Review by Billy Geary
Forming in 2009 after the demise of two well known Perth bands Saturation Point and Fractured, Perth’s Define My Addiction released their debut album Systemic in early 2011. The four piece play a brand of modern metal that comes across as an equal mix of Dillinger Escape Plan, albeit less frantic and a more polished Mudvayne.
On first impressions, Systemic is a little inconsistent, featuring some outstanding songs like the heavy as hell ‘Alignment’ and the more progressive ‘Nameless,’ but is also home to a couple of filler tracks. The main sticking point for Systemic is its somewhat lack of originality.
There’s no doubting that Define My Addiction are a talented bunch of musicians, however for the most part, Systemic comes across as a mish mash of influences from a band trying to find its own identity. On a debut album, this isn’t unexpected, with bands more often than not taking little bit of time to explore their sound and find where they truly sit.
Systemic does provide plenty of impressive moments though, hinting at the obvious potential the four-piece possess. The band definitely excels in their heavier moments, with tracks like ‘Alignment’ and ‘Sleep Is For The Weak’ being a testament to this. Vocalist Jon Mazzardis is a force behind the mic, especially on the record’s heavier, faster paced tracks with his screams being particularly impressive. Similarly, bassist Jaxon Boin is also impressive. The fact that he is not afraid to deviate from the same chord progression as the guitar gives the album an extra dimension, something many bassists steer clear of.
One of the most impressive aspects of Systemic is the production quality, particularly considering it was completely self produced by the band. This is invaluable as it gives the record a very lush, world-class sound. Most notable is the fact that every instrument is heard. Too often band’s debut albums have awful mixes with one or two instruments drowning out the rest. Systemic succeeds because of its production values, and as the quartet’s song writing improves, Define My Addiction will have something special on their hands.
Define My Addiction have potential but also wear their influences on their sleeves, there’s no question about it. Despite some filler tracks, Systemic is an excellent debut from a band who, once a couple of kinks are ironed out, will be a band capable of matching it with the world’s best metal bands. An impressive first up effort from >Define My Addiction.
Review by Billy Geary