13.99 In Stock
Systematic first made noise in 2001 as the initial signing to Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich's vanity label. His Music Company imprint folded in 2002, but Systematic was picked up by Elektra after a strong showing at Ozzfest '01 and promising sales of its debut. Unfortunately, Pleasure to Burn, its sophomore effort, is a collection of mid-tempo doom rockers that doesn't stray very far from the precedent songwriters Tim Narducci (vocals/guitar) and Adam Ruppel (guitar) established with Systematic's debut. Together with new rhythm section Johnny Bechtel (bass) and Paul Bostaph (who previously drummed for Slayer), Narducci and Ruppel plod through an unimaginative, gloomy set that owes a considerable debt to Alice in Chains, and does little to stand out from the other gas guzzlers in the rusty nu-metal motor pool. While "Breakable" features some nice guitar/drum dynamics initially, it quickly degenerates into cliché ("You seem to think that I'm the dirt on which you walk," etc.). Vocal processing separates the verses from a mildly uplifting chorus that's nevertheless marred by gratuitous cussing. "Infected," "Pleasure to Burn," and "Change" are by-the-numbers workouts, nu-metal's best update yet of glam rock also-rans such as L.A. Guns or Faster Pussycat. Just as that scene's font of creativity had dried up long before those second-wave artists could really draw anything fruitful from it, Systematic finds itself trying to carve out a niche in a market that's already heavy with metalsmiths blatantly horning in on the success of Disturbed, Staind, and the like. And though atmospheric, minor-chord experiments such as "The Water Cure" and "Right Before You" show some depth (particularly in the latter's epic quality), it's not enough to give Systematic any kind of edge. As it's been produced and mixed to sound as much like the leading edge as possible (even its cover art is of the mindless, generically metal variety), Pleasure to Burn might appeal to the more avid fans of the genre. But it certainly doesn't offer anything that we haven't heard before.
|Label:||Elektra / Wea|