dave Chandler (guitar), Mark Adams (bass), and Armando Acosta (drums). [4] They changed their name to Saint Vitus in 1980, after the Black Sabbath song "St. Vitus Dance", although prior to this they had already written and recorded the song "Saint Vitus" as Tyrant. [5] Their main influences were Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Blue Cheer, Blue Öyster Cult and Alice Cooper. [6]

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward, and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

Judas Priest British heavy metal band

Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in West Bromwich in 1969. The band has sold over 50 million copies of their albums to date. They are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band struggled with indifferent record production and lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980, when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, which helped shoot them to rock superstar status.

Blue Cheer band

Blue Cheer was an American rock band that initially performed and recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was sporadically active until 2009. Based in San Francisco, Blue Cheer played in a psychedelic blues rock style, and are also credited as being some of the earliest pioneers of heavy metal, with their cover of "Summertime Blues" sometimes cited as the first in the genre. They have also been noted as influential in the development of genres as disparate as punk rock, stoner rock, doom metal, experimental rock, and grunge.

Because of their slow and dark style in contrast to the metal trend of the time which focused mostly on speed and aggression, Saint Vitus never found appreciation in the Los Angeles metal community [7] and were involved in the punk rock scene by Black Flag, with whom they toured during the early 1980s. [8] [9] [10] [11] Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn would also sign Saint Vitus to his label, SST Records, which eventually released 4 LPs and 2 EPs by the band. Chandler affirmed: "the heavy metal fans at the time hated us, and so did the punk rockers, but the punk rockers grew to appreciate us". [12]

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. Nicknamed the "City of Angels" partly because of its name's Spanish meaning, Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, and the entertainment industry, and sprawling metropolis.

Black Flag (band) American hardcore punk band

Black Flag is an American punk rock band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. Initially called Panic, the band was established by Greg Ginn, the guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes in the band. They are widely considered to be one of the first hardcore punk bands as well as one of the pioneers of post-hardcore. After breaking up in 1986, Black Flag reunited in 2003 and again in 2013. The second reunion lasted well over a year, during which they released their first studio album in over two decades, What The… (2013). The band announced their third reunion in January 2019.

Greg Ginn American musician

Gregory Regis "Greg" Ginn is an American guitarist, songwriter, and singer, best known for being the leader of and primary songwriter for the hardcore punk band Black Flag, which he founded and led from 1976–86, and again in 2003. The band announced another reunion on January 25, 2013. He was born in Tucson, Arizona. Since breaking up Black Flag, Ginn has recorded a few solo albums, and has performed with such bands as October Faction, Gone, Confront James, Mojack, and others. He also owns the Texas-based independent record label, SST, originally begun as an electronics company called Solid State Tuners when he was 12 years old and an amateur radio operator.

Under this line-up, Saint Vitus recorded 2 albums ( Saint Vitus & Hallow's Victim ) and an EP ( The Walking Dead ). Reagers left the band in early 1986, and was replaced by The Obsessed frontman Scott "Wino" Weinrich (at this time, The Obsessed had only released one 7"). Reagers' final performances featured songs from then-upcoming album Born Too Late , such as "The War Starter" and "Hell Ain't a Game", as many of these were written while he was still in the band.

<i>Saint Vitus</i> (album) album by Saint Vitus

Saint Vitus is the debut album by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus, released in early 1984 via SST Records. According to Dave Chandler, the album was recorded in 1982, but was delayed by nearly two years, due to a lawsuit that SST was involved in. It was released on both vinyl and cassette, and later on CD; all three formats are currently difficult to find. "White Magic/Black Magic" and "Saint Vitus" are included on the compilation album Heavier Than Thou. Along with Trouble's Psalm 9, Saint Vitus is considered by many critics one of the first doom metal albums to be released.

<i>Hallows Victim</i> album by Saint Vitus

Hallow's Victim is the second studio album by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus. It was released in 1985 by SST Records. This album was the last to feature original singer Scott Reagers until their seventh album, Die Healing (1995). Reagers also appears on The Walking Dead EP that was released the same year. It remained the only Saint Vitus album not to be officially released on CD until SST officially released the album on CD in combination with The Walking Dead in 2010.

<i>The Walking Dead</i> (EP) EP by Saint Vitus

The Walking Dead is an EP by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus, released in 1985 through SST Records. This is the last release to feature original singer Scott Reagers, until he returned forDie Healing (1995). The EP was released on 12" vinyl in 1985, but there was no CD release until 2010. In that format, it was typically included with the band's 1985 LP, Hallow's Victim.

