26 years after their first foray into the world of live albums, American doom pioneers Saint Vitus unleash Live Vol. 2 upon the world.
Considering they’ve spent the past number of years touring with original vocalist Scott Reagers, it comes across as slighly odd that they would choose now to release an album with Scott “Wino” Weinrich back at the mic. Wino’s work may be the most popular but surely this is a disservice to Reagers?
So, with that in mind what are we left with here? As befits a band of their style this is an unfussy, bare bones recording; Saint Vitus live, warts and all. The borderline ‘classic’ line-up of Wino, guitarist Dave Chandler, bassist Mark Adams and new-ish drummer Henry Vasquez groove through their eleven song, feedback-drenched, set of classics and newer songs – from the relatively recent Lillie F65 album – with ease. Predictably, Wino delivers his vocals in his laconic style while Chandler riffs away and peels off one demented solo after another.
So why the low rating? (Glance down and you’ll see our relatively unfavourable verdict).
The problem with Live Vol. 2 is that it sounds anorexic, devoid of the weight this band can so obviously carry and Saint Vitus simply appear to be going through the motions. What’s worse, lead-plated classic such as “War Is Our Destiny”, “Dying Inside” and “Born Too Late” come across as lifeless and….dare we say it, dull. Sacrilege, but there you have it! As an aside, Saint Vitus aficionados will already know that the tracks just mentioned appeared on 1990’s Live and you really might as well just spin that infinitely better album one more time.
In the end, Live Vol. 2 is a disappointing snapshot of a once pioneering band that you don’t really want or need. Strictly for completists only then. 5/10