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Mezmerize

System of a Down

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Album Review

Adjectives like "ambitious," "jagged," and "startling" have always defined System of a Down, and their third official full-length is no different. Prerelease, the band described Mezmerize as being the first part — the first side — of what's essentially a double album. The records' packaging would even slot together, making the eventual Mezmerize/Hypnotize whole. Appropriately then, there's an intro to System's first new material since 2001's brilliant Toxicity. On "Soldier Side" Daron Malakian and Serj Tankian harmonize as they do throughout the record, and Malakian's guitar has a mournful, Eastern air. But it's just a lull before "B.Y.O.B.," a thrash assault pierced with rabid and incredulous screams. "Why do they always send the poor?" Suddenly the gears switch, and the song stomps in crunchy half-time as its lyrics riff with a sick grin on cultural ignorance. The government's lying, System's saying, but "Blast off!/It's party time." The vocal exploration between Tankian and Malakian on Mezmerize is a thrill — they spur each other on like a two-headed hardcore hero. Their intermingling voices make "Cigaro" more aggressive, frantic, operatic, and totally bananas; they'd be triumphant over the break in "Violent Pornography" if they weren't spitting out lines like "Choking chicks and s****y." The fantastic "Pornography" is a rusty shiv of absurdity, another example of System's ability to effectively skewer society with little more than hyper guitar, blistering percussion, and weird turns of phrase. Their volatile mix of righteousness, wordiness, odd meters, and thrash has balanced System's activism since their self-titled debut, making them "unique heavy music" over the much more problematic "unique, heavily political music." And Mezmerize doesn't fail to be unique. "Old School Hollywood" essays the bizarre experience of a celebrity baseball game ("Tony Danza cuts in line!") over keyboard effects from "Beat It" and a brutally simplistic rhythm, "This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm on This Song" is more twisted-tongue histrionics and explosive playing, and Tankian and Malakian's harmonies are the catalyst (again!) for making "Revenga" a truly feral epic. System of a Down — what's another adjective for "awesome"?

Customer Reviews

best album ever

This is the best album EVER, plain and simple!!! :D Heres a rundown on each song: Solider Side- Very light, but still good. 4/5 B.Y.O.B.- Buy, Buy, Buy, Buy, Buy! This is the BEST SONG EVER! :D 10/5 Revenga- Catchy and Violent. Yay! 4/5 Cigaro- Not for the kids, but who cares. Funny and VERY heavy. 4/5 Radio/ Video- Decent. Very catchy during the verses. 4/5 This Cocaine makes me feel like Im on this song- This is one of my favorite songs ever. 5/5 Violent Pornography- The catchiest song ever. Also not for the kids. 4/5 Question!- Light/ Heavy mix is sweet and there are about a million time signatures. 4/5 Sad Statue- The first and only not very good song on the album. 2.5/5 Old School Hollywood- Different, but awesome. SoaD hit it out of the ballpark with this one (pun intended) 4.5/5 Lost in Hollywood- Very, VERY light. Not that thats a bad thing, though. 4/5 Just buy the whole album! It will Mezmerize you! :D

good

overall, this is a very good album, but I'll review each song because some aren't that good... soldier side-intro - 7/10 it's ok, but soldier side is better BYOB - 10/10 it's great, fast paced, great start Revenga- 9/10 this one is also really good, i love the guitar part in the start cigaro- 7.5/10 well it's ok, but i can't listen too it it's just too weird this cocaine makes me feel like i'm on this song- 3/10 i've just never liked this one violent pornography- 8/10 interesting lyrics question! - 9.5/10 this one is also a catchy song, a lot more mellow though than ones like BYOB tho Sad Statue- 10/10 I definitely think this is one of their best, a great tune and guitar part Old School Hollywood- 8.5/10 the first time I heard this I was just like "what is this?" but once you get past how weird it is it's great Lost in Hollywood- 9.5/10 a great vocal song, catchy tune, everyone sings

Their Strongest Album to Date

This is the first disc of what would be their double album "Mezmerize & Hypnotize." While both albums are great this is the strongest of the two and it is also their best album. I dig the keyboards in "Old School Hollywood," compliments of Serj. "B.Y.O.B." and "Cigaro" are agro in your face songs that induce involuntary fist pumping. "Lost in Hollywood" is both beautiful and sad at the same time. "Radio/Video" showes their Middle Eastern influences. "Sad Statue" and "Violent Pornography" provide excellent social commentary. "Revenga" is extremely catchy. "Soldier Side-Intro" is a great opening track for this album. It set the stage for what would be coming on the next two albums. "Question" is all about reincarnation and what happens when we die. "This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm on This Song" has a heavy Ramones influence to it. This album is a masterpiece from start to finish. It showcases the band at their creative zenith.

Biography

Formed: 1995 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Like many late-'90s metal bands, System of a Down struck a balance between '80s underground thrash metal and metallic early-'90s alternative rockers like Jane's Addiction. Their dark, neo-gothic alternative metal earned a cult following in the wake of the popularity of such likeminded bands as Korn and the Deftones. Vocalist Serj Tankian, guitarist Daron Malakian, bassist Shavo Odadjian, and drummer John Dolmayan formed System of a Down in Southern California in the mid-'90s. They quickly earned...
Full Bio
Mezmerize, System of a Down
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