red lights

Superjoint Ritual's lethal dose of fright

Superjoint Ritual

Superjoint Ritual - A Lethal Dose of American Hatred

Sanctuary Records
3 1/2 (out of 5 stars)

Reviewed: Oct. 27, 2003

Review by Tony Bonyata

Maybe it was just the watered down nu-metal nonsense from acts like Korn and Limp Bizkit that turned the term 'metal' into a cartoonish self-parody. But with the recent release of Superjoint Ritual's second serving, entitled A Lethal Dose of American Hatred, this spooky supergroup has given a renewed hope for lover's of true, hardcore heavy metal.
You won't find any turntable scratchings, silly rap rantings or Fred Durst-like celebrity posturing here, but instead pure unadulterated hardcore metal - with enough speed, angst, ferocity and bone-to-paste tempo changes to lay ruin upon a small village.
Originally formed as one of Phil Anselmo's many side projects (which included Down, Southern Isolation, Viking Crown and Necrophagia) away from his full time job as lead vocalist for the band Pantera, Superjoint Ritual seems to be the singer's new passion after recently admitting that, "this is the band I always wanted to be in."
Joined by guitarists Kevin Bond and Jimmy Bower, along with drummer Joe Fazzio and bassist Hank III (son of Hank Williams Jr. and grandson to early country legend Hank Williams Sr.) the in-your-face aggression that begins with the opening track "Sickness" is carried out with the precision of a Texas chainsaw massacre throughout the rest of the album. While the non-stop assault is relentless, there are a number of other elements that make this much more interesting than other hardcore metal acts of today. Anselmo brings his famous punk-meets-metal belligerants that he's known for and straps them tightly to chugging demonic minor chord changes that, without warning, guns the accelerator and takes their listeners on a runaway fright-ride with backbreaking staccato rhythms and brick wall of guitars. While a sinister backwards guitar haunts the angry number "Permanently," prog-rock progressions threaten to invade the bloodstream of "Never To Sit or Stand Again," before the rhythm section tosses in a spiraling metal groove that purges any pretentious notions. And when the band plays out their horrific deeds on "Stealing a Page or Two from Armed and Radical Pagans" it's enough to make Hank III's grandpappy (certainly no saint himself) roll in his grave.
Just as real, demented people are much more frightening than ghouls, ghosts or fantasy creatures, this supergroup of metal monsters proves to be more frightening than any other music act today. Be forewarned.

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