Most folks know Phil Anselmo as the singer of metal giants Pantera or from his current main band Down. But those who have followed the man’s career closely will recall the amazing work that he did with the metal super-group Superjoint Ritual. It was a side project where Anselmo could pursue his love of crossover thrash. Crossover is a blend of thrash metal and hardcore punk that was pioneered by bands such as Suicidal Tendencies, Agnostic Front, Stormtroopers of Death, Discharge, and Dirty Rotten Imbeciles in the 1980s.
Superjoint Ritual was formed by Anselmo along with Joe Fazzio and Jimmy Bower in the early 1990s during the height of Pantera’s success. It was not until after the breakup of that band in the very early 2000s that Superjoint Ritual would release any recordings. By that time the band also included Hank Williams III (grandson of country music pioneer Hank Williams, son of Hank Williams Jr.) on bass. The band managed to release 2 amazing records before tensions between Anselmo and Fazzio brought the whole project to a grinding halt in the middle of the decade.
The Superjoint Ritual camp would remain silent for nearly a decade with Anselmo stating several times along the way that there would never be a reunion. Well folks, of course you should never say never because in 2014 it was announced that the band would reunite to play Anselmo’s own Housecore Horror Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The gig was to be a one-off and Fazzio was apparently not invited. In fact the band had to drop the word Ritual and just performed as Superjoint due to a legal dispute over ownership of the name. Hank III was scheduled to partake but had to back out for “personal reasons.” The gig went so well that the band decided to accept an offer to play at the Hellfest Open Air festival in 2015 and have just recently announced a 2 week American tour run this July. The dates are as follows:
Superjoint U.S. Tour Dates 2015
7/10 “” Oklahoma City, Okla. “” Diamond Ballroom
7/11 “” Houston, Texas “” Fitzgerald’s
7/12 “” Dallas, Texas “” Gas Monkey
7/14 “” Cincinnati, Ohio “” Bogart’s
7/15 “” Flint, Mich. “” Machine Shop
7/17 “” Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “” The Chance
7/18 “” Lancaster, Pa. “” Chameleon Club
7/19 “” Huntington, W.Va. “” V Club
7/21 “” Greensboro, N.C. “” Greene Street
7/23 “” Clarksville, Tenn. “” Warehouse Live
7/24 “” Pensacola, Fla. “” Vinyl Music Hall
7/25 “” Shreveport, La. “” Warehouse
You should definitely check these guys out live if you get a chance! Meanwhile, enjoy the very short but awesomely brutal track below.
When I was growing up in rural Indiana in the early ’80s, there was very limited access to heavy music. These were the days before MTV blew up with the whole hair metal, Headbangers Ball phenomenon. But on Sunday nights, there was a two-hour radio show that came from WOXY, just across the state line in Oxford, Ohio (home of Miami University of Ohio). It was called Massive Metal for the Masses and I would wait all week for it to air. It was through this show that I was introduced to bands like Venom, Bathory, WASP, Michael Schenker Group, Slayer, and countless others. This Monday weekly column is my tip of the hat to that show. I call it Massive Metal Monday. Every week, I will pay tribute to defining moments by the artists that laid the groundwork for heavy metal to become the worldwide cultural bond for all of us metal heads.