It’s been 13 years and several public scandals, since Phil Anselmo released any music under the Superjoint Ritual moniker. Members Joe Fazzio, Michael Haaga, and Hank Williams III did not return for the band’s reunion in 2014, and neither did “Ritual.” Simply called Superjoint, version 2.0 of the band found drummer Joe Gonzalez (from Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals) and Stephen Taylor on bass in place. They join veteran Superjoint guitarists Kevin Bond and Jimmy Bower (of Eyehategod).
“Ruin You,” the 2nd new Superjoint single to be released after “Sociopathic Herd Delusion,” can be heard via Decibel. “Ruin You” feels not only heavier but thicker than other Superjoint songs, including “Sociopathic Herd Delusion,” so while I was particularly sad about the massive lineup change, I can’t help but love this song.
This song, and hopefully the entire new album, pulls you into black sightless waters and refuses to let you up for air, dumping the sludge into sludge metal. The cymbals and guitars feel miked at a distance, letting the bass take control. While previous Superjoint releases played in the high-pitch guitar driven atmosphere, “Ruin You” isn’t afraid to play in the mud reminding me of heavier artists like The Sword, High On Fire, and Black Tusk.
Is this one of Anselmo’s best releases in recent memory? Yes.
Is this release going to change your opinion about Anselmo? Probably not.