Saint Vitus - The Cathouse, Glasgow, Thu 14 Mar 2013
First Scottish date for the LA doom metal band is immaculately executed
LA doom metallers Saint Vitus never really got the dues they deserved throughout their various incarnations over the last few decades. Despite their ties to the legendary 80s SST label during the height of Black Flag’s fame and countless name checking, they were just too slow for the punks, and too punk for the metalheads. Amidst label, line-up and drug-related shenanigans, their return to the studio with their eighth album Lillie: F-65 (named after guitarist David Chandler’s favourite pharmaceutical downer) is a pleasant return to form, albeit an overly polished and somewhat less brazen release.
The new material holds up incredibly well in what is, unbelievably, their first performance in Scotland, in particular the snappy chorus of ‘Let Them Fall’ thrown in amongst fuzzed-out live favourites like ‘I Bleed Black’ and their most emotional opus ‘Patra (Petra)’. Frontman and snarler, Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich, holds his own tonight with an almost animalistic death gaze and grimace throughout the autobiographical ‘Dying Inside’, whilst David Chandler breaks the ice with wisecracks and smoke related banter, but there’s nothing funny about the tone ripping leads he’s firing out of his amps - frequencies that could chisel steel at a hundred paces.
As described in the closing number of their encore to a fervent audience of patch jackets in ‘Born to Late’ - their hair’s still too long and they don’t necessarily belong, but with an equal resurgence in newer fans mixed with the sheer loyalty that the Saint Vitus camp yields, they’re probably more embraced now than ever. So all hail some true American outlaw doom, executed immaculately tonight.