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Music / Saint Vitus

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The original lineup, from left to right: Mark Adams, Dave Chandler, Scott Reagers and Armando Acosta.

"They say my songs are much too slow..."
Born Too Late

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Saint Vitus are one of the most well-known and respected bands in the Doom Metal genre, alongside Pentagram, Witchfinder General, and Candlemass. The band originally formed in 1978 as Tyrant with Scott Reagers (vocals), Dave Chandler (guitar), Mark Adams (bass), and Armando Acosta (drums) and released two demos under this name before changing their name in 1980 to Saint Vitus, after the Black Sabbath song "St. Vitus Dance". This incarnation of Saint Vitus would go on to tour with bands like Black Flag (whose guitarist, Greg Ginn, would later sign them to his record label, SST) and release two albums and an EP before Scott left the band in 1986, to be replaced by Scott "Wino" Weinrich, the frontman of The Obsessed (who had only released a 7" at the time). The band released Born Too Late - widely considered to be among the best works Saint Vitus has released - in 1986, followed by two more studio albums before Wino left in 1991 to reform The Obsessed. Vitus picked up singer Christian "Chritus" Linderson from Count Raven; he would only record one album with the band before leaving and being replaced by the band's original singer. The band recorded and released "Die Healing" in 1995 before the members split up and went on to different projects.

In 2003, Saint Vitus reunited with Scott Weinrich for a single show in Chicago to fan approval. Six years later, the Born Too Late lineup reunited for a few tours, however original drummer Armando Acosta left during a European tour due to health issues; he died in late 2010.

Saint Vitus continues to record and play to this day, having released Lillie: F-65 in 2012, and during 2014, the band celebrated their 35th anniversary by performing Born Too Late in its entirety on a worldwide tour.

In 2015, original singer Scott Reagers returned to the band for a few select shows, before re-joining the band full time. The band has announced a second Self-Titled Album for a May 2019 release.

Current lineup:

  • Dave Chandler - lead guitar
  • Pat Bruders - bass
  • Scott Reagers - vocals
  • Henry Vasquez - drums

Past members:

  • Armando Acosta drums (deceased, 2010)
  • Scott "Wino" Weinrich vocals
  • Christian "Chritus" Linderson - vocals
  • Mark Adams - bass (deceased, 2023)

Studio albums:

  • Saint Vitus, 1984
  • Hallow's Victim, 1985
  • Born Too Late, 1986
  • Mournful Cries, 1988
  • V, 1990
  • COD, 1992
  • Die Healing, 1995
  • Lillie: F-65, 2012
  • Saint Vitus, 2019

This band provides the following trope examples:

  • The Alcoholic: "Dying Inside". Scott Weinrich also counted, unfortunately.
  • Book Ends: Played straight and averted. Saint Vitus began and ended with the same least, until the band reunited for a single gig in 2003, and then reunited again to tour and record in 2009.
  • Call-Back: "Return Of The Zombie", from their seventh album Die Healing, is one to a song from their first self-titled album, "Zombie Hunger".
  • Cover Version: Vitus famously covered "Thirsty and Miserable" by Black Flag. The band added a guitar solo and slowed it down to the point where it was almost twice the length of the original song.
  • Epic Rocking: Well, duh - coming from a doom metal band, this is expected. For a more specific example, the only song on Born Too Late that clocks in at less than five minutes is "Clear Windowpane".
  • Fun with Acronyms: "H.A.A.G."note .
  • Genre Shift: Saint Vitus showed their punk influences on their second album, Hallow's Victim. Its title track and "White Stallions" have little to do with their usual Doom.
  • Large Ham: Scott Reagers was this, at least compared to Wino, who has a much more subdued and down-to-earth delivery.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Sort of, from "H.A.A.G." - in a variation that subverts what is expected to be said:
    "Are you shivering limbs intact? Do you care where you'll impact?
    Falling in a bottomless pit, is there no end to this moronic wit?"
  • Meaningful Name: "V" is the fifth Saint Vitus album.
    • On a more depressing note, the band's second singer Scott "Wino" Weinrich has been known for his struggles with speed (anecdotes from people he knew back in the day claim that due to his usage, the switchblade he carried on him corroded from being in contact with the substance so much) and alcohol, which came to light and stunned many fans recently when he was arrested and deported from Norway for having eleven grams of methamphetamine on his person.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Clear Windowpane" from Born Too Late is a rather fast-paced ode to "windowpane" acidnote  which describes the various hallucinations caused by the titular clear windowpane in a rather upbeat way. This is immediately followed by "Dying Inside", a slower, morose song lamenting how the narrator's life has been absolutely demolished by his drinking habit ("I feel twice as old as I am [...] I'm losing all my friends and lovers"), how he knows that even when it makes him sick, he's incapable of controlling his habit, despite trying "time and time again", and how he's been abandoned by everyone around him. Ouch.
  • Mushroom Samba: "Clear Windowpane".
  • Off the Wagon: "Just Another Notch", which features guitarist Dave Chandler on vocals.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted with the first two singers of the band - Scott Reagers was replaced by Scott Weinrich. Can be considered a Subverted Trope if one considers that Weinrich is more frequently known (and signs his autographs) as "Wino".
  • Self-Titled Album: Their 1984 debut, and their 2019 album.
  • Take That!: "Prayer For The (M)asses" is one to faux satanism in Metal.
    "You wear your crosses upside down, it shows that you're a fool!"
  • The Stoner: The band is very open about their marijuana use/endorsement, with multiple fans having their stories about smoking with members of the band or passing them joints (or seeing this being done) while playing.
  • Trope Codifier: For Doom Metal as a whole, along with Trouble Band and Candlemass.
    • Ur-Example: For the Stoner Rock/Metal subgenre, arguably.