Saint Vitus – Live Vol. 2 (Season of Mist)

Sunday, 23rd October 2016
Rating: 7/10

The collective groan from a record company when one of its bands wants to do a live album is justified. They usually cost the same to promote as a normal album while selling a fraction in the process. Bands oftentimes use live album as contractual filler; i.e. a way to get out of their record contract sooner, so it goes both ways. Saint Vitus are legendary enough to do as they please at this stage in their career, so it’s unlikely the band and Season of Mist squabbled over the release of Live Vol. 2, which as the title suggests, is the doom masters’ second live album, following up a 1990 live set that went under Live Vol. 1.

Recorded on March 19, 2013 at the Kulturfabrik in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, while Saint Vitus were touring in support of their Lillie F:65 comeback album, Live Vol.2, as expected, finds the band soaked in their immovable blend of dusty old doom. Dave Chandler’s guitar tone is overbearing, but his chugged chords, stalled breaks, and soulful leads continue to maintain their distinction, as so found on “The Breeding Ground” and the always-powerful “Born to Late.” Scott “Wino” Weinrich’s seasoned howl (the product of many hard years on the road) cuts through on “The Waste of Time” and set highlight, “Dying Inside,” long one of Saint Vitus’s better songs.

Given that Lillie F:65 was released four years ago, it’s likely Saint Vitus are circling the doom wagons for another full-length go-round, hence the need to blow off steam via a live album. While live albums no longer have the same currency, Saint Vitus still do, which means this set will more than suit their long-standing stream of doomsters.

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