Substance D Addictions
Grade C+
 
Also Try
Machine Head
Pantera
Anthrax

Addictions, the second release from this band under the name Substance D, a Southern California metal trio, is a series of songs detailing the drug life of the music scene in SoCal. Previously known as Black, the band formed in 1992 and released it's debut album under the name of Black in 1994. In 1998, they changed their name to Substance D, a reference to Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly. Unlike fellow SoCal bands like Korn, Substance D has not enjoyed the benefit of instant fame and commercial radio success.

Addictions is a solid metal album, showing huge influences from thrash and power metal. Hints of Pantera, Machine Head and even older bands like Exodus and Anthrax turn up in the heavier moments of this album. While the strength of this album lies in the power of it's heaviness, it does manage to change the pace enough to keep from getting stale. Tracks like California and This Sound are strong and stand out among the track list. If you want some strong thrash to your music, both Burning Time and My Life will satisfy this need.

Fortunately, the production is clean and crisp, not weighted down by fuzziness. Any attempt to follow Korn into the Ross Robinson-like fuzz would have easily issued this album into the discount price bin. A lot of record labels and bands have tried to use the fuzzy bass-heavy production to cover up unoriginal song-writing. I will commend Substance D and Noise Records for not falling into this catagory.

Where the album seems to falter is that most of the tracks on Addictions sound pretty much familiar. Most of the songs sound like something you've heard before. While Substance D does manage to inject enough to keep from being total clones of the bands that have come before them, they just don't seem to do much more than tweek here and there on the formula. If you're looking for a good metal album without too much ingenuity, this is a good listen for you. People who aren't big on metal will definently want to skip this album.

For more info on the band, check out their website at http://www.substanced.com

- - Vane

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