Superjoint Ritual - A Lethal Dose of American Hatred
Brutal Aggressive Groove Metal
13 songs (46:04)
Release year: 2003
Superjoint Ritual, Sanctuary
Reviewed by Aaron
Archive review

I believe that this CD by Superjoint Ritual was not composed by human hands. I believe that Phil wrote a shitload of horrific music that he thought was great, but then his bandmates, almost showing some sense, loaded the entire Pantera discography into a supercomputer and asked it to come up with something about forty minutes long that sounded vaguely like Pantera. The computer obliged, and Phil’s lyrics were kept intact, which shows their degeneration since Vulgar Display of Power.

In Pantera, Phil’s lyrics always seemed to mean something. In SJR, it’s as though he’s merely ranting into the microphone in this vocal style that, ultimately, is reminiscent of the guy from Caliban trying to imitate his Grating Southern Earkill style. This, of course, does not make Phil’s half-sane rants about terrorists and drinking any better. Since he’s always liked that trick where he comes out of one speaker first, then the other the next, he’s assaulting both your ears almost at once. Put this album on loud enough, and you’ll be shrieking like a scalded cat while holding both hands to the side of your head, just like your mother did back when she caught you playing Black Sabbath/Obituary/Judas Priest/Metallica/Dark Funeral with the stereo cranked up loud enough to be audible on Mars. Then you’ll probably die.

Anyway, the members dial in a completely ineffectual performance that bores me, vexes me, and irritates me all at once. They just seem to be there for the sake of being there, and not a single trace of passion, soul, genius, or fuck, even songwriting skill pierces through here. It’s ultimately akin to a teenage garage band that somehow inked a record deal despite being pure shit. In tradition of garage bands everywhere, almost every song starts off with ‘one-two-three-four’ from the drummer. This irks the listener very quickly: Doing this once or twice is acceptable, but this many times is just stupid.

The production sucks. It’s muddy, nigh-impossible to distinguish riff from riff, and unlike some instances of bad production, does NOT add to the atmosphere.

The songs? What do you fucking think? They’re half-inspired Pantera/Down ripoffs as imagined by Phil’s retarded step cousin who thinks he’s Barney and wrote the songs by spitting on a sheet of paper.

There are three passable songs here, but ‘passable’ does not mean ‘good.’ Sickness has some okay riffs and some halfway decent drumming, but Phil ruins it with his random shouts about common medical problems. Dress Like A Target is tolerable despite the nonsensical lyrics and ugly as fuck ‘shout-along’ chorus. Personal Insult is just funny, and it thrashes pretty well, but man, those vocals… they could ruin Emperor for fucks sake.

The worst track is Destruction of a Person. Abysmal spoken ‘whisper’ vocals are overlaid over a medley of useless riffs and cardboard drumming that I could probably perform, though I’ve never drummed before. If you want to drive a person insane, lock him in a room with only this playing for three hours. When you let him out, he’ll probably have gnawed through his wrists.

Avoid this album, for it is shit. Forty is generous compared to what I would have given them without the acceptable grooves of Sickness.

Final Note: I have no idea whatsoever why so many seem to hold this album in such high esteem. It sucks.

Killing Songs :
Sickness. Nothing else is quite as mediocre as this. Congratulations, Sickness, you're the most mediocre in a blender of shit.
Aaron quoted 40 / 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 - Use Once And Destroy reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
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