Weinrich-era (1986–1991)

Because it comes from the gut. The music has that low tone and it hits you in those emotional places. I've always tried to make the lyrics just as interesting as the music. It's always been a little bit dark but I'm not drawn to the happy stuff. I like music that grabs you by the balls.

Scott Weinrich's thoughts about the music. [13]

Wino recorded three studio albums ( Born Too Late , Mournful Cries & V ), a live album ( Live ), and an EP ( Thirsty and Miserable , featuring the Black Flag cover of the same name) with Vitus. By 1989, Saint Vitus had been dropped from SST and signed to Hellhound Records, who released the band's next three albums. Weinrich left Saint Vitus in 1991 to reform The Obsessed after Saint Vitus' label, Hellhound Records, released an album of older Obsessed recordings.

C.O.D., Die Healing and breakup (1992–2002)

Following Weinrich's departure, the band found former Count Raven singer Christian "Chritus" Linderson as a replacement after a short search. He would record only one album, C.O.D. , and tour Europe and America with the band until 1993 before being replaced by original vocalist Scott Reagers for what would for a long time be their final album, Die Healing , regarded by the band to be their finest work. [14] Saint Vitus played dates in America and Europe following the album's release. After the completion of the tour, Saint Vitus decided to disband in 1996.

Chandler went on to form the punk/doom band Debris Inc., with Ron Holzner of Trouble in the early 2000s. They released their self-titled album via Rise Above Records in 2005. Acosta stayed busy with a band called Dirty Red, Adams no longer played music, and Reagers also left the music scene. After The Obsessed broke up in the mid-90's, Wino moved back to Maryland and formed Shine/Spirit Caravan and once again toured Europe and the US until the band's break up in the early 2000s. His next band, The Hidden Hand, followed a similar path before breaking up in the mid-2000s. Wino also briefly joined Place of Skulls, featuring former Pentagram/Death Row guitarist Victor Griffin, for the album 'With Vision' released in 2003.

Reunion(s) (2003–present)

On July 1, 2003, the classic Born Too Late line-up (Weinrich, Chandler, Adams, Acosta) played a gig at Double Door in Chicago. [15]

In 2008, it was announced that Saint Vitus were reuniting again for a tour in 2009. The band headlined Friday's April 24 date at the 2009 Roadburn Festival. [16] at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Netherlands and then went on to play three gigs in Germany. The lineup for this reunion was the same as the 2003 reunion. Drummer Armando Acosta, who had been with the band since its inception over thirty years ago, left the band before the European tour of 2009 had been completed.

Dave Chandler has cited health concerns as the reason for Armando's replacement. [17] Acosta died on November 25, 2010, aged 58. [18] He was then replaced by Henry Vasquez of the band Blood of the Sun. [19] Wino also released one album to date as a member of the Doom Supergroup "Shrinebuilder" in 2009.

In February 2010, Chandler stated that there was talk of Saint Vitus recording new material, but there were no concrete plans at the time. [20] However, according to frontman Weinrich, "we're writing some stuff right now. Everybody's pretty busy. I know I've been busy. The Wino band is pretty much on hiatus right now. So it looks like we'll be doing some recording in the near future. The bottom line is we would like to do a new record. There's talk about it. We've already been floating around a couple ideas. So yeah, somewhere down the line there will be a new Vitus record in the cards." [21] In March 2010, Wino revealed to the German edition of Metal Hammer magazine that Saint Vitus were without a record label, and had only written one new song so far, but that a full-length studio effort from the group would likely surface within the next 12 months, making a 2011 release date likely. [22] However, plans eventually fell through, but had planned to regroup to make the album sometime in the summer of 2011, [23] after the band finished the 2011 Metalliance Tour with Helmet and Crowbar. [24] On the Metalliance Tour, Saint Vitus debuted a new song called "Blessed Night". [25] On November 8, 2010, it was announced that they were signed to Season of Mist and would release their new album, entitled Lillie: F-65 , on April 27, 2012. [26] [27] [28] It marked Saint Vitus' first studio album since 1995's Die Healing , its first release with vocalist Weinrich since 1990's V and first release without Armando Acosta on drums.

