Release Date: May 22, 2012
Record label: Season of Mist
In 1995, a gallon of gas cost $1.09. Mel Gibson's Braveheart war paint was thrilling housewives across the country, that sax-swingin' silver fox Bill Clinton was in office, Alanis Morissette was choking down jagged little pills, and Pantera were touring on Far Beyond Driven. It was also the year Die Healing, the last Saint Vitus album, was released.
When the criminally unheralded career of underground doom icons Saint Vitus whimpered to an inglorious end circa 1995 amid ongoing interpersonal turmoil and a spate of terminally uninspired albums, you could have heard a proverbial pin drop. The indifference was just deafening, and even the band's most dedicated fans (all 12 who remained) probably felt greater relief than sadness. Adding insult to injury, Vitus' forcibly retired mainstays, guitarist Dave Chandler, bassist Mark Adams, and drummer Armando Acosta were then forced to stand by and watch while estranged frontman Scott "Wino" Weinrich enjoyed a gradual (though hardly without incident) career redemption; first via his re-formed the Obsessed and, later, Spirit Caravan, the Hidden Hand, and numerous other side projects, ultimately attaining almost mythical status as a living legend of American heavy metal.
To say that a new record from doom masters Saint Vitus has been highly anticipated would be a severe understatement. Named after a drug popular in the '70s, Lillie: F-65 is the band's first new album since 1995's Die Healing and also features vocalist Scott "Wino" Weinrich, who returns for the first time since 1989's V. Opening track "Let Them Fall" starts the album off with that classic Vitus sound, featuring Dave Chandler's powerful, fuzzy guitars and Wino's coarse vocals.
Largely responsible for the subgenre doom – one of the most deliberate and glacial flavors metal offers – this comeback from L.A.'s St. Vitus is surprisingly concise. The first LP to feature singer Scott "Wino" Weinrich in 22 years, Lillie: F-65 drops seven tracks ranging from leaden stompers like opener "Let Them Fall" and the near-giddy raunch of "Blessed Night" to curious detours, including instrumental, almost pretty "Vertigo," and the three and a half minutes of feedback that close the disc ("Withdrawal").