St. Vitus

It's probably just a coincidence that St. Vitus formed the same year Ozzy Osbourne parted ways with Black Sabbath. Nonetheless, this Los Angeles outfit was central to evolving Sabbath's classic sound and dynamics into the kind of metal that was more concerned with genuine heaviness and mood than the party-time, upbeat, GIT-training-inflected hard rock that rose to prominence in the late '80s. It's hard to say for certain if these guys were a core inspiration to '90s stoner-rock bands like Sleep, Kyuss and Fu Manchu, but all of those groups sure sound like they cut their teeth trying to play St. Vitus covers. Having toured with the likes of Black Flag in the early days, St. Vitus had — and continues to have — an appeal to anyone who appreciates that dark, visceral music isn't always a bummer.


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