System of a Down
System of a Down



by The Shadow Beneath USER (2 Reviews)
June 12th, 2005 | 8 replies

Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

First of all, you people have probably heard System's album "Toxicity." This album is REAL System of a Down. This album contains most of the music that defines this band and who they REALLY are. Toxicity seemed a lot shallower than this album. But, this isn't a Toxicity review.
This is my first album review, so it may contain bias. Don't take my word as the bible or law. Got it" Good.


I'll go through the songs one by one, explaining each one.

Suite-Pee : 8/10
A strong opening, with the song starting with a few Arpegios and Serj singing "I had an out of body experience, the other day, her name was Jesus." And the song goes onto say "Try her philosiphy" and "You die for her philosiphy." Mid song, some headbang inducing death metal screams come into play and Serj almost whispers "Lie Naked.. On the Floor.. And let the messiah, go out through our souls." A very good song with interesting lyrics and punishing guitar work.

Know : 7/10
The song opens with a very cool drum beat and then Serj comes in with some extreme yelling as Daron thrashes away. The lyrics are quite cryptic, hard to understand, not in the terms of hearing what Serj is singing/yelling or whatever, but in terms of the song meaning. A strong song, no doubt about it, just not one of my personal favourites.

Sugar : 8/10
Probably the most popular song from this album. Crazy tempo changes, a cool jazz beat and psychotic lyrics. Not a personal favourite, surprisingly, a listenable song, to me, at least.

Suggestions : 9/10
To me, the main guitar riff sounds like the precursor to the Toxicity (the song, not album) riff. There's some very cool lyrics and vocals going down in this song, a personal favourite, pretty hard song and a not to fast, not to slow tempo.

Spiders : 10/10
My personal favourite from the album. The song deals with mind control and is a very gentle and slow song. The song gets heavier as the song goes on and then there's a face melting solo near the end of the song, which just brings out something in me, depending on what mood I'm in, anger, hatred, sadness, or anything else, it strikes a note with me, it may not for anyone else, but it's none the less an excellent song.

Ddevil : 8/10
A very ironic song, indeed. The infamous "Stupid people do stupid things, smart people outsmart eachother" lines are the work of a lyrical genius. The guitars and drums are very bouncy. It's a very catchy song.

Soil :10/10
A song that deals with the suicide of one of Serj's friends. It brings out a lot of hatred, and the song reflects it in the way Serj sings and the way Daron plays guitar, and of course, the way John drums.
The end line "WHY THE F*** DID YOU TAKE HIM AWAY FROM US, YOU MOTHER F***ER!"!"" closes the song in a hysteric fit of rage and anger. One of the best songs on the album. Very liberal with the swearing, mind you.
The song repeats "Don't you realise.. That evil... Lives in the mother f***ing skin!" frequently. One of the deepest and best songs, as I said.

War" : 10/10
Ranks as the best song on the album, alongside spiders. It questions religious wars, repeating the line "We will fight the heathens! We will fight the heathens!" The bridge is an interesting mix of a repeated guitar riff, Serj shouting some of the deepest stuff I've ever heard, and a religious chamting in the background.

Mind : 9/10
A very powerful song indeed. It starts off slowly, with a low baseline, and a very cool bit of guitaring from Mister Malakian, and some rimshots (No, not that kind) on the drums from John. Serj singing "Look at eachother" makes way for an incredibly frenetic song. The guitar comes in with some chords and Serj screams "GO AWAY! GO AWAY!!" And he goes on to sing "A world of mutually.. mentally.. Molested children of our Mother!!" The song frequently breaks into a frantic piece of headbang inducing riffs and screaming. A sample that says "Free thinkers are dangerous" is played often. Serj goes onto scream "GONNA LET YOU MOTHER F***ERS DIE!" by the end of the song, ending with him whispering "look at eachother.." A very good song.

Peephole : 8/10
Don't let the intro confuse you, just listen through and you'll soon hear what sounds like a demented clown show. A circus like tune kicks in with.. Well.. Slightly strange lyrics is an understatement. "Do you ever believe you were stuck in the.. SKY"!"

CUBErt : 8/10
The song starts off with one repeated note, goes into some low pitched chords and Serj comes in with some very interesting vocals. The chorus and bridge are headbang inducing, and you're officially a lunatic if you just nod your head to this song. The lyrics are quite strange, but it works.

Darts : 7/10
It's probably the worst song on the album, it's pretty much filler. It's good filler, but it's filler none the less. There's some pretty heavy riffs. It's too "Stoppy and Starty" for my tastes.

P.L.U.C.K : 9/10
This song deals with the Armenian Genocide, which is a subject not to be taken lightly. It involved the killing of many, many Armenians, and since all members of SOAD are of Armenian ethnicity. A very heavy song, with some excellent guitar work and vocals.

This album is very dark and twisted, and it's REAL System of a Down. It's not as corporate as Toxicity or Mezmerize. It's the heaviest of all of their albums, and that's a fact. It's much more political and the meanings are much stronger than all their other albums. It has its fair share of black humor, too. This album is not to everyone's tastes, but it pioneered the metal of the 21st century, in many people's eyes.

Content rating: No Parental Advisory logo is printed, but the album features liberal use of the F bomb on a few songs. The edited version of the album even lets a few of the bombs drop, too. The edited version is probably worth a 15, if it was BBFC classified. For those Americans out there: BBFC stands for the British Board of Film Classification, and it's used for games aswell as films. But it's the same principle for CD's, really.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

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June 12th 2005


great review for a first, it wasnt biased at all but i disagree that toxicity was lighter than this. I feel they were about the same intensiy level, but Steal This Album! sucked miserably. But Mezmerize brings back the intensity with more mature stuff too. But old system of a down is a well kept secret.

The Shadow Beneath
June 13th 2005


Thanks for the comment. While, I still hold my opinion on the intensity of Toxicity, we're all entitled to opinions, I know a lot of people share your opinion, but alot share mine, too. But, one thing about Toxicity, while a lot of the songs are classics, the title track, Chop Suey!, Deer Dance, Prison Song, etc, it was a lot more commercial, and you can hear it in the overall sound of the album.
I'll have reviews up for Mezmerize and Steal This Album as soon as I get them, I might start writing a Toxicity review later, seeing that I've been excluded from school for 2 days. I've got some spare time. Thanks again.

June 13th 2005


one of my favorite albums. nice review, but I strongly disagree about "Darts" being a filler. everyone who reviews this album seems to think that way. Oh well, still a great album and SOAD's best IMO.

July 11th 2005


great review... mayb its my copy but on war?.. i think its

we will f**k the heevens!

very good review

July 11th 2005


steal this album didn't suck! It mostly sucked, but it had a couple of gems. The Highway Song was unbelievably good. Mr. Jack was neat too.

July 20th 2005


IMO, darts defines irony, the hitman and nun thing is genius

April 3rd 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Best system album ever

September 24th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

^^ agreed, nice review man, best system album

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