Superjoint Ritual seemingly appeared out of nowhere, at least on my radar. This
heavy metal band is made up of a who's who of musicians and they include:
Philip Anselmo (Pantera, Down – guitar and vocals); Jimmy Bower (Eye Hate
God, C.O.C. - guitar); Joe Fazzio (drums), Kevin Bond (touring guitar) and Hank
Williams III (bass). This side project of Anselmo's is altogether different
than his previous work on Down and Pantera and that's a good thing.
Ritual has dropped the southern vide, but not the iconography, that has served
Anselmo and his friends so well. There's still a hint of Black Sabbath
grove that can be found every now and then, but there are heavier influences
at work on this DVD. Bridging the gap between Southern fans and those who like
the music more on the side of Black Flag and Voivod. Everything about this disc
is heavy. Anselmo's vocals have an edge to them not seen since The Great
Southern Trendkill. The guitar work is brutally simple with none of the flair
and acrobatics that Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell is so fond of.
Recorded in Dallas, TX on June 28, 2002, this DVD shows why Anselmo is continually
front-man for some of the best hard bands around. The show they offer the pack
house is one of the most energetic you'll likely find anywhere. Furious
would be an understatement describing this band. Considering the fame of many
of the members in the band, it's a deceptively simple show.
A few flags and lights make up the stage, as well as the set for the two included
videos, and that's it. Instead, the music is the only thing on display
here. Looking like a garage band and acting like one too, they promote the staples
of Southern born metal, drugs, alcohol, and profanity. The songs are simple
and so is the show, but that is definitely a good thing in this day and age
of over-produced and choreographed stage shows and pop bands.
Featured on the DVD are live performances of "It Takes No Guts",
"The Alcoholik", "F*** Your Enemy", "Everyone Hates
Everyone", "4 Songs", "Drug Your Love", "Haunted
Hated", "Antifaith", "Ozena", "Starvation Trip"
and "Superjoint Ritual".
Video: The full screen video is what you'd expect from
a low budget, live concert DVD. It's grainy at times, but that's
from the low light and colored lighting. The video mix is great in the show
and there seems to be several cameras capturing the action and it's always
Audio: Face it, this is what you want to be top notch on this
disc and it delivers. There are Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 mixes, as well as
a DTS mix. The 5.1 mix is full of low-end crunch and base. It's the best
I've heard my sub sound in some time. The rears have a bright mix added
as well, with more than just crowd noise filtering through. The mids and highs
have been captured nicely as well with the guitars sound warm and rich. Fans
of hard and heavy music will be hard pressed to find a nicer sounding DVD.
Extras: Aside from the snippets of interviews peppered throughout
the concert, there are only a few extras available. There are 2 videos included
(The Alcoholik and F*** Your Enemy). They do a great job of conveying the energy
and attitude of the band and are simple productions that look like they were
filmed in a garage practice space. There's also a photo gallery that you
can page through as well.
Overall: Superjoint Ritual is one of the better hard bands
to come along in some time. They've done a great job of combining a few
styles into a unique and simple style that is all their own. Each band member
brings a little to the table and the group combines for a thrashing and explosive