Superjoint Ritual - Use Once And Destroy
Brutal Heavy / Thrash Metal
16 songs (50:58)
Release year: 2002
Superjoint Ritual, Sanctuary
Reviewed by Marty

Superjoint Ritual is the latest in yet another side project from Phil Anselmo, lead vocalist of Pantera. Along with Down, Phil has surrounded himself with musician friends and this time, he really pulls out all the stops. I haven't heard Pantera sound this fierce in quite a few years, or if ever. The line-up of the band includes Phil Anselmo, vocals and guitar, Jimmy Bower, guitar (Eyehategod and Down), Joe Fazzio, drums and the mysterious "III", on bass. The "III" refers to Hank Williams III, the grandson of the legendary country superstar, Hank Williams. This release is from essentially a garage band who has finally, over the last 2 years, recorded the songs that have been written over the more than 10 years that this band has been in existence. The year that each track was written is printed above the lyrics in the CD booklet and some of the material dates back to 1989. The band is also using Kevin Bond as a touring guitarist to allow Phil to unleash his frontman persona that he's so well known for.

There are no "Nu-Metal", tones, sounds or nuances to this release. It's totally a rip-your-face-off, exercise in aggression. The riffing is fast, furious, really chunky heavy at times and Phil screams with a diabolical fury that you won't hear on most Pantera albums. The band draws from influences such as Slayer, Voivod, Celtic Frost and there's even a hint of punk aggression in some tracks. There's a total of 16 tracks on this release and some are really quite short ( a few are actually less than 2 min. long). Your head will be banging right from the first track right through to the end, it really never lets up!! The opening track, Oblivious Maximus is an instrumental that really sets the tone for the rest of the album. It features a slow and pounding heavy intro with several very abrupt tempo changes and even launches into warp-speed for a quick Slayer -like speed riff. Takes No Guts, very aggressive and brutal, uses Death Metal style vocals and some very cool riffing. Everyone Hates Everyone is a very fast punk-like track with lots of tempo changes and even some Black Sabbath style doom riffing. 4 Songs, an unusual track, is just that, 4 songs, all smashed together to form a frenzied chaos of sound. I think they had some fragments of unfinished songs and decided to link them together. Why not?'s been done before! Stupid, Stupid Man also contains some cool riffing with some slower tempo interludes and the double bass drumming on this track just kills!

Phil Anselmo was quoted recently while commenting about both his Down and Superjoint Ritual side projects and said that "I'm always trying to deal with a bunch of different emotions coming out of me, and I've got to get them out." It seems that he was either frustrated with the situation with Pantera and maybe not being heard as far as songs or musical direction, or that he felt he needed an outlet outside of Pantera to express himself. Most of the lyrical content deals with the dark underbelly of life and tackles issues such as prostitution, drug abuse, alcoholism and sexual abuse. The whole album is full of very catchy and aggressive riffs, solid drumming and bass playing and really has a killer sound (A+ for the production). There's lots of feedback on the guitars during stops and even between sections of a riff indicating that this album was probably recorded at an insanely loud volume!

If you like loud, aggressive metal music with wild screaming vocals, run out and buy this album immediately!! It's a buy-or-die type of situation! Myself, this type of metal music goes a bit over the line as to what I listen to and enjoy. It's not something that I would normally listen to, but I do find it to be a cool CD with some really infectious and very heavy riffing. I've been a huge Heavy Metal fan since it started in the late 70's and early 80's and this release may possibly be the heaviest thing I've ever heard in my life. It packs more punch than just about anything I've ever heard in this genre of metal music. Jimmy Bower (guitar) has recently stated that this is a band that "Needs to happen in today's music". It is his reaction to the ever present Korn and Limp Bizkit influences that prevail in what we hear in a lot of new bands. He feels that Heavy Metal needs a shot in the arm to keep the true essence of metal music alive. This band delivers more than just a shot in the arm, it impales you with a sonic blast of heavy metal right between the eyes!

Killing Songs :
Oblivious Maximus, Takes No Guts, Everyone Hates Everyone, 4 Songs, and Stupid, Stupid Man
Marty quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Superjoint Ritual that we have reviewed:
Superjoint Ritual - Live At CBGB's (Changing the Face of Music Through Uncompromising Anti-Image) - DVD reviewed by Aaron and quoted no quote
Superjoint Ritual - A Lethal Dose of American Hatred reviewed by Aaron and quoted 40 / 100
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