Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: Superjoint Ritual - Use Once and Destroy

Many remember the now disband Superjoint Ritual as "the band that broke up Pantera", since vocalist Phil Anselmo decided to quit Pantera in an attempt to pursue a new beginning. Superjoint Ritual itself is claimed to have been created in 1993, though many fans debate whether this timeline is accurate or not; a large portion of the fan base believe that the project may have formed in the 80's. However, a logical examination of the history behind the band's name would prove otherwise. The name "Superjoint Ritual" has been widely proclaimed to have been taken from lyrics of the song "The Pagan Winter" by Darkthrone on the album A Blaze in the Northern Sky, which was released in 1992. The debut album that started it all, does Use Once and Destroy stack up to the potential of the highly revered Phil Anselmo?

Genre: Sludge/Southern Metal/Hardcore
Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date: May 21st, 2002
  1. Oblivious Maximus
  2. It Takes No Guts
  3. Everyone Hates Everyone
  4. The Introvert
  5. The Alcoholik
  6. Fuck Your Enemy
  7. 4 Songs
  8. Messages
  9. All of Our Lives Will Get Tried
  10. Antifaith
  11. Ozena
  12. Drug Your Love
  13. Haunted Hate
  14. Stupid, Stupid Man
  15. Creepy Crawl
  16. Superjoint Ritual
  17. Starvation Trip (Demo)
  18. Little H (Demo)
Total Playtime: 54 minutes, 14 seconds

Official Website             


Rating: 6.0/10




Many remember the now disband Superjoint Ritual as "the band that broke up Pantera", since vocalist Phil Anselmo decided to quit Pantera in an attempt to pursue a new beginning. Superjoint Ritual itself is claimed to have been created in 1993, though many fans debate whether this timeline is accurate or not; a large portion of the fan base believe that the project may have formed in the 80's. However, a logical examination of the history behind the band's name would prove otherwise. The name "Superjoint Ritual" has been widely proclaimed to have been taken from lyrics of the song "The Pagan Winter" by Darkthrone on the album A Blaze in the Northern Sky, which was released in 1992. The debut album that started it all, does Use Once and Destroy stack up to the potential of the highly revered Phil Anselmo?

The entirety of Use Once and Destroy is built on a slim variety of frequently recycled, but catchy, beats comprised of different chunky power chord riffs that are backed by standard thrashy blast beat drumming and a grooving bass line. There are enough chugging breakdowns to qualify this material for the sludge category, as well as enough one-string benders and accented bass for it to be labeled under southern metal. Despite these traits, with all elements combined, the content has a distinctive grunge-like influence to it that comes from the simple, messy, over-fuzzed riffs which give off unintended harmonics and feedback. Upon making this observation, it is also important to note that Nirvana's 1993 album In Utero contains the lyrics "use just once and destroy" in the song "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter"; it is also the name of a song off of Celebrity Skin, the 1999 album by grunge group Hole.


While the album has its share of memorable beats and popular songs, such as "The Alcoholik", "4 Songs", "Messages", "Ozena", and "Haunted Hate", the biggest problem is that a lot of the tracks share the same patterns with slightly varying riff placements. There are a handful of small guitar bridges, rests, drum rolls and double bass drumming scattered here and there, but nothing that makes a significant difference composure-wise. Anselmo breaks out of his confined, straight-to-the-point Pantera vocals, save "Ozena", in pursuit of high pitched screams that are passionate, raw and a decent change of pace for any long-standing fans of his work. An added bonus is that the audio quality is prime and allows Superjoint Ritual's coarse sound to shine through, however this also contributes to how easy it is to hear just how messy the riffs get.

All in all, Use Once and Destroy is an album with a fair share of catchiness that is heavily over-shadowed by too similar rhythms, lack of variety and absence of originality. When it comes to the final two tracks, "Starvation Trip" and "Little H", they are both demo tracks that come out of no where if the listener is unaware that they are present on their copy of the record; originally only available on the first 1,000 US copies, limited edition UK copies, and on 2006 reissue copies. The deplorable audio quality not only comes as a shock at the end of the album, but makes these tracks practically worthless since the already heavily toned instruments get rolled into a ball of unrecognizable distortion. Use once or twice, then save it for another year, later down the road.

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