The Obsessed are an excellent American Hard Rock Doom Metal band from Washington, DC. The band's front man singer/guitarist, Scott "Wino" Weinrich has led a spectacular and somewhat successful career throughout the US's underground doom metal scene. Having also served as the vocalist in Saint Vitus and been the driving force behind later bands such as Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand and Premonition 13. There's no shortage of creativity from this guy, and certainly no shortage of riffs. Wino's music has always been a hard-rock influenced brand of Sabbath-derived heavy metal with a healthy dose of Motörhead in the mix. The "doom" here must be clarified as a kind with a real groove under it: more "Stranglehold" than "Electric Funeral". In addition to being a competent vocalist, Wino is a fantastic guitarist, delivering some very intelligent, rarely flashy guitar solos.
Early career (1976–1985)
Originally known as WARHORSE, the band now known the world over as THE OBSESSED formed in the late 1970's in Potomac, Maryland. Guitarist Scott "Wino" Weinrich, heavily influenced by musicians/bands such as Black Sabbath, Frank Zappa, The Dictators and The Stooges, was joined by bassist Mark Laue, guitarist John Reese, and drummer Dave Flood for it's early line-up. Wanting to have a high energy front man in the band, the group turned to then-PENTAGRAM bassist Vance Bockis to handle vocals. The band, along with guitarist Norman Lawson, who came onboard after John Reese parted ways in 1980, continued as a quintet until 1983.
That year, with Laue's encouragement, Wino took over on vocals and The Obsessed became a 3-piece, with Ed Gulli joining as the group's drummer. The trio recorded 3 songs, a recording known as the Sodden Jackal EP. A later single- "Concrete Cancer", was included on Metal Blade Records' Metal Massacre VI in 1985. The deal at the time with Metal Blade (or the one presented to The Obsessed at least) was putting a song on one of the compilations, and then getting a full length release- which the band did record. Due to the times- a heavy Thrash Metal-era in full swing, Metal Blade decided against releasing the record.
Splits, first reunion and aftermath (1986–2010)
The band broke up in the late 80s and Wino went west to California to join up with Saint Vitus. Wino recorded three albums, an EP, and a live album with Saint Vitus. Hellhound Records (Vitus's then current label) released The Obsessed, an album that The Obsessed had recorded in 1985, which prompted Wino to leave Vitus and reform The Obsessed with a new rhythm section consisting of Scott Reeder and Greg Rogers. The band was quickly signed to Hellhound Records and soon released Lunar Womb. Scott Reeder later left to join Kyuss, whereupon he was replaced by Guy Pinhas. Columbia Records signed them for their third and final album, The Church Within (1994), which received rave reviews. Despite a large amount of promotion on behalf of Columbia Records (including a 25-minute documentary on the history of The Obsessed), the album did not sell as well as expected. After the demise of The Obsessed, Wino went on to form Shine which changed name to Spirit Caravan and more projects before reuniting with Saint Vitus in 2003 (and again in 2008), while The Obsessed rhythm section became the basis for Goatsnake.
In September 2011, the Roadburn Festival announced that The Church Within lineup (featuring Wino, Greg Rogers and Guy Pinhas) would be reuniting to play their next edition on April 14, 2012. The band later confirmed they would be performing at the Hellfest Open Air 2012. The band performed yet another reunion show at Maryland Death fest XI in May 2013 featuring Wino, Greg Rogers and Reid Raley. TKO Records re-released the self-titled 7" on November 23, 2012.
2016 – Present
Wino announced the full-time return of THE OBSESSED in March 2016 and the band’s official signing to Relapse Records to record the follow up to
Now in 2017, THE OBSESSED will unleash Sacred, the band’s first studio album in in over 20 years. With renewed energy and purpose, THE OBSESSED sounds heavier and more relevant than ever before. On Sacred, the band doubles down on enormous, heaving riffs and pummeling low-end across 12 tracks of eternal doom. Rounded out by Wino’s lyrical honesty and iconic throaty vocals, Sacred is an album that further pushes THE OBSESSED into the annals of heavy metal history, well worth the two-plus decade wait. The band will perform as three piece, featuring Wino, Brian Costantino & Reid Raley.