A lot of personal memories are connected with the fifth VITUS album, orginally released in 1990 by Hellhound Records, that I don't know where to start here. Hm, let's try... it's as it has been yesterday, when I bought the album in a local record-store, and start listening to it over and over again. At that time ST. VITUS had been my favourite Sabbathian-worshippin' band, and I was listening religiously to records like "Mournful Cries", "Born Too Late" or "The Walking Dead". "V" was the last studio album with Scott 'Wino' Weinrich on vocals and guitar, and has been the first record for Hellhound Records, after the band left the SST roster. Now, after fifteen years, this classic album hadn't lost anything from its deep emotions and first-grade riff-based heaviness. Dave Chandler's significant guitar-playing and sound was still fresh and inspiring as well as his song-writing talents and the here included songs are still a main source for new and upcoming heavy doom bands. With "Patra (Petra)" SAINT VITUS didn't not only recorded one of their slowest songs, but also they created the saddest and most melancholic Doom song ever.
Wino's charismatic vocals are on top, and it was the second album, where Chandler allowed him to make some guitar contributions. The chemistry was great and bassist Mark Adams and heavy-weight drummer Armando Acosta build a strong backbone. On the second album side, we find "Angry Man", which shows Mark Adams songwriting talents or the hypnotic "Jack Frost" with its long and crazy guitar-solo in best Dave Chandler-style. One of the album's strengths was and still is its natural variety, and "When Emotions Die" is maybe the most untypical VITUS-song. It's an acoustic blues-influenced song, with additional female background-vocals and it belongs to the very few songs, where Chandler is responsible for the lead vocals. And not to forget the thunderous opener "Living Backwards" followed by "I Bleed Black", a song that flows like black tar out of the speakers. This are only a few of the stunning tracks here, and I won't hesitate for a minute to call the album a timeless masterpiece. Praise the Lord, for re-releasing this classic in original cover-artwork and with additional bonus-material for the CD-edition.
This is additional footage from the first SAINT VITUS show with Wino on vocals, who had joined the band in '86 and it's highly entertaining to see this rare material. The most curious aspect of the show is the place where it happened, because it looks like a huge garage with extreme bright neon-lights and only a very small audience, but the band played an extreme heavy set. It was a brilliant idea to include this historic document here, what makes the re-issue also more interesting for the ones who have an original copy in their collection.