In my opinion, System of a Down is one of the most unique bands out there right now, although many will disagree with me. Most people either love SOAD, or else they hate them.
Why love them: Their sound is amazing. They might not have the hardest guitar riffs or wicked drum beats, but they have a catchy sound that a lot of people love.
Why people hate them: People don't like SOAD mainly because of the easyness of their music; hence, why they got labeled nu-metal. Another reason why some don't like SOAD is because they think Serj Tankian's voice is extremely annoying. Some like his voice, some hate it. I personally like it. It is different than any other voice I've ever heard in music.
The History Behind the Band
This debut by the L.A.-based quartet is a hybrid of politically incendiary lyrics, and wide-ranging cultural influences. The members are of Armenian descent, but their diverse stylistic background transcends easy cultural labeling. Singer Serj Tankian's throaty roar competes with any mosh-pit rocker around, but his real trademark is his emotional wail and refreshingly melodic singing, especially on songs such as "Spiders" and the condemnatory "P.L.U.C.K." Guitarist Daron Malakian, bassist Shavo Odadjian, and drummer John Dolmayan lock in tight on the capricious arrangements of "Know," "Ddevil," and "CUBErt." Their musical diversity runs wonderfully wild on "Sugar" and "Suggestions" with dizzying shifts of style and intensity. The tracks "Peephole" and "War?" reveal the band at perhaps its eclectic best, with vaguely Eastern European-sounding guitar riffs, passionate battle cries, and samples provided by legendary hip-hop producer Rick Rubin.
The Song Reviews
Suite Pee- This song is wicked. That is all I have to say. It starts out with this awesome mini-guitar solo. You can tell right off the bat that Tankian is of a different culture when he trills his r's.
The song explodes at first with a fast guitar riff, but slows way down at the chorus. In the bridge, Tankians voice explodes with a powerful growl. This is a good song. 8/10
Know-The song starts out with an awesome beat on the drums, thanks to John Dolmayan. The guitar soon comes in along with Tankian roaring. There is quite a bit of head-banging action in this song. Tankian sounds extremely middle eastern in this song, (since he's from Armenia) This is one of my favorite songs. 9.5/10
Sugar- I think this was the first single off the album, besides Spiders. You can snap your fingers to this song. Dolmayan plays a jazz beat in this song. This piece is too hard to explain. It is just... different. I like it though. 10/10
Suggestions: Not one of my favorite songs. It starts out with an extremely simple guitar riff. In the chorus, the guitar player, Malakian takes lead vocals and screams. (I find that his screaming is terrible, which is why I don't like the song too much) 4/10
Spiders- Spiders is really the only ballad of the album. This is one of my favorites. Tankian did a great job on the lyrics. The verse is slow and simple, but when the chorus approaches, the guitar picks up a bit, along with Tankian's voice. 9.5/10
Ddevil- A very strange song this is. This is one of the shorter songs on the album, yet I seem to enjoy it very much. Dolmayan seems to play this extremely "skippy" beat. Seriously, it is like a child skipping. I think this song is about gaining independence. 9/10
Soil- I, along with many others claim this to be SOAD's best song they've ever made. This is my all time favorite SOAD song, yet many fail to notice it, because they don't find a need to purchase the self titled album. The lyrics are quite odd in this song. This is another one of SOAD's songs that are a little hard to explain. It has a solo near the end of the song that is pretty sweet. It is not too hard, but it sounds very middle eastern. 10/10
War?- I find that this is the anthem of System of a Down. This is one of their most political songs EVER. It is about fighting off the Heathens and gaining independence back. In the chorus, Tankian yells "We will Fight the Heathens!" They do a great job on this song. 10/10
Mind- SOAD's longest and most mysterious song, not just on this album, but all their albums. I can't figure out what the song is about. The first minute or two is just slow, kind of like Spiders. Then the song explodes into Tankian going on about something. He does some very strange things with his voice in this song. This is one of those songs where it takes a while to get used to it. 9/10
Peephole- Another extremely strange song. It sounds like something from the circus. The riff between the guitar and the bass sounds like a clown show. Another great song that takes a while to like. 9/10
"When your stars are bent, and your rivers fly, do you ever believe you were stuck in the... SKY!" Very weird lyrics.
CubErt- ANOTHER strange song. This is probably in my top 3 songs for the album though. I can't describe this song too much, for it is very strange. It is another song that has quite a bit of headbanging action though. :D 10/10
Darts- This song has strange lyrics. I mean STRANGE. It is after all a pretty unique song, which I like. It has a powerful chorus that makes sure to grab your attention. Malakian does a great job on the guitar on this song. 8/10
P.L.U.C.K.- Another one of SOAD's very political songs. I love this song though. It has awesome guitar, awesome bass, awesome vocals, and wicked drums. Tankian's growls are amazing in this song, along with Malakians, (which I actually like in this song) This song has a real middle eastern twist to it. I like this song a lot. 10/10
Overall rating: 8.7/10 Thanks for taking the time to read. :thumb