Superjoint

A Lethal Dose of American Hatred

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Note one of Superjoint Ritual's A Lethal Dose of American Hatred greets your ears like a steel-tipped boot does a mud puddle. From this satisfying splat, to the looped, warped finale of "Absorbed," it's obvious that the band cares as much for studio gloss as they do about being polite (a typically subtle lyric: "I want to kill your family/I want to kill your god"). While it was recorded in a New Orleans studio (with Dave Fortman), the album's flat, dirty sound is in the red all the way through, and visceral as hell. Somewhat removed from the posturing of his full-time band, Pantera main man Phil Anselmo is free to kick all the chairs he wants, and he tears into most of the material here with screeching, biting, vein-tearing mirth. Jim Bower and Kevin Bond's guitars are spectacular throughout, especially on the amazing Black Flag-inspired sludge of "Never to Sit or Stand Again," and tracks like "Death Threat" and "Horror" refine and amplify the gloriously unholy hardcore/thrash union that first revealed itself on 2002's Use Once and Destroy. There is a turn toward "serious issues" in Lethal Dose's lyrics, and this sentiment can be slightly jingoistic. But it can usually be chalked up to well-meaning ignorance, and half the time Anselmo's swallowed cat vocals are unintelligible anyway. From its inception, Superjoint Ritual has been about hitting as hard as possible, without distraction, and A Lethal Dose of American Hatred does not disappoint. Even in slower moments like "Knife Rises" or the grinding thrash of "Absorbed," the band is mercifully unforgiving, and that's incredibly refreshing at a time when metal is too often diluted by mainstream desire or substance-less style mongering. Conversely, the only thing Anselmo and his mates desire to do is punch you harder in the face.

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