For anyone exposed to System of a Down’s “Mezmerize" from the standpoint of at least 3 or 4 years of burning out their previous releases, the outlandish yet genius stance of the band comes to be something that is expected of them, or at least tolerated by some that may find music to be satisfying in a more “mosh for the sake of moshing" point of view. Described as the first half of System of a Down’s 2005 followup to the 2001 smash album “Toxicity", “Mezmerize" screams of irony, anger, and an apparent ill-contentment of the plastic coated limelight namely pinpointed at Hollywood. In comparison to most albums that float to the surface, “Mezmerize" holds as the moral and ethical pin in an otherwise contaminated haystack. In comparison to the hugely intense “Sugar" and “Aerials" highlights, “Mezmerize" is a bit of a disappointment in that practically every song is the “weird" track that tends to get overlooked. It’s not hard to appreciate when a band is being ironic, but when “All you bitches put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care" is in the lyrical backbone of a song, the dead horse is beaten just a bit too much. All of that aside, the diversity and structure of the album as a whole isn’t a bit under inspirational. Brought to a boil with “Soldier Side", “Mezmerize" opens with an acoustic intro before pouring over with the thrashing “B.Y.O.B", or “Bring Your Own Bombs" as not to confuse the meaning. The political side of System of a Down is in full swing at this point, and the heavy nature doesn’t let up a bit until the two part finale following “Sad Statue", which proves to be the best part of the album with the line “We’ll all go down in history with a sad Statue of Liberty and a generation that didn’t agree". The aforementioned closing is probably the worst part of the album though considering the obsessive rants about Hollywood, namely from Daron. Many political and social issues are overturned here, naming sexual obsession and musical vanity as a couple, that, side by side with impressive contributions by all the members of the band, cure’s the itch for at least until “Hypnotize" is released. “Mezmerize" is by no means a bad album, the anti-pop of the sound and the anti-conformity and awareness of the lyrics is what brings most people to the band anyway, but it doesn’t appear to be an improvement but rather just motion in general.
As a personal note, this is most likely going to wind up being my least favorite System of a Down album against “Steal This Album!", “Toxicity" and their self-titled debut, despite it appears to get better with time, but hell, it’s System of a Down, they’re one of my favorite bands.
This is my favorite release by SOAD yet. Much more thoughful in terms of music and just overall done well. The theme of the album is a bit lame but the music is right on. I wish there was more nu-metal like this. If anything, this album is the first ever to achieve the status of progressive nu-metal in my mind. Kind of an oxy-moron but how I see it.
i recommended soldier side because, even though it is only 30 seconds long or so, it is sadly one of the best songs on the album. "i hope your stepson doesn't eat the fish" doesn't grab me as much as "people all grow up to die". also, part of the reason why i review albums is to bring new people in, and i figured saying stuff like "the guitar kicks in and then the drum does a rolly thing" is pretty empty without ever hearing it.
I did not like this as much as their other releases...
Sure, it had it's fair share of decent songs (Sad Statue, BYOB, Radio/Video), but the rest just sounds like filler. The band seems to have dulled down...they lost the edge they possessed on their S/T album.