After the disappointing Mezmerize was released, I didnít know what to think of System of a Down. Their music was obviously becoming rather dull, even though most of it is high paced, and frantic. There wasnít anything really wrong with it; it was just average. It just couldnít compare to the greatness of Toxicity. Only the songs BYOB
, This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like Iím On This Song
, and Revenga
were really good, and stood out on Mezmerize. Now here we are with Hypnotize, the second half of the two-part album System of a Down released this year. There are plenty of good things to say about this album, but sadly some complaints do surface.
One of the things better about Hypnotize over Mezmerize is the fact that there arenít as many silly songs on here. There are a few still, such as, Vicinity of Obscenity
and Kill Rock Ní Roll
, but the hidden meaning of the later song is talking about Daronís regret ofrunning over a bunny; so in a way it isnít really silly. A big problem with the album is Daronís huge leap in the amount of vocals that he contributes. His voice at times is about as enjoyable as using chalk on a blackboard is, especially on Kill Rock Ní Roll
In some ways Hypnotize is the same as Mezmerize, but in other ways it isnít all. Both albums feature horrible lyrics that at times you canít even judge them because itís virtually impossible to translate their meaning. As a certain user on Sputnik once said, ď(The lyrics are) so full of bad metaphors that you can't judge them because you can't relate them to anything concrete.Ē This is certainly true most of the time. Something that is completely opposite of each album is that Hypnotize isnít as ďcommercialĒ as Mezmerize was. While many songs could have been successful singles for Mezmerize; itís hard to pick out what the next single will be for Hypnotize. All that can be said is that whatever song is chosen will be the opposite of the title-track, and first single as really it is just about the only completely ďsoftĒ song for the entire album.
The fifth, and sixth songs, Stealing Society
on Hypnotize are of the best quality musically, and vocally. The best song of the two is easily Stealing Society
. The guitar on the song is much like that of the rest of the album; fast paced, but also slightly melodic at the same time. The best part about Stealing Society
is Serj Tankianís fantastic soothing vocal performance. ďTwo skies, watching it all fading. Two skies, living it all fadingĒ
, is what Serj starts to sing at the beginning of the song along with a metal guitar riff reminiscent of something in between BYOB
, and Question!
. Daronís singing on this isnít too bad actually, and one can actually call it enjoyable. The part where he sings, ďCrack pipes, needles, PCP, and fast cars kind of mix really well in a dead movie star. If I feel like talking, I never be wrong, if I feel like walking, you best come alongĒ
is more or less the best vocal job he does on the whole album. The opening guitar riff on Tentative
is absolutely crazy, and amazing. It sounds much like the normal fast guitar of many songs on the album, but with a little bit of a zany touch to it. Serjís singing in the opening is fast and frantic, which fits well with the opening guitar riff. This song is another political one, but the lyrics arenít too bad on this song. ďThe bombs are falling overhead with no sight, while you are talking all detached, so tell us. Where are you going to the bottom, to the bottom? Do you hear us? We are rotting.Ē
The way the song will switch from heavy to slow fits well with the lyrics, making this a standout on the album. The worst song on the album is easily the second slowest of the album, but not for that reason. Lonely Day
is by far one of the worst songs that Daron has ever written. It starts out with an extremely simple guitar part that is something a person would learn in an early guitar lesson. The lyrics Daron writes are absolutely pitiful, and rhyme way too easily, leading to extreme corniness. At times the guitar will get a little better, and goes into a short, but fast Spanish-esque guitar solo. Happily itís less than three minutes long, something way too common for this whole record.
If you love old System of a Down; you will love this. If you love Mezmerize, you will more than likely also love this. Hypnotize doesnít seem to be as commercial as Mezmerize was, as many songs on there could easily become popular singles. The singing from Daron is just horrid, much like the lyrics. However, Serj does quite an excellent job on the record. His highlight performance is easily Stealing Society
, and U-Fig
. Both never get old vocally or musically. The bass seems to have no life for most of the album, but the drums are even better than they were on Mezmerize with some great fills, and accompany the guitar greatly. Most songs on the album are either a 3 or a 3.5, and only a few are average or below. Stealing Society
is a superb song. Tentative
, Vicinity of Obscenity
are also both excellent songs. This would have equaled out to a 3.5, but didnít because Daronís guitar riffs on many songs are starting to sound too samey. All in all, everything tends to balance out, but ends up weighing in a little over on the good side.