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Sunday Old School: Doom Metal Legends Saint Vitus

It’s always a shame when death is a factor in choosing which band to cover for Sunday Old School, but after the tragic death of drummer Armando Acosta, it seems only right we remember his work with Saint Vitus, one of the first and most influential bands in doom metal. The band was formed in 1979 by Acosta, bassist Mark Adams, guitarist Dave Chandler and lead singer Scott Reagers under the name, Tyrant but changed their name shortly after to Saint Vitus a Black Sabbath song. The band were eventually offered a record deal from SST Records, which was run by hardcore legends Black Flag, another of the group’s biggest influences and they released their self-titled first album in 1984 before following it with a second album, "Hallow’s Victim" and an EP, "The Walking Dead" in 1985.

Following these releases, Reagers decided to leave the band and Saint Vitus recruited The Obsessed frontman Scott "Wino" Weinrich. The first record with Weinrich was the full length album, "Born Too Late," which became the group’s best selling release to date. Although their next album, "Mournful Cries" didn’t sell as well as their previous album, it still garnered positive reviews from fans and critics. The band parted ways with SST Records soon afterwards and signed with Hellhound Records, through which they released the album, "V" in 1989. The album would prove to be the last studio recording with Wino to date, as he decided to leave the band following the release of a live album to reform The Obsessed in 1991. A new singer was found in Count Raven frontman Christian Lindersson but he would only record one album with Saint Vitus, 1993’s, "C.O.D." Following the tour in support of the album, Lindersson was replaced by the group’s original singer Scott Reagers, with whom they recorded one more album, "Die Healing," before deciding to call it a day in 1996.

In 2003, the "Born Too Late" incarnation of the band decided to get back together and perform some live shows, but they made it clear that it was not going to be a permanent reunion, and disbanded once again before the year was over, releasing a live DVD from the tour in the process. A more promising reformation would happen in 2008 however, when the band announced that they were returning and eventually confessed that new material was being written. Once again, this reformation featured the "Born Too Late" lineup and they were able to perform at some of the biggest festivals in Europe such as Roadburn and Hellfest. However in 2009, Acosta parted ways with the band due to health concerns and was replaced by Blood Of The Sun drummer Henry Vasquez. Acosta passed away on November 25th of this year, leaving behind a great legacy of heavy metal and carving himself a place as one of the most respected drummers in the history of doom metal. A new Saint Vitus album is expected to surface sometime next year, which will be their first without Acosta.

Saint Vitus - The Sadist

Saint Vitus - Ice Monkey

Saint Vitus - Fear

Saint Vitus - I Bleed Black

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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7 Comments on "Sunday Old School: Saint Vitus"

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BoltThrower's avatar

Supporter

1. BoltThrower writes:

I heard Trouble first but that got me looking for more heavy doom metal. Found Candlemass next but eventually Saint Vitus. All great bands.

# Dec 5, 2010 @ 10:31 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Nekromaniac's avatar

Member

2. Nekromaniac writes:

I love this band, and their first 3 albums. Many memories to the 'Born Too Late' album in particular. Reminds me of tea and cigarettes, ahahaha.

# Dec 5, 2010 @ 1:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cryonics's avatar

Member

3. Cryonics writes:

This article is such a huge boost in helping me explore the roots of doom metal. I'm such a rookie in this genre, so Saint Vitus should be a good start for this journey. Witchfinder General is another band that I've been scoping out and really enjoying.

Any good doom recommendations for a starter? I'd greatly appreciate anything!

# Dec 5, 2010 @ 2:40 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

4. Cynic writes:

^^^ As BoltThrower said - Trouble! "Born Too Late" is my absolute favourite from St. Vitus though, what an album.

# Dec 5, 2010 @ 3:12 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

5. Diamond Oz writes:

Check out Cathedral, they're my favourite doom/stoner metal band. Here's the Sunday Old School on them if you're interested:

http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=51712

Also check out Pentagram.

# Dec 6, 2010 @ 9:55 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. Vinny the Metalhead writes:

Awesome story. R.I.P. Armando!

Now Playing: Saint Vitus - White Magic/Black Magic

# Dec 8, 2010 @ 3:58 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. Tushar writes:

U r the 1of best band

# Dec 20, 2010 @ 2:04 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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