In 1994, KoRn made a new type of metal called nu metal. Ever since they did though, all of the other bands they spawned in the 90's were just cheap imitations of KoRn (SlipKnoT are a good example here). By the time it was 1998 however, System of a Down came and showed that not every nu metal band sounds the same. Their self-titled album impressed some metal heads, but they really got their success on the album in this review, Toxicity. This album is probably going to become System of a Down's most influential, because of how commercialized it is (Mezmerize was commercialized as well, but in a bad way even though it's a pretty good album). Overall there are only two nu metal bands that I really like; KoRn for inventing nu metal and System of a Down for perfecting it.
01. Prison Song
The best song that System of a Down have started an album with. It sounds like a SlipKnoT song, but the political lyrics Serj Tankian screams on more prisons being built makes this a brilliant track. It's also interesting everytime Serj imitates a news reporter before the chorus.
This is what "Prison Song" would've sounded like if SOAD sounded more like themselves. Daron Malakian joins in with the vocals, making the pre-chorus crazier and the bridge more soothing.
03. Deer Dance
The music still sounds the same, but Serj sings a mixture of politics and non-sense, only screaming at the chorus. The overall message of the song is that the peaceful loving youth get pushed around by the brutality of plastic existance with their fully automatics too much and this can eventually break into a new kind of war. Not one of my favourites on the album, but it's a good song to mosh to.
04. Jet Pilot
Many people think this track is total filler. I don't mind the song at all, because the guitar, bass, and drums are still as good as before. Like "Deer Dance", the words are hard to decipher but the main message is "Don't drink and pilot a jet".
A short interlude song that sounds exactly the same as the four songs before it, but it warms you up for a change. A great interlude, however the lyrics are the worst on the album. They're about the Armenian genocide, something that was already sang about on the last song on their self-titled album.
06. Chop Suey!
You know you've found a good song if it has an exclamation point at the end of the song title. It was the first single on Toxicity and the song that got me into System of a Down. The song starts soft, the verse gets hard, the chorus goes back to soft, and the bridge is split in half with the two sounds. An amazing way to talk about Jesus' self righteous suicide.
Another interlude comes in, returning back to heaviness. This is the most insane interlude the album has. Why? Because all of the instruments are at their hardest while Serj explains to you the good times he had at a pogo party, with only one pogo stick.
After listening to the first half of Toxicity, you'd think every song System of a Down writes sounds the same. Untrue. "Forest" is a song softer than the beginning and chorus of "Chop Suey!". The only time the track gets heavy is when the chorus gets reached. The song has a nice message too, telling the story of a father taking his son to the forest so they can get along better. Another great album cut.
Not sure what the title means, but it's a decent song. This track is the closest thing to a ballad on the whole album. Sounds similar to "Needles", but softer. Serj Tankian sings about a man who thinks his life is coming to an end and Daron Malakian does a good job joining in at the verses.
"Science" tells the pros and cons of the world of science and SOAD get back to their hard sound. The best lyric here is "Science is recognized as the single most potent element of human existance". Those are some words to live by. The most enjoyable part of the song is when it gets to the bridge, which is an Armenian chant.
Toxicity's last interlude. It's a little more heavy than "Science" and Serj sings about how bad the education system is on every boy and girl. Does a good job at tying in between the previous track and the next track.
The title track and the album's second single. Beautiful guitar in the verses and Serj Tankian's words on the toxicity of our cities really shine. I'd usually expect an album's title track to explain what the other songs of the album are like, but it's a nice wave of change though. Then once you get to the ending of the song, you will be prepared for what the next track sounds like.
Starts of sounding hard, but by the time it gets to the verses it's very very soft. The chorus goes back to hard again, but throughout the verses and the ending this is Toxicity's most relaxing song. A nice track to put after the title track and before the last song.
The third single and my favourite song on the album. The guitar is headbanging during the verses and soft at the chorus and the ending. The message is the same as "Spiders" off the self-titled album, but the words of "Aerials" are more philosophical (example: "Life is a waterfall, we're one in the river and one again after the fall"). But the best part is once you think the song is over, after a few seconds an Armenian chant with some Middle Eastern instruments gets played and it's pretty fun to dance to.
Overall album rating (on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best): 8
Content Rating: Clean
To Be Continued...