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A Sacred Obsession

On his 13th birthday in the early 1970s, Scott “Wino” Weinrich, vocalist and songwriter with Maryland hard rock act The Obsessed, saw Black Sabbath perform live.

“That pretty much changed my life,” Weinrich tells me over the phone. “I was completely dumbfounded. They were playing their instruments so hard there was no doubt in my young mind the concert would have to be stopped. I was convinced they were going to destroy their instruments.” 

Formed in the early ’80s, The Obsessed are back with Sacred, their first new studio record in 20 years. Relapse Records is reissuing the band’s self-titled debut as well as the Concrete Cancer demo recordings.

Weinrich says Sacred brought him back to what he does best. “We’ve always been pretty diverse, and I think Sacred might be our most diverse record yet,” he says. “I think it’s pretty broad.” 

Listening to the muscular, heavy, chugging classic-rock boogaloo on tracks like “It’s Only Money,” you can hear a blueprint for modern bands like Queens of the Stone Age. For Weinrich, it doesn’t matter if it’s punk, metal or plain old hard rock. He’s always been drawn to what he calls “visceral” music. 

“There’s something about the passion,” he says. “We live in world that’s a pretty strange world and a lot of times it’s not very nice. I want to be happy. But there’s something about dark, slow music that strikes a chord with me. I think it’s important for music to evoke emotion, to evoke thought.”

The Obsessed play alongside Cobalt, Midnight Ghost Train and Mammoth Salmon 8 pm Monday, Oct. 9, at Old Nick’s; $15, 21-plus.