Superjoint Ritual

Saturday, June 29

Heavy metal titans Pantera may be on hiatus, but Superjoint Ritual is further proof that singer Philip Anselmo is beyond driven. As the leader of eight lesser-known bands, Pantera's Anselmo keeps a punishing pace. Not waiting to exhale after taking his underground supergroup Down through select clubs on the way to this summer's Ozzfest, Anselmo is sparking up Superjoint Ritual following its debut release, Use Once and Destroy.

Superjoint reeks of the extreme speed metal and verbal abuse that Anselmo is known for. The drums pummel like a symphony of wrecking balls, guitars violently chug and slash, and Anselmo's venomous vocals roar like a big-mouthed professional wrestler with a pack-a-day habit. Ferocious with a capital F, the 16 neck-breakers and two bonus tracks on Use Once and Destroy are a Pantera fan's fix for the hard stuff.

Anselmo's not just growling ditties like "It Takes No Guts" and "Everyone Hates Everyone"; Superjoint also has the singer playing guitar. He's joined by Jimmy Bower on guitar, who also drums for Down and C.O.C. and plays guitar in Eyehategod, and drummer Joe Fazzio, who is responsible for the collage of weed leaves, pentagrams and a burning Confederate flag that serves as Superjoint's album artwork. The touring Joint adds Kevin Bond on guitar (replacing Anselmo on stage) and an unlikely cowboy from hell, Hank III, on bass. When he's not hanging out with Kid Rock, Williams, listed in the credits simply as III, is the grandson of Hank Williams and the son of that guy who bellows, "Are you ready for some football?!"

For reasons unknown, Superjoint dispatched a production crew to Anselmo's house to film videos for the songs "Fuck Your Enemy" and "The Alcoholik." Until Carson Daly makes a pact with the devil or the Osbournes mandate graveyard-shift rotation, Superjoint on MTV is as likely as Tipper Gore on W.A.S.P.'s guest list.

On the other hand, Superjoint may be a side project for most of the men involved, but if I were in the Pantera posse, I wouldn't take too long to reinvent the steel.

 
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