System of a Down
System of a Down


4.5
superb

Review

by James Grant USER (14 Reviews)
June 17th, 2011 | 43 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album SOAD will never surpass.

For years, System of a Down have released solid album after solid album, bringing something relatively new and fresh each time round. However, they've never been able to match the performance on their debut. Sure, experimentation is good, but sometimes its best just to stick to what you know you can do well; which is something SOAD succeed emphatically at in this album.

The key to success throughout this LP is its aggressive approach to most songs. 'Suite-Pee' and 'Soil' would be great examples of this as the pace of these songs is almost unrelenting. Even though Daron Malakian's riffs may be more complex in newer SOAD releases, he keeps them simple and intricate on this album. However, this works is SOAD's favour as the low-toned riffs create quite a brutal and psychotic atmosphere. To add to the positives, Serj's vocals on this LP are unlike any other SOAD release. He switches effortlessly from melodic singing to shouting and then to growling, but switches from one to another in perfect fashion. In particular, his death growls are fantastically executed, especially on the track 'Mind' as the atmosphere is very eerie and quite serious, hence why Tankian's growls fit the style of the song perfectly.

Another advantage of this album is that it virtually has no filler tracks. SOAD drag you from one song to the next and each song in its own right becomes memorable. Although the album does contain many heavy songs, there are others such as 'Cubert' and 'Mind' which take a different approach. 'Mind' begins with a very foreboding bass riff at a slow pace, the song stays at this pace for quite some time before exploding into a realm of mayhem.

There really are no real negatives to this album, other than the fact that 'Cubert' is quite a forgettable and unnecessary track, but most albums do tend to have at least one or two below-par tracks. The musicianship is impeccable and the lyrics fit the purpose of every song quite brilliantly.

To conclude, SOAD have made an album which stands tall in the Nu-Metal genre, and they have still failed to surpass this gem. If you are a SOAD fan and haven't heard this album......where the hell have you been?!

Recommended Tracks:

Suite-Pee
Sugar
War
Mind
PLUCK

But really, you need to hear all of them!



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user ratings (3118)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BigPleb
June 17th 2011


37032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Quite a quick write up, had to review this! Favourite Nu-Metal album of all time.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins on Io

CrackeTheSkull
June 17th 2011


730 Comments


These guys aren't Nu-Metal. Never have been, really.

They have a unique sound to them that can't be pinned down to any specific genre... besides generalizations like "Rock" or "Metal."

Digging: The Night Flight Orchestra - Internal Affairs

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2011


31355 Comments


However, since 1998 they have failed to release an album which lives up to their debut LP.


This is kind of a strange sentence; the way you have it worded would normally infer that you were talking about a specific album in their catalog as opposed to their debut. I think it would read much better as "However, they've never been able to match the performance on their debut" and eliminate the "since 1998" part

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

BigPleb
June 17th 2011


37032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ill change that man, it kinda feels like Nu-Metal but it hard to generalise like you say. Do correct me on any other errors as i wrote this rather quickly.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love SOAD, one of my fave Nu-Metal artists if you wanna tag them with the 'Nu' prefix. Suite-Pee, Sugar and Peephole are my faves off this. Toxicity beats this, imo. I second CrackeTheSkull - SOAD are too unique to be accurately categorised.

BigPleb
June 17th 2011


37032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Toxicity is kinda bland for me, its not bad though.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It took my a good few listens before I truly got into it, but when I did I played it so much. Tbh, i think Toxicity has more high points than this record. I love this too, but you can't beat the triple-bill of Chop-Suey, Toxicity and Ariel’s.

EDIT: I'm in the mood to listen to this - haven't heard it in ages.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2011


7096 Comments


Ah, back in the day. So many memories.

Tyrael
June 17th 2011


20899 Comments


Toxicity is still my favourite SOAD album but this rules too.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2011


1106 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listening to this right now - forgot how good 'Spiders' is. 2nd best SOAD album, imo.

Puzzles
June 17th 2011


3065 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fucking loved this album when I first got it. You've actually reminded me to give it another listen, which I will in due course. I thought there was alot of filler on Toxicity, so this more or less wins it for me. I still like all of SOAD's records, though.

Mordecai.
June 17th 2011


8279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

shit fucking rules

SCREAM!
June 17th 2011


10207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listening to Wintersun for the first time in a long time and loving it

Might do these guys next

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2011


7096 Comments


Sweet morty

BigPleb
June 17th 2011


37032 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The best thing about Toxicity is Serj's vocal performance.

MO
June 17th 2011


18859 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Easily their best album.

dimsim3478
June 17th 2011


5171 Comments


The difference between the demos and the songs on this album that they eventually became is baffling.

Digging: Kittyhawk - Hello, Again

AfterTheBreakdown
June 17th 2011


7155 Comments


Good album.

BigHans
June 17th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

slays

KILL
June 17th 2011


71957 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

best album ever

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out



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