It sucks to have to say that because I used to worship Phil when he was in Pantera. There’s no way around it, Down was a horrible band. Simple, recycled, redneck sounding riffs with some palm muting does not make for a good “blues-metal” band. As Down 2 came out, Phil’s vocals just got worse and worse. Then SJR came out with their first CD which had some pretty thrashy stuff at times but still showed the decline in Phil’s vocals. This is the album that has officially made me start to hate Anselmo. Playing 3 chords and screaming meaningless crap over and over again in a failed, laughable attempt to be a hardass isn’t thrash or metal. “Waiting for the Turning Point” and “Dress Like a Target” are horrible songs that just sound like fillers that could have been added to the first SJR. The cover of their CD has a sticker that says “I believe this band right here deserves your utmost respect”. Haha. Phil’s got a major god complex that really needs to get sorted out because he sucks. His attempts to prove he’s the most brutal metalhead out there gets on my nerves so much, I’m actually wishing he would sell out and write pretty love ballads. It can’t be as bad as this garbage. Necrophagia sucks too. Phil’s ONLY good band is Pantera. No way around it.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Where to begin… Well if you are a die hard Pantera fan you must buy this album with a degree of understanding, There are no amazing guitars period, just thrash speed and breakdowns. The drumming although heavy could not lick Vinnie’s balls on a bad day. Phil himself takes somewhat of a different yet amazing aproach to his vocals.Now all this may sound somewhat negative but do not [freat]! In an era that is producing little to no quality heavy music Superjoint ethrals you with some bad …thrash/punk/hardcore styling. Lyrically Phil takes a step back more to the roots of emotion and anger rather than just stating dominance in metal as Reinventing the Steel did. Overall, rock it, blast it get the juices flowing and love it for what it is.. blistering heavy music that is not afraid to spit in your face and kick you in the gut
Many people are quick to judge this record based on Phil Anselmo’s acheivements and sounds with other bands, and they shouldn’t do that. Superjoint Ritual has its own sound, quite apart from Phil’s other musical projects– what he did in Down and Pantera should be irrelevant when discussing what he’s doing here. Unfair judgment notwithstanding, this album is still weak. Pantera’s end was inevitable, but I am sad Phil abandoned Down to focus on this muddled, chest-thumping mess. If the notorious Phil Anselmo were not at the helm of this racket, it would be mired in complete obscurity where it belongs.The music is an unfocused barrage of one simplistic, hammering riff after another. I have no problem with intense, hammering riffs– Slayer has made a living off them, and deservedly so. But this sounds uninspired and gets tough to listen to after the first couple of songs. The drumming is particularly irritating– it’s nearly the same amateurish banging every song. Great riffs and excellent percussion make up the backbone of legendary heavy music. “Lethal Dose” has neither, and the result is something much less than Phil’s public claim that this heralds the rebirth of heavy music. It could be the rebirth of aging, declining musicians making a last desperate grasp at street credibility, but in that case Metallica has beaten Superjoint Ritual to the punch with “St. Anger”.The whole thing sounds suspiciously like a Phil Anselmo midlife crisis album. Let’s be real folks: the vocals are terrible. If you didn’t know Phil was singing, you wouldn’t be listening. The tone of the vocals never changes, it just sort of plods along at a dull general roar, hammering away like every other part of the music. It’s sad. Anselmo’s vocal work was always inspired and distinctive, whatever the style. He sounds old, tired, and out of place here. All the macho huffing and puffing only serve to further weaken this frantic attempt at staying relevant.I am absolutely not one of the now-many “Phil-haters.” I will always respect and admire him as a musician. I grew up on Pantera’s music, Down is one of my favorite bands, and he has worked hard to dig up heavy music diamonds. He single-handedly provided the excellent Crowbar with a viable career, and he consistently takes “risk” bands on tour with him to provide them with the exposure they need. Morbid Angel is a legendary band in death metal circles, but they are not even close to any of the styles for which Phil is known. Yet he took them on tour with Pantera and now again with SJR, a pretty magnanimous move. Still, there is something to be said for aging gracefully. He had an opportunity to do that with Down. “Down II” was not an amazing record, but it was solid. It was the sound of several good friends in the music business getting older, but getting wiser. Now Down has been “put aside indefinitely” in favor of the anachronistic SJR and ridiculous tough-guy posturing to the press. Whatever he used to be, over the last year he’s done a fine job of sounding like an aging, drunken blowhard, and this album manifests that in musical form. After years of hard touring, harder partying, and insanely hard drinking, Phil isn’t capable of rocking like a nineteen year old anymore. The sooner he realizes that, the sooner he’ll stop making a mockery of himself with efforts like “Lethal Dose.”
So i was reading some of the negative reviews of this album and at first i couldn’t believe what i was reading. I mean, how could so many people not like one of my favorite bands. Well, it’s simple really. It seems like there are all of these expectations of what superjoint should or shouldn’t be.
Some people think that they should sound like pantera because of phil… some think that they should sound like black flag since the flag were an admitted influence… still others think that maybe they should sound like eyehategod just because jimmy bower is in the band.
The fact is, they don’t sound like any one band. They are doing their own thing, even if it isn’t the most popular thing. Certainly, they aren’t the most technically proficient band, and by no means are they the hardest band around. They do however, have attitude, energy, and some great lyrics(no, not profound, either you get it or you don’t).
If you like bands like down, eyehategod, crowbar, black flag, acid bath, soilent green, or black sabbath, chances are you will like these guys. Just don’t buy the cd expecting a copy of anybody else.
…by the way the production value is excellent on this recording. Dave Fortman produced “lethal dose” with the same clarity as with “confederacy of ruined lives” by eyehategod. (this is a good thing, for those of you not familiar with that album)
If “Use Once & Destroy” was a kick in the teeth, “A Lethal Dose of American Hatred”, the new album from Superjoint Ritual, is a punch to the gut. Musically, the band sounds a bit more evolved than on they’re debut (even though both albums are only a year apart), but the true old school hardcore/metal with a punk vibe element remains. Phil Anselmo sounds better here than he did on “Use Once & Destroy”, and the band as a whole is tighter sounding. Tracks like “Waiting For the Turning Point”, the excellent “Dress Like a Target”, “The Destruction of a Person”, “Death Threat”, and “The Knife Rises” are all headbanging cuts, but the album as a whole is too short. It leaves you wanting more, but just about anything featuring Phil behind the wheel, whether it be Pantera, Down, or even Viking Crown, has that effect. All in all, “A Lethal Dose of American Hatred” is one of the better metal releases this year, but hopefully the best from Superjoint is still to come.