Power of Metal.dk Review

Saint Vitus
Lillie: F-65
Style: Doom Metal
Release date: 27 April, 2012
Playing time: 33:16

If my own experience is anything to go by, there’s been a high level of expectation for this, the 1st album in 17 years from one of the icons of true Doom. Subtlety is thrown out of the window as its opening track kicks off with a typical Saint Vitus riff and the agonised voice of Wino. It seems the band saw no reason to take advantage of their return in order to develop their sound, as if wanting to suggest it never went away. Ergo you’ve got those plaintively slow and downtuned guitars dragged along by emotional and almost crying vocals. So, as a Doom fan, I should be a happy man right? Well, yes, but only to a certain extent…..

You see, in reality I have mixed feelings about “Lillie: F-65” - the songwriting, for instance, sounds a bit patchy and while there were parts of the album I just loved, I felt oddly indifferent to others. Speaking of parts I loved, ‘Vertigo’ is a short instrumental track whose air of melancholy manages to say so much more than words. It might be interesting to see what would emerge should the band follow this musical avenue in future. In keeping a similarly ‘cheerful’ mood, the last part of ‘The Bleeding Ground’ has Saint Vitus picking up the tempo and once again sounding on top of the Doom genre. That’s definitely a song I’d like to experience in a live scenario.

And before you know it, “Lillie…..” is over. Lasting little more than half an hour, you sort of get a veiled sense of dismay that the Californians couldn’t satisfy your appetite a bit more convincingly.

In case you’re wondering, the album title seems to be inspired by the name of a drug popular in the 1980s and here linked with both the artwork and the themes of the album’s lyrics. It’s all a bit enigmatic and the listener is left to unravel it all. “Lillie…..” reunites Scott "Wino" Weinrich with founding members Dave Chandler (guitar) and Mark Adams (bass). Drummer Henry Vasquez replaces the recently deceased co-founding member Armando Acosta and does one helluva great job.

I have no hesitation in recommending “Lillie…” to any serious Doom connoisseur. Meanwhile, when I’m in the mood for some great traditional Doom, I’ll probably end up re-listening to “Die Healing” or “V”.

01. Let Them Fall
02. The Bleeding Ground
03. Vertigo
04. Blessed Night
05. The Waste of Time
06. Dependance
07. Withdrawal
Label: Season of Mist
Distribution: Season of Mist
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 22 April, 2012
Link: www.myspace.com/stvitus