System Of A Down- Toxicity
System of a Down was formed in 1995. They are of Armenian descent. This is their second album. Some consider it their best, but it is definitely their most popular to date. They are also probably my favorite band, a unique stand-out among their nu-metal kin. Here are the members of the band:
Serj Tankian- Vocals
This guy is an amazing singer, and his voice is very unique. I heard that he took after this guy named Mike Patton, but you can't fault him for doing very well at it. Highlights include Deer Dance, ATWA, Aerials, and probably a few more too.
Daron Malakian- Guitar/Vocals
Daron is not as good of a guitarist as I once thought before I became a better musician, but he's still really good. And boy are his riffs unique. Another unique thing is his singing voice, which is really hard to describe. His highlights include Deer Dance, ATWA, and Psycho, which all feature neat solos. His vocal highlights include backing vocals on Needles, Chop Suey, ATWA, and Aerials.
Shavo Odadjian- Bass
Now that I am a bassist, I can honestly tell you that there is nothing special about Shavo's playing. However, he still manages to make himself heard, which is good enough. Highlights include Prison Song, Forest, and Aerials, although they're not that great.
John Dolmayan- Drums
This guy is a great drummer. A bit of jazz influences, and some neat mini-drums are utilized a lot. His highlights are on almost every song, but special props to his work on Forest, Toxicity, and Aerials.
1.Prison Song (3:21):
This used to be my favorite song on the album, but I still like it a lot today. Very politically-charged, like many of their songs, with some weird almost-spoken verses and a weird shout-out by Daron ("I buy my crack I smack my b*itch right here in Hollywood!"). 4/5
2. Needles (3:13):
This is probably my favorite song by now. The two main riffs alternate between fast-drumming thrash and slower-drumming, faster-riffing death metal. The lyrics are obtuse as usual, with a great duet in the bridge. All in all, an insane song that definitely pumps one up. 5/5
3. Deer Dance (2:54):
A rather specific political song, about Indians protesting at a globalization meeting. There's a nice semi-solo in the bridge and as always, some great singing. 4/5
4. Jet Pilot (2:06):
This is what a repetitive song sounds like. I like the little Arabian guitar riff at the end of every verse/chorus/ I don't know which is which. I think it's the chorus, but you'll be hard-pressed to find anything out about this one. 2.5/5
5. X (1:58):
All right, this is the low point of the album. I usually skip this one, mostly because of the next song. It's about the Armenian genocide, which they already sung about better in P.L.U.C.K. from the first album. Next! 2/5
6. Chop Suey (3:30):
This is probably SOAD's most famous song, and believe it or not, it's still a good one! Even though both verses are the same (they do that a lot), the dynamics are great, and the duet at the end with both voices is awesome. If you haven't heard this one before, hear it! 5/5
7. Bounce (1:54):
This one blasts into your headphones/speakers after the quiet fading of Chop Suey, and it's not really that good. Just another one of the wacky tracks that they like to do, so take it for what it's worth. A weird, distorted bridge too, but kind of... bouncy. 2.5/5
8. Forest (4:00):
This is a great song, with some nice riffs and that little bongo/mini-drum thing I told you about before. It's actually kind of repetitive, but it's not bad at all. Passionate vocals too. 4/5
9. ATWA (2:56):
Kind of a ballad, but not acoustic or anything. Just a little quieter in the beginning, but with a forceful chorus as usual. A great song, with great vocal duets and a nice solo that you could play easily. 5/5
10. Science (2:42):
This song carries a weighty message, with some powerful vocals and those great Arabian melodies. In the bridge the song suddenly turns into some kind of Native American chant that I almost thought was a different song at first. Great job. 4.5/5
11. Shimmy (1:50):
This is nice short song that with plenty of Arabian melodies, similar to "Jet Pilot," but I like this one better. This is the shortest song on the album, but it's by no means a bad song or interlude of some sort. 3.5/5
12. Toxicity (3:38):
Title track time! I'm sure you've heard this song before, as it's a good one as well as their second single. Nice as passionate as usual, with some good drumming. But all I can think about is the video, where they're all eating seeds as in the lyrics, but the drummer isn't eating any. In fact, the drummer never seems to do much in their videos besides drumming. Oh well, good work by him anyway. 4/5
13. Psycho (3:45):
This song is extremely repetitive, and I kept skipping it until I heard the sitar and guitar solo near the end. In fact, the sometimes-annoying vocals of this song are completely gone and the song ends with just the awesome Indian music. Saves it for me. 4/5
14. Aerials (6:11):
Well, that's the track length anyway. The actual song is about four minutes long, and it's a great one. It was their last single that I've heard of, and the video has that weird-looking kid in it that surely must mean something. Anyway, the song closes with a vocal duet and lots of power chords, and then there's a Native American song called "Arto" at the end. They're both neat, and the album closes with a 5/5.
All in all, an enjoyable album. If you don't have it, then you don't necessarily need it, but you would like it. Really, you would. 4/5