Wino Weinrich's World

Black Sabbath invented doom metal, obviously. But arguably doom still didn't turn into a style per se until metal had gone astray in the mid-'70s and Sabbath's sound had to be brought back from the dead. So The Obsessed, a trio fronted and guitared by Scott "Wino" Weinrich that formed in Maryland in 1976 (originally as Warhorse) and put out its debut 45 ("Sodden Jackal"/"Iron & Stone"/"Indestroy") in 1983, deserve ten tons of credit. (Pentagram, around since 1971, came too soon, maybe.) Over subsequent decades, Mr. Weinrich went on to keep slow, heavy, downtuned, depresso sludge alive -- most visibly in the hugely influential band Saint Vitus, but also in bluesier outfits The Hidden Hand and Premonition 13, as well as others like Spirit Caravan and Shrinebuilder, and sundry configurations under his own name. So it's no stretch at all to call him doom metal history's most important single figure who wasn't in Sabbath in 1970.

All of Wino's aforementioned bands show up on this playlist -- dating back to all three tracks on that first Obsessed single and the two most memorable songs from 1986's Born Too Late, his initial Vitus outing. There's even a solo Townes Van Zandt cover, "A Song For," off a tribute album to the Texas outlaw troubadour that Weinrich split with two Neurosis members in 2012. The playlist eventually winds down with Weinrich guitar and/or vocal cameo contributions to tracks by Clutch, Earthride, Victor Griffin's In-Graved, Sixty Watt Shaman, Solace and Wall of Sleep. Then, finally: a cover of "The Wizard" off the 1994 Sabbath tribute compilation Nativity in Black, done by the one-off supergroup Bullring Brummies, featuring Geezer Butler and Bill Ward from Sabbath, Rob Halford, a couple other dudes and Wino providing riffs -- taking doom back to its beginning, just to make you gloomy. Be grateful.

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