Release DetailsLABEL Southern Lord Records
RELEASED ON 7/26/2005
posted on 9/2005 By:
Southern Lord continues to celebrate the back catalog of legendary doom behemoth Saint Vitus, following up last year’s re-release of V with a repackaging of Live. Saint Vitus’ only live album captures the band’s classic line up of Scott “Wino” Weinrich (vocals), Dave Chandler (guitar), Armando Acosta (drums) and Mark Adams (bass), during a 1989 show in Germany. Those already in the know will jump at the chance to add this historical document to their collection and urge others to do the same. But for younger fans or metalheads who somehow have missed out on the handiwork Saint Vitus, this revival of Live is the perfect opportunity to become acquainted with the blood and sweat of these forefathers, whose outpouring was integral to the foundation of doom metal.
The straightforward, bare bones album title is wholly representative of the ethic of Saint Vitus. No need for pretense, fashion, or flashiness, the band’s attack was all about substance over style. Exploring intense personal struggles, the music is raw and defiant but somber and pained; music fully deserving of the descriptor “doom”. With a simple “Alright, we’re Saint Vitus” the band launches into “Living Backwards”, one of two tracks from 1989's V, the other being the unholy buzzing rumble and quick(er) tempo of “Mind-Food”. About half of the songs are from the band’s signature album, the classic Born Too Late. Besides the title track, an absolute must, the band runs through renditions of the epic “Dying Inside”, “Look Behind You”, “The War Starter” and album closer “Clear Windowpane”, which has been greatly lengthened by drum and guitar solos. As good as the Born Too Late material is, some of highs come from songs from the Hallow’s Victim album. “Mystic Lady” is a nine-minute head nodding delight, but the real treat is the locomotive “White Stallions”, which is absolutely blistering.
The band was in good form and the recording and mix are solid, with each instrument receiving appropriate attention. While the material typically receives a loyal translation to the stage, the rawness of the sound, including Wino’s slightly raspy clean vocals, convey the immediacy and intimacy that makes a live album work. Even if you never got a chance to see the band perform, it’s not difficult to imagine yourself in the club, circa ‘89. Live is a quality documentation of a full strength of Saint Vitus and serves as an important point in time glimpse into the formative period of doom. Every metal fan should explore Saint Vitus.
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