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Superjoint - "Caught Up In The Gears Of Application" (CD)

Superjoint - "Caught Up In The Gears Of Application" CD cover image

"Caught Up In The Gears Of Application" track listing:

1. Today and Tomorrow
2. Burning the Blanket
3. Ruin You
4. Caught Up in the Gears of Application
5. Sociopathic Herd Dillusion
6. Circling the Drain
7. Clickbait
8. Asshole
9. Mutts Bite Too
10. Rigging the Fight
11. Receiving No Answer to the Knock

Reviewed by on November 7, 2016

"...despite losing a few members, they haven't lost their attitude and they certainly haven't mellowed with age."

For those who weren't around at the time and took no notice, Superjoint (or Superjoint Ritual as they were then known,) were a hardcore group with black metal influences formed by Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo, along with Eyehategod drummer Jimmy Bower on guitar and Hank Williams III on bass. They released two albums, "Use Once and Destroy" and "A Lethal Dose of American Hatred," before splitting up and had their music featured in the Jim van Bebber movie, "The Manson Family." Now in 2016, they're finally back, albeit with a shortened name but with a new album in tow. So, how does "Caught Up In the Gears of Application" fit in with their short but sharp catalogue? Very well, as it happens.

The first track on the album, "Today and Tomorrow," is surprisingly the weakest. Opening the record with with this messy and tired track is certainly a head scratcher. While it has moments of great, groovy heaviness, the majority of the track comes across as unfocused and sloppy, while Anselmo's shouts of "trust no one" over and over and over again becomes practically unbearable by the end. A surprisingly poor start.

Despite the banal beginning, "Caught Up In the Gears of Application" very quickly brings back fond memories of the first two albums and displays the same extreme displays of anger that the group was known for. "Burning the Blanket" is vintage Superjoint, featuring the old bouncing sound that made them unique, while "Ruin You" is a perfect demonstration of insane rage, a wonderfully done hardcore song at it's most aggressive.

Like another of Anselmo's projects, Down, Superjoint are quite focused on the power of the riff, which is particularly prominent in tracks such as "Circling the Drain" and "Asshole," while riffing is a key factor in what makes "Sociopathic Herd Dillusion" one of the best tracks on the album, along with it's anthem-like structure. Another stand out song is, "Mutts Bite Too," which features a pounding bass intro that gives way to a violent and frenetic display.

All in all, Superjoint's first release in over ten years shows that despite losing a few members, they haven't lost their attitude and they certainly haven't mellowed with age. Though it's not a classic by any means, fans of the band will ultimately be pleased the group hasn't strayed from the path that garnered them a following to begin with.

Highs: "Sociopathic Herd Dillusion," "Mutts Bite Too" and "Rigging the Fight"

Lows: "Today and Tomorrow" and "Receiving No Answer to the Knock"

Bottom line: A solid addition to a hopefully growing catalogue.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)