Saint Vitus - Lillie: F-65

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The negative points of the long awaited and badly overdue comeback album from one of doom metal music's biggest legends all present themselves from the very beginning, but they are quickly forgotten as the album unfolds and the monumental riffs pile up. Until the end anyway. First off, it's only the length of a substantial EP at just 34 minutes, which really isn't enough new material after a 17-year gap, and when pointless closing noise track Withdrawal is discounted there's only actually 31 minutes of music. The last small issue is Dave Chandler's guitar tone, which sounds consistently fuzzy and underproduced, occasionally lacking the necessary heaviness. This was presumably intentional to make it sound like the older Saint Vitus material recorded when production techniques were not what they are today, but it does make things sound a little like something a less experienced band might end up with. All of these things are minor though because the six proper tracks of Lillie: F-65 are some of Saint Vitus' all time best. Brilliantly sombre acoustic instrumental Vertigo breaks up an otherwise relentlessly doomy procession of riffs and distorted solos under a crystal clear Scott Weinrich vocal. Opener Let Them Fall, this album's I Bleed Black (not quite as good, but what is?), starts things off in a simple enough manner, and things get progressively more involved and more impressive from there on, incorporating all of the Vitus trademarks; The Waste of Time and Dependence in particular. It's probably because everything apart from Withdrawal is so good that the short running length stands out, because by the end there's no escaping the feeling that this should really be about twice as long as it is.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2012, Albums, Doom Metal, Quick.Play Reviews,

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