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Sunday Old School: Superjoint (Ritual)

Some musicians seemingly can't stay still for a minute. Napalm Death bassist Shane Embury for example, has also been involved with such bands as Meathook Seed, Blood From The Soul, Venemous Concept and Brujeria amongst others, while Mike Patton, famous for his vocal duties for Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, has also taken part in projects such as, Fantômas Peeping Tom and Tomahawk, in addition to a lengthy list of other groups. Another of these musicians, is former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo, known also for his work with Down, Viking Crown, Christ Inversion and today's featured band, Superjoint.

Superjoint was formed under the name Superjoint Ritual in 1993 by Anselmo, along with Joe Fazzio, and Jimmy Bower with the trio soon to be joined by Hank Williams III. The quartet were mostly influenced by hardcore punk such as Black Flag and Minor Threat, though a trace of black metal can also be heard in their sound too, with the band taking particular inspiration from Venom and Darkthrone, with the latter providing the name Superjoint Ritual via a line in their song, "The Pagan Winter."

Although the band was formed in the nineties, they only recorded two demos in the decade, one in 1995 and the other in 1997, it would be some time before Superjoint recorded their debut album, which finally surfaced in 2002 under the title, "Use Once and Destroy." The record received something of a mixed response from listeners, particularly those who were eager for Anselmo to get back to work with Pantera, but nonetheless found a solid fan base. It contained a number of fan favourites such as "The Alcoholik," "Fuck Your Enemy" and "Creepy Crawl," the last of which was featured in the Jim Van Bebber movie, "The Manson Family," for which Anselmo had contributed music under several names and where he can be heard providing the voice of Satan.

Only a year later, Superjoint released their sophomore album, "A Lethal Dose Of American Hatred," which featured more popular tracks such as "Waiting For the Turning Point" and "Dress Like A Target." There was some controversy attached to the record however, for Anselmo's use of the racist terms and suspicions in the songs, "Personal Insult," and "Stealing A Page Or Two From Armed and Radical Pagans," which led some to question if the album's title also had negative connotations. Whatever the case, the group soldiered on, releasing a live DVD, "Live at CBGB" in 2004 but that same year, Anselmo's former Pantera bandmate "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was murdered onstage while performing with his new band, Damageplan and Anselmo decided to take a rest from music.

Returning in 2007 with Down, Anselmo worked on a number of other projects including his solo band Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, before finally granting the wishes of Superjoint Ritual fans by announcing that the group were reuniting (without Williams) to perform a one off show at the singer's Housecore Horror exhibition in 2014, where they would be performing under the name Superjoint for legal reasons. Despite announcing that the Housecore show was a solitary act, the group were soon booked to perform at Hellfest 2015, which was successful enough to convince Superjoint to write a third album, which was released on November 11 this year under the title, "Caught Up in the Gears of Application." Though still too early to tell how the record will be seen by fans, Superjoint has created a legacy for themselves shrouded in controversy, aggression but most importantly, strong and angry music which both paid a fitting tribute to their heroes while also crafting a sound of their own.

Superjoint - "Fuck Your Enemy"

Superjoint - "The Alcoholik"

Superjoint - "Creepy Crawl"

Superjoint - "Waiting For the Turning Point"

Superjoint - "Dress Like A Target"

Superjoint - "The Destruction of a Person"

Superjoint - "Caught Up In The Gears of Application"

Superjoint - "Sociopathic Herd Delusion"

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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