So why not go for a System of a Down album rundown while I'm at it, right?
System of a Down
Turn of the century stuff that's still pretty alright. Maybe odd for people that were younger than teenagers at that time but very relatable still for those that were in that age back then.
Standouts are Suite-Pee for the odd intro with flageolett tones that are actually easy but seldom stand out that much.
Sugar is a song most people of my generation should know. Still pretty good today, if pretty raw and a child of it's time.
Soil has some really great melodies and licks mixed with downright experimental shit, growls and dissonant parts.
Darts is musically the closest to what they'd soon become with very weird lyrics. Still awesome.
Overall, a very listenable album. It's everything but boring. Heavy, melodic and nonsensical at times with lots of experimentation that, in my opinion, pays off more often than not. Ishtar, motherfucker!
Yeah, what do you want me to say about this album? Fucking awesome 17 years after it's release and there's still nothing like it.
It's likely the height of SoaD hitting the Zeitgeist perfectly while being unique. A bit less experimental stuff, more heavy songs, lyrics very critical of current times politics and a tendency for heavy breackdowns, likely inspired by the then current Hardcore Punk movement.
Notably, Daron Malakian sings more on this album than he did for the previous one, where he was mostly the funny voices guy. That's a trend that's going to come back later.
Notable songs? I honestly can recommend the entire album but if I were to point one out it'd be Chop Suey! just because it's the one SoaD song likely every one of you knows, unless you're 14 or something. That shit ran on repeat on MTV when it was just about to die along with Last Resort by Papa Roach.
Steal this Album!
A very mixed record. The title certainly fits as while it's not shit, it's not worth it's money either.
The first song I really like is number 6 called A.D.D., a moody song with a heavy riff. It has everything a heavy SoaD songs should be at that point, I think.
I-E-A-I-A-I-O is a defining song for this album. The entire album is notably more middle eastern than any of them before. Still, this one is just self-aware enough to have the Knight Rider theme as an interlude.
Highway Song is another standout. It's another good indicator as to where they'd end up at. It's obviously written by Serj, the singer, as it has the harmonic singing and is serious in tone. It's likely the best song of the album. Everything about it is just right.
Roulette is kinda SoaD's equivalent to Slipknot's Vermilion Pt.2 if that makes any sense to you guys. Except that it doesn't have a heavier version. So I guess it's more like Slipknot's Iowa?
Fun fact, my version of Iowa skips because I had a car crash to that song. Mini Cooper. Totalled the little fucker on the Autobahn. Poor guy. I got away unscathed, he didn't.
The first part of the last album of SoaD. It was originally supposed to be a double album but was eventually split apart. It literally welcomes you with the intro to Soldier Side, which will be the last song of the very last album of SoaD.
Honestly, most songs of this album are great. It's very melodic, features mostly singing from Serj and Daron, has great riffs but notably features Daron singing solo more often than any previous album.
Very notable is Cigaro because it's pretty silly. It famously starts with the lyrics "My cock is much bigger than yours!".
Radio/Video is also great in general and has a polka feel to it during times.
Violent Pornography is a happy and upbeat song about violent pornography. "It's a violent pornography, chocking chicks and sodomy!" Glorious! Just glorious!
Sad Statue is just plain awesome.
Old School Hollywood is mostly making fun about pretentious Hollywood and fairly poppy with samples and synth. Very unusal for SoaD in general but good.
Lost in Hollywood, the song right after that is a very sombre song about a loved one getting abused in Hollywood. Still as relevant as ever. An absolutely fantastic song that keeps building up and doesn't disappoint.
Very melodic, back to experimental stuff but more having found their tone. Daron and Serj are now both equals as singers with Serj very notably often taking the background singing, despite being the sole lead singer but the harmonic singing still very noticeably carries his signature. Overall a very good album.
We go right in with the aggressive Attack to set the tone. It quickly takes a break to make clear that this still isn't the same SoaD of very old but it gets the tempo running.
Hypnotize is likely another song most of you know. The intro is pure bless to play on guitar. Great song.
Stealing Society is a personal favourite of mine. It's one of the best examples of harmonic singing of the album and it keeps the theme of shitting on Hollywood going. Awesome escalating riffs, awesome lyrics.
Holy Mountains is an epic song. It's got so many parts of what I like about the band stuffed into one song, you'll just have to listen to it yourself.
Lonely Day was a single so you likely know the song. It's good but a bit boring.
Overall, Hypnotize is the weaker album but the great songs on it are mostly the slower ones and despite more songs on the album and less truly great ones. not all are mentioned, like Soldier Side, it makes sense in the context of it being a part of Mezmerize.
Of all the end of 90s, beginning of 2000s bands, I'd say SoaD still hold up very well, with most of them faring way worse. They've always been experimental, different and never afraid of appearing silly while they could both be very serious and just dumb fun at the same time if they wanted to.
The eventually split and neither Scars on Broadway (Daren Malakian's band) nor Serj Takian's stuff are worth listening to. You can take a peek and will quickly discover that they both really needed each other to make great things happen, instead of mediocre stuff.
If you haven't given them a listen in a long time, do so again. They hold up surprisingly well.
My armour is Contempt. My shield is Disgust. My sword is Hatred. In the Emperor's name, let none survive!