Photos - Superjoint Ritual - Oct. 16, 2003, Al Rosa Vila, Columbus, OH
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Even during their sound check, Superjoint Ritual was one of the hottest bands playing. Although you would never know it from the way they look. Dressed in dirty jeans, torn tee shirts and unwashed hair, the guys look more like some hobos sneaking in to keep warm. But once they are strapped down with bass, guitar or seated behind a kit, these hobos are transformed into superheroes of rock and roll. With the tightest riffs and the brain-slamming drumbeats, Superjoint turned the Al Rosa Vila into a mayhem of some of the heaviest metal to see Columbus since, well, the last time Superjoint came through town.

Since his announcement that he has finally given up with Pantera, Phil Anselmo has decided to focus his energy on Superjoint and with that focus has come some relief and new lifeblood into the band.

Talking with the guys was like talking with a new band. A new freedom and sense of giddiness seemed to fill the band. Even in the most common sentences, there was a aura of a 19-year-old kid out on tour for the first time. Touring with the new record, Lethal Dose of American Hatred, Superjoint is providing that and much more.

With no barricade, Anselmo quickly invites everyone on stage as they see fit to be as big a part of the show as they want to be. Responding quickly, hordes of fans run on stage and dive off into the mixed crowd of young and old alike. Hell, one kid even over-jumped the crowd and as people tried to catch his feet, the rest of the body was hurled to the floor. Good thing we have these opposable thumbs to help catch us from smacking face-first into the floor.

This was one of those shows that not many people were at, but more and more will say they were. Superjoint has moved well beyond being a Phil Anselmo side project and should be a major force in American metal. Their songs are fast, harsh, brash and tighter than a Speedo on an overweight Frenchman on the beaches of the Riviera.

This is a band that is happy just doing what they are doing. They are putting out the exact music they want to play, they are playing in front of crowds that are there because they love the band, not a single, and they are still providing one of the best live performances despite none of the theatrics normally associated with Anselmo when with Pantera. There is no fire, no huge stages and no arena tours. This is stripped down, in your face Southern metal that will whoop yer ass faster than a rabid dog seeing a wounded kitten. But it is the kind of ass-whooping you are happy to take. Almost like if Jenna Jameson and Pam Anderson decided to beat you down; in leather and lace. That kind of ass kicking. A total brutal, beat-down, leave-you-bruised-and-bloody ass kicking. But one to tell all your friends about!

Interview
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