Released: 2016, Season of Mist
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Doom metal legends Saint Vitus have always been the type of band to do what they want when they want. It’s been 4 years already since their last studio disc and 16 years since their first LIVE album, so why not decide now to release another live album? And why not make it a show from 3 years ago with a singer that they’re not currently performing with and may not still be in the band? Because it’s Saint Vitus, and because why not?
Listening to LIVE VOL. 2, Saint Vitus is a more grizzled and experienced band than they were a decade a half ago when the first LIVE album was released. Vitus has always been a competent stage troupe and this performance is no exception, but you can hear the miles in Wino’s voice and in Dave Chandler’s commitment to the riffs. It definitely gives the tunes an additional weight that you don’t hear on their studio counterparts. Speaking of the tunes, there are plenty of usual set list staples like “War is Our Destiny” and “Born Too Late” (their “Living After Midnight”), but as this show was recorded while touring in support of LILLIE: F-65, we’re treated to newer gems as well. “Let Them Fall” sounds absolutely massive, and you’re bound to get a chuckle out of Chandler’s introduction to “The Bleeding Ground”. Deeper cuts like “The Troll” and “Patra (Petra)” also get a dusting off, a seeming acknowledgement that after 30 years in the game, they’re still more than a greatest hits band.
Given that Wino has resurrected The Obsessed and original vocalist Scott Reagers has returned to the band in a touring capacity (at least for now), one can speculate as to whether LIVE VOL. 2 is an informal end to that version of the band or just a simple commemoration of a great performance at that specific moment in time. Still, it would’ve been cool to get some quality live recordings of Reagers’ run with them across Europe last year. But given the Saint Vitus operating schedule, maybe we’ll see those surface in another 3 years.
LIVE VOL. 2 won’t do much to draw Saint Vitus new converts, but if you’re already a fan you’ll dig the experience. Season of Mist is pressing a limited run CDs and vinyl, of which there’s an extra limited batch that includes a copy of the MARBLES IN THE MOSHPIT live bootleg from 1984, featuring once and future vocalist Scott Reagers. Because it’s Saint Vitus, and because why not?