For a man who makes sumptuous, slow-moving heavy metal, Scott “Wino” Weinrich sure talks fast. You’ll have to forgive him. He’s just extra-stoked about reactivating the pioneering doom-metal band he founded in the leafy Maryland suburbs 40 years ago. The Obsessed are famous for advancing Black Sabbath’s churning riffage into the future, but Weinrich is quick to point out that his band wasn’t always allowed to slouch. “We were up against the punks,” he says, “so we had to learn to play fast, too!”
Back in the ’80s, his awareness of the District’s then-burgeoning punk scene added a sharpness to the Obsessed’s curvy riffs, which have since rippled and rumbled across the entirety of the metal universe. And while the band has splintered and reformed a few times over the decades, Weinrich says he’s working on a new Obsessed album with bassist Dave Sherman and drummer Brian Costantino — the group’s first since 1994.
When asked why doom-metal’s devotees seem to keep growing in numbers year after year, Weinrich says, “Well, the Internet” — then dashes off a hypothesis that has more to do with temperament than tempo or technology. He thinks the melodic warmth of his music feels restorative to exhausted ears. “And I do feel kind of an anxious vibe in this country right now. These are strange times,” Weinrich says. “We’re labeled a doom band, but I like to think there’s some hope out there.”
With the Atomic Bitchwax and Karma to Burn on Friday at the Black Cat. Doors open at 9 p.m. 202-667-4490. $20.