Doom, But Not Gloom

September 27, 2012
These guys are nice once you get to know ’em.

When Robert Johnson decided to sing the blues, it’s said, he made a deal with the devil. When the American doom-metal titans of Saint Vitus decided to sing the blues, they must have signed a similar pact — then went all pro-wrestling on Satan and smashed him through a table. Saint Vitus brings its (Black) sabbath-demolishing music to the Black Cat on Thursday night.

Backstory: Formed in 1978, Saint Vitus has dissolved and reformed many times, but the band has been working steadily the past three years. One of the first metal groups to cross over into punk circles, Saint Vitus recorded four albums in the ’80s for SST Records, home of Black Flag, Husker Du and Sonic Youth.

Maryland’s Own: Following the departure of original vocalist Scott Reagers, Saint Vitus tapped Rockville, Md.-raised Scott “Wino” Weinrich, above at far left, whose own late-’70s-early-’80s doom-metal band, the Obsessed, influenced D.C. punks such as Fugazi bassist Joe Lally.

Doomed to Success: The dark, slo-mo, psychedelic sound of doom metal has waxed and waned in popularity, but right now, it’s riding high. This tour, which features fellow sludge-sellers Weedeater and Sourvein, is even sponsored by the car company Scion.

Good to Know: This year’s “Lillie: F-65” is the first Wino-voiced Saint Vitus album since 1990’s “V.” It’s named after a type of downer pill that guitarist Dave Chandler loved to mow through back in the day.

Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW; with Weedeater, Sourvein, Thu., 8 p.m., $20; 202-667-7960. (U Street)
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