Review Summary: Far ahead of its time
“How do you own disorder,” has yet to be answered. 17 years after the release of Toxicity
, we revisit the very line that defined Toxicity
. System of a Down welcome us to a world of tapeworms, chop suey, and aerials. Screams of war, genocide, and the invisible hand are all that’s left in the rubble of a free world.
Many wouldn’t expect Toxicity
to be a triple platinum chart topping masterpiece. In fact, fans rioted for 6 hours the day before its release. Crowds piled on top of each other when System joined Slipknot on their Iowa tour the same year.
“Eating seeds as a pastime activity,” is an example of the kooky songwriting that trademarked System of a Down. “I don’t know what it means, but I know how it makes me feel,” Rick Rubin comments on System of a Down’s perplexing lyrics. “And it goes from that wackiness of the verse to the epic sadness of the chorus.”
Daron Malakian, System of a Down’s lead guitarist, reinvented his playing style. “I knew what I wanted to do with the guitars to make it more furious.” Malakian comments to MTV. “On the last record, there were two tracks of guitars. On this record, there’s 12 tracks on each song.” The infamous intro to “Chop Suey” and “Aerials” are notable examples of the experimental layers from Malakian’s work.
Even if Toxicity’s
14 tracks run a tad too long, there’s no question as to how powerful the album is. It’s arguably one of System’s best records and earns its legendary status. Bold innovation, striking relevancy, and malicious instrumentation combine to form a towering force. It leaves many to wonder what System of a Down could produce in this day and age.