The band was formed in 1979 under the name Tyrant, with Dave Chandler (guitar, vocals), Mark Adams (bass), and Armando Acosta (drums), but soon added Scott Reagers on vocals and changed their name to Saint Vitus after the song "St. Vitus' Dance" by Black Sabbath. Their main influences were Sabbath and Black Flag, the latter of which Saint Vitus toured with during the 1980's.
Under this line-up, Saint Vitus recorded 2 albums, "Saint Vitus" & "Hallow's Victim", and an EP "The Walking Dead". After "The Walking Dead" Reagers left the band and was replaced by The Obsessed frontman Scott "Wino" Weinrich (at this time, The Obsessed had only released one 7").
Wino recorded three studio albums ("Born Too Late", "Mournful Cries" & "V"), a live album ("Live"), and an EP ("Thirsty and Miserable", featuring the Black Flag cover of the same name) with Vitus. Weinrich left Saint Vitus in 1991 to reform The Obsessed after Vitus's label, Hellhound Records, released an album of older Obsessed recordings.
Following Weinrich's departure, Saint Vitus went on hiatus. The band finally found former Count Raven singer Christian Lindersson as Weinrich's replacement. He would record only one album, "C.O.D." before being replaced by original Vitus vocalist, Scott Reagers.
Reagers recorded vocals for the band's final album, "Die Healing". After this, Saint Vitus decided to call it a day in 1996.
"Born Too Late" line-up (Weinrich, Chandler, Adams, Acosta) played a gig at Double Door in Chicago.The performance was recorded and released on a DVD that is distributed through Chandler's current band, Debris, Inc., which features former Trouble bassist Ron Holzner. Following the reunion, Saint Vitus parted ways again.
As of 2008, Saint Vitus have reformed again. The band headlined the April 24 date at the 2009 Roadburn Festival. The lineup for this reunion was the same as the 2003 reunion. Sometime after this gig, drummer Armando Acosta was removed from the band and was replaced by Henry Vasquez, with health concerns being cited as the primary case for his removal (Acosta eventually passed away in November 2010).