Late 2009 through 2010 also saw the majority of Saint Vitus' back catalog come back into print. SST Records reissued vinyl versions of all the group's records except for the first album, which was reissued on CD. The label also released "Hallow's Victim" and "The Walking Dead" on CD, having never previously been available in the format. Buried By Time and Dust Records also did a limited vinyl issue of "Die Healing" (the first time that album had been available on vinyl) with a CD reissue expected to follow. [14]

Armando Acosta died on November 25, 2010 from arterial complications at the age of 58, and was buried at Riverside National Cemetery in California. [29] [30]

In an April 2012 interview with Drop-D, guitarist Dave Chandler was asked if Saint Vitus was going to make another album after Lillie: F-65. His response was, "Right now we're just taking it step by step to see how people respond to [the new album]. There would be no reason not to because when you're constantly playing you get a lot of ideas. We're not going to say yes or no now. There are a lot of people talking about the record so hopefully it will live up to everybody's expectations." [31]

In 2015, Saint Vitus performed a single U.S. date in Austin, Texas and a European tour with original singer Scott Reagers, his first full shows with the band in 20 years. [32] Due to Wino's commitments with The Obsessed's reunion, Reagers once again filled in for him on Saint Vitus' fall 2016 U.S. tour with The Skull and Witch Mountain. [33] [34] Also during this period, Pat Bruders of Crowbar and Down filled in for their longtime bassist Mark Adams, who could not tour with the band because of health reasons; it was revealed in October 2018 that he has been suffering from Parkinson's disease. [35]

Saint Vitus released their live album Live Vol. 2 on September 23, 2016. [36]

In a November 2017 interview, Chandler stated that they have "pretty much a whole [new] album" written. [37]

Personnel

Members

Timeline

Saint Vitus %28band%29

Discography

Related Research Articles

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<i>Mournful Cries</i> album by Saint Vitus

Mournful Cries is the fourth studio album by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus, released in 1988. This was the band's last release on SST Records. The cover features a painting of a hydra.

<i>V</i> (Saint Vitus album) album by Saint Vitus

V is the fifth studio album by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus, which was released in 1990. Its title is a reference to the Roman numeral five, not the letter "V" from the English alphabet. This album was also the band's first release not on SST Records and the last studio album to feature singer Scott "Wino" Weinrich.

<i>Thirsty and Miserable</i> extended play by Saint Vitus

Thirsty and Miserable is an EP released by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus in 1987 on SST Records. The title track is a cover of Black Flag. The tracks were released in 1987 on CD by SST as bonus tracks to the Born Too Late album.

<i>Live</i> (Saint Vitus album) live album by Saint Vitus

Live is the first live album by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus, recorded on November 10, 1989 at Germany's Circus Gammelsdorf. The album was released in 1990 on Hellhound Records. It was re-released by Southern Lord Records (SUNN43) in 2005. This was the final release to feature singer Scott "Wino" Weinrich until he rejoined Saint Vitus some years later, performing on their 2012 album Lillie: F-65.

<i>C.O.D.</i> (album) album by Saint Vitus

C.O.D. is the sixth studio album by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus. The album was released in 1992 on Hellhound Records. This is the only album to feature former Count Raven vocalist Christian Linderson. The band broke up shortly after this album, but reformed with original singer Scott Reagers for their next album, Die Healing (1995).

<i>Die Healing</i> album by Saint Vitus

Die Healing is the seventh studio album by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus, released in 1995 by Hellhound Records. In addition to being their final album before disbanding in 1996, Die Healing saw the band reunite with the original lineup of vocalist Scott Reagers, guitarist Dave Chandler, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Armando Acosta. It would, however, be the last Saint Vitus album to feature Acosta before his death in 2010, and Reagers for 20 years until his return to the band in 2015.

<i>Heavier Than Thou</i> 1991 compilation album by Saint Vitus

Heavier Than Thou is a Saint Vitus compilation album put out by SST Records in 1991. It features tracks taken from each of their releases on SST. Although this compilation was released after V, it contains none of the songs from that album as Saint Vitus had switched record labels by that time.

<i>The Obsessed</i> (album) album by The Obsessed

The Obsessed is the first album by The Obsessed, released in 1990 by Hellhound Records. All the songs were recorded in 1985 for an intended album for Metal Blade Records, which had never been released. The release of this album prompted singer Scott "Wino" Weinrich to leave Saint Vitus and reform The Obsessed with a new rhythm section. This album was re-released by Tolotta Records in 2000 with 10 live bonus tracks recorded at Glenmont Rec. Center in Wheaton, Maryland on February 28, 1984. The album was re-released on November 17th 2017 via Relapse Records it came with a bonus disc that included the concrete cancer demo and a live concert in Manhattan 1985.

Shrinebuilder was a heavy metal supergroup consisting of various established musicians, particularly of the doom metal subgenre. Their first album, Shrinebuilder, was released in October 2009.

<i>Lillie: F-65</i> album by Saint Vitus

Lillie: F-65 is the eighth studio album by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus, which was released on April 27, 2012. This is the first Saint Vitus studio album since Die Healing (1995) and the only one to feature Scott "Wino" Weinrich on vocals in 22 years, since V (1990). It also marks their first album with Henry Vasquez on drums, and their final release with bassist Mark Adams, who left the band in 2016 because of health issues.

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