Rhythm & Views 

System of a Down

Nearly four years since the multi-platinum sophomore release Toxicity, System of a Down has returned with its most anticipated release to date. The new offering, Mezmerize, answers all possible expectations, tenfold.

To help enhance its sound, SOAD has made some changes in its songwriting process. First, guitarist Daron Malakian stepped up to the position of co-producer, alongside Rick Rubin, and wrote the majority of the band's new material. Malakian also found himself in a co-lead singer position, adding to the schizophrenia with vocalist Serj Tankian. And drummer John Dolmayan has finally added double bass to his well-rounded repertoire.

SOAD continues its politically-charged emotions on "B.Y.O.B." ("Bring Your Own Bombs"): "You depend on our protection, yet you feed us lies from the tablecloth," Serj accuses in a song obviously about the Bush administration. The song demonstrates how the band has mastered its prog-metal sound, constantly switching musical directions with no warning. Towards the end of the song, the band asks an ever-interesting question: "Why don't presidents fight the war? Why do they always send the poor?"

Political commentary isn't all the band has to offer, as some songs on Mezmerize are downright hilarious. On "Cigaro," Serj and Daron declare, "My cock is much bigger than yours / My cock can walk right through the door." Boasting probably the funniest song title ever, "This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm on This Song" manages to utilize the line "Gonorrhea gorgonzola." And "Violent Pornography" profoundly states that everybody now living fucks and sucks. Up next: part two; Hypnotize, by the year's end.

More by Jon Hobson


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