It’s hard to conceive a figure who has contributed more to the evolution of Southern metal than Philip Anselmo, whose throat-shredding roar and scorched earth lyricism have breathed vitriolic potency into the legacies of Pantera, Down and his own Philip H Anselmo And The Illegals. Though collaborators change, every Anselmo-influenced project of the past two decades has carried the deadening force of a steel pipe hitting the back of your skull and his bare-knuckled hardcore project, Superjoint, are no exception.
Back with guitarists Jimmy Bower and Kevin Bond, and Illegals members, drummer José Gonzalez and bassist Stephen Taylor, Superjoint have ended a 13-year studio hiatus with a marauding recommitment to the paint-stripping tempos of East Coast hardcore and the swampy riffage of Southern sludge. Blazing tracks like Burning The Blanket and Mutts Bite Too vividly conjure the punchy claustrophobia of a sweaty circlepit fuelled by cheap keg beer and testosterone. More of an 80s throwback than 2003’s A Lethal Dose Of American Hatred, the new material is neatly balanced by grimy, blues-driven riffs on tracks like Today And Tomorrow and Ruin You. First and foremost however, Caught Up In The Gears Of Application delivers an unrelenting siege of pugnacious, old-school hardcore, lacking only subtlety and restraint.