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System of a Down
Hypnotize


4.5
superb

Review

by starrats100 USER (9 Reviews)
November 22nd, 2005 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


What a year it had been for System of a Down, even before this CD was released. Mezmerize, the first half of this "double-CD" was released in May, and was completely amazing. The single "B.Y.O.B." got constant airplay on modern rock radio for quite a while. The video for "Question!" was even aired on MTV sub-stations constantly. To put it simply, the band was on top of the rock world.

So, this leads us to Hypnotize, the second half of the releases, which was held in high hopes that it would be as good as its counterpart. So is it?

INSTRUMENTAL REVIEW
The vocals on the album are divided between lead singer Serj Tankian and guitarist Daron Malakian. Daron didn't sing much at all before Mezmerize, which is why many people prefer Serj's voice to his. Serj is clearly the better vocalist, but Daron's vocals are welcome at most points as well.

Daron can play the guitar better than he sings though. He uses many fast, heavy riffs on the album, which definitley pull you in. The guitars on the softer songs also sound quite good.

The basswork on this album was apparently done by Daron Malakian as well. This is because, Shavo Odajian, the normal bassist, couldn't understand parts of it, and learned it to play it live. This doesn't mean the bass on this album is that bad, but you can't hear it most of the time anyways.

John Dolmayan is the drummer, and he has shown on past works that he can work a double-bass, and do some fancy work with his sticks as well. His true talent can be seen on the slower parts, where you notice his parts more alone than going along with the heavy guitar riffage.

TRACK BY TRACK REVIEW
Attack (3:06)- The song starts out with an extremely heavy, fast riff from Daron, which is soon matched by the drums. The verses are very soft and melodic. Serj does the majority of the vocals on this song, within Daron accenting on the verse vocals. The bridge has a catchy riff in it as well. Not a bad opening to the album. (3.5/5)

Dreaming (3:59)- This sounds like a song that would be off of their self-titled album. Very nice fast intro riff. Very good lyrics on this song as well. The bridge-like part about halfway through the song is definitley the highlight of the song, but overall it is a very strong track. (4/5)

Kill Rock 'N Roll (2:27)- The shortest song on the CD and quite possibly the catchiest. There was one thing that definitley keeps me from giving this song a higher rating. It was much better sound quality live, and it makes me wonder if the guys put 100% into it on the recording. Lyrically, nothing special, but it definitley pulls you in. The chorus is very nice all around. (4/5)

Hypnotize (3:09)- The first single released from this CD, and the first highlight. The guitar in the intro will be stuck in your head for a very long time (I believe it was a week for me). Serj puts on a very strong vocal performance on this song, as does Daron on vocals and guitar. The drumming is quite simple throughout, but gets a little more interesting on the last chorus. Definitley an album highlight. (5/5)

Stealing Society (2:58)- I'm actually going to go out on a limb and say this a pretty good song. The beginning is another heavy fast riff, with Daron yelling "Yeah" and "Oh right" in the stops. The vocals that Serj brings to the table aren't his best but are still enough to shine in the song. Also, the drumming is very solid on this track. The part where Daron sings is where the song loses it just a little bit. His vocals on this song aren't spectacular at all. But the drumming sounds even tighter there, so it makes up for it in a way. Good song. (4/5)

Tentative (3:36)- One of the more political pieces on the album. Serj's vocals aren't as amazing as they usually are during the verses, but the chorus to this song is a masterpiece on all of the instruments and with the vocals. SOAD has always had very strong political lyrics, and it doesn't stop here with lyrics such as "Where do you expect us to go when the bombs fall?" in the interlude. It's not the strongest political song on the CD, but its still very good. (4/5)

U-Fig (2:55)- Nice guitar intro, with nice accenting work on the cymbals. The lyrics are very different. The vocals in the chorus are very different, but the way they are structured overall make it very catchy. The melodic guitar sounds very nice as well. (4/5)

Holy Mountains (5:28)- Longest song on the CD and one of the best as well. It is reminiscing on the Armenian genocide, which may be a main reason it seems like so much was put into it (all of the band members are Armenian-Americans, who raise awareness for the genocide). Everything sounds great, especially the combination of lyrics and vocals. Serj and Daron's combined screams of "HONOR, MURDERER, SODOMIZER" hit you very heavily. Serj's vocals are quite possibly the strongest on this track. Truly an amazing song. (5/5)

Vicinity of Obscenity (2:51)- One of Serj's crazy lyrical ideas, in the same vein as "This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song" except lighter. Serj utters the word "terracotta" forty-nine times in total. The instruments aren't that bad though, and it will get stuck in your head right away. (4/5)

She's Like Heroin (2:44)- This is probably the weakest song on the CD. Daron sings it, but its the way he sings it that makes it weird. During the first two verses, he sounds very different at some points. Music is very basic on all instruments. Not a horrible song, just nowhere as good as the others. (2.5/5)

