"A Lethal Dose of American Hatred" (Sanctuary; 2003)

Reviewed by Jason Savage


Phil Anselmo is at it again and this time his sights are targeted solely upon Superjoint Ritual and their sophomore release, "A Lethal Dose of American Hatred." Amazingly, "A Lethal Dose" proves to be even better than their previous effort, "Use Once and Destroy," an album that featured a thrashier foundation and Phil's patented painful scream. "A Lethal Dose" feels more focused, most likely because Phil insists that - from this point on - SJR is his first priority.

The biggest difference here is Phil's vocals. On the opener, "Sickness," he employs a throwback style more akin to 80s hardcore punk. It's fast and monotone with a few added barks and growls that have become his trademark. "Waiting for the Turning Point" follows suit at a mere 1:27, reinforcing the punk mantra of short, fast songs. One useless tidbit I noticed throughout this album was that eight of the thirteen songs start out like a jam session with a "one, two, one, two, three, four!"

Musically, "Lethal Dose" runs the gamut between the minefields of thrash, hardcore and punk for a sound that embraces the past while still maintaining a sense of originality as it forges into the future. Lyrically, the CD reaches into the depths of the psyche with tales of violence, woe and destruction. "Personal Insult" showcases Slayer-esque riffing and soloing and kicks some serious ass as it takes a stab at the war in the Middle East. This lyrical excerpt explains it better:

"Unholy war you will get, you can get, it's just bullshit
"Unholy war you will get, you can get, Jihad is a joke
"Fight us, the American Public, the most pissed off motherfuckers in the world!"

"Never to Sit or Stand Again" cries: "Die for me!" as it screeches along at breakneck speed. Phil explores heroin addiction on "The Destruction of a Person" where he barks: "The destruction of a person builds character." He also tackles the media in "Dress like a Target." 

I would gladly break down every track would rather you experience "Lethal Dose" for yourselves. Each song dragged me deeper into the depths of a mind insane. "A Lethal Dose of American Hatred" takes you on a twisted roller coaster ride through Hell and is sure to be one of the very best releases of the year.

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"Use Once and Destroy" (Sanctuary; 2002)

Reviewed by Alicia Downs


2002 might as well be considered the year where Phil Anselmo stakes his claim as heir to the metal throne from here on out. If Ozzy is the Prince of Darkness and the Godfather of Metal, Anselmo is the knight slaying anyone that defiles the realm's path. 

Establishing himself well beyond Pantera, his namesake band, one of Anselmo's many "side-projects," Down, came out ripping this year with "Down II" their sophomore album of great proportions. Following with that success, Superjoint Ritual (which is basically half of Down anyway) comes out swinging with a metal album of harshness rarely seen in today's three chord metal compilations.

Superjoint Ritual is a band following in the speed metal realm. Chunky riffs layer throughout that complement as much as they compete. Where Down sees Anselmo exploring his poignant side and vocal range, SJR has him returning back to the vocal styling reminiscent on Pantera's landmark metal offering "The Great Southern Trendkill." If "Sandblasted Skin" tops your definition of what metal should be, then wait until you hear every track on "Use Once and Destroy."

"Use Once and Destroy" demands headbanging that spasms the neck, moshing that bruises and bleeds, and just overall metal insanity that will no doubt be experienced on their upcoming tour of "select" U.S. cities. 

The bottom line is that if you consider yourself a metal head by any means this CD should be prominently displayed in your collection. Philip Anselmo means metal quality of mass amounts. 

Superjoint Ritual is Philip Anselmo (vocals & guitar), Jimmy Bower (drums), Joe Fazzio (Drums), Kevin Bond (touring guitar player), and Ill (touring bass player).

Check out the official site for tour dates and more:

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Sep 2023 21:55:31 -0400.