Lonely Day (2:47)- The lyrics on this song are downright horrible. If they were better, this would actually be a very good song. Daron needed to just write better lyrics for this song. He focused a lot more on the guitar for this song. Quite possibly the best solo on the CD (which isn't saying too much, other than the fact that it sounds cool) and the melody guitar sounds great. Ends on the siren that was in the Soldier Side Intro. (3/5)

Soldier Side (3:40)- I think the main reason has to be that we in America are experiencing it right now, but this song hits even HARDER than "Holy Mountains" did. Best lyrical and vocal combination on the CD. The music, especially the guitars in the first, the drums in the second half, and the notable bass throughout, sounds amazing. They saved the best song of the double release for last. It may very well be the best rock song of the year. Hopefully, it will be the next single. (5/5)

In conclusion, this album was exactly as I expected. It was the same style as Mezmerize. The use of Daron's vocals followed what the first half did. If you loved Mezmerize, you will love this album. If you hated Mezmerise, you will hate this album. The only thing that I think might make this half an inch better is the amazing effort of "Soldier Side". This was System of a Down's year. No doubt.



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user ratings (4086)
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Auldy
November 23rd 2005


350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, pretty good t by t



but



we didnt need another Hypnotize review, and Grateful Dead's review of this album is by far superior and is one of the best reviews of any album on this site.This Message Edited On 11.22.05

wikuk
November 23rd 2005


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

for everyone out there, stop reviewing Hypnotize. The album is only a few weeks out yet but we've got already 3 reviews. For the rest, good review, i'm voting.

Dwayne_Pearce
November 23rd 2005


17 Comments


the reviews on this just keeping rushing in don't they? I'm sorry but new SOAD is just not as good as it could be, maybe next time.This Message Edited On 11.23.05

shimmy
November 23rd 2005


41 Comments


I just don't agree with the fact that shavo is a talented bassist.....it's not bad but it may offend peolple who's got really a good talent...

Auldy
November 23rd 2005


350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah

he isnt that great

Zebra
Moderator
November 23rd 2005


2647 Comments


I'm glad multiple people are reviewing this album...isn't that what the site is for?

Even though I don't usually like track by track reviews you did a decent job.

I like these guys once in a while, but after that they just get annoying.

Storm In A Teacup
November 23rd 2005


30743 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

People need to shut the fuck up and stop complaining about multiple reviews. This is what the site is for so if you have a problem with it go somewhere else.



I've heard a few more songs off of this and I'm still not convinced to buy it, I just don't want to be as dissapointed with this as I was with Mezmerize.

Digging: Envy - The Fallen Crimson

wikuk
November 23rd 2005


1110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shavo Odajian is definitley a talented bassist, as we had seen on past System works. But he is hard to notice on here unless you turn the bass boost up. There are some parts where you can notice the bass, such as at the beginning of "Hypnotize". But with the bass boost on, you can tell Shavo played very solidly on this album.



John Dolmayan is the drummer, and he has shown on past works that he can work a double-bass, and do some fancy work with his sticks as well. His true talent can be seen on the slower parts, where you notice his parts more alone than going along with the heavy guitar riffage.




actually they are both not very talented, i'm a drummer and a bassist and i can tell.

Storm In A Teacup
November 23rd 2005


30743 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think Serj actually helped Shavo with recording Mezmerize if not Hypnotize as well because the stuff he was playing is supposedly more advanced.



I read that in guitarworld, I think. Several issues ago.

barosjn
November 23rd 2005


501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think the opposite of the opinion you had at the end. I really think if you hate Mezmerize, you'll like Hypnotize and vice versa. Like I said earlier, Mezmerize is light and poppy while Hypnotize is dark and serious.This Message Edited On 11.23.05

Auldy
November 23rd 2005


350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Quote:

People need to shut the fuck up and stop complaining about multiple reviews. This is what the site is for so if you have a problem with it go somewhere else.





:cries:





Auldy
November 23rd 2005


350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nah i am sorry

ocelot-05
November 24th 2005


807 Comments


I see...I see the future...I see a continual wave of Hypnotize t-b-t's...

Don't listen to me, I'm not putting you down. Good review.

Auldy
November 24th 2005


350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i think you should, it is fairly decent

Motleyguy
November 24th 2005


118 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Daron recorded all the bass on these 2 albums, just to clear that up. I read it in an interview in guitar world. Decent review...not a bad album

starrats100
November 24th 2005


21 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

One of my friends actually told me something along the lines of it, but I wasn't entirely sure this was true. I'll fix it.

Rudd13
November 24th 2005


952 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Then what's Shavo's part in the albums?

starrats100
November 24th 2005


21 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I guess he did SOME bass parts, but Daron covered the majority of it. I'll have to check out the article myself, because I'm going on what my friend told me for now.

vicy77
November 24th 2005


164 Comments


i think that we will be hearing quite a bit of this album from the media till it makesus sick and then some. good before hand, sux later. the forums will be filled with hate and arguements in like a months time.

Arrakakaka
November 24th 2005


685 Comments


Shavo Odajian couldn't do the basslines? What the balls? Does he suck that bad?This Message Edited On 11.24.05



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