System of a Down
Protect The Land/Genocidal Humanoidz


2.5
average

Review

by TheMoonchild USER (156 Reviews)
January 31st, 2021 | 56 replies


Release Date: 2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The legacy of one of the most legendary bands of the 2000s, reduced to two songs.

All the praise surrounding System of a Down's semi-comeback has left me feeling puzzled. While I am very happy that a very worthy cause has united one of the most legendary metal bands of the 2000s to create music, looking past said worthy cause leads me to instead see a band who have nearly 30 years of legacy behind them, only five albums and two measly singles to show for it. It feels quite weird to be writing a review of a double single and trying to describe how to it shapes their legacy in the same way that I would an album, because the saddest part is that this exact situation is currently looking to be their legacy.

As far as how the music itself shapes up, it goes without saying that if Hypnotize didn't exactly rustle your jimmies, "Protect the Land" will not exactly do much of anything for you. While lyrically very touching and a tribute to the men and women who lay their lives down on Armenia's front line, said song seems to chug along at a mid-tempo pace for five minutes that seem to feel like ten without ever finding a hook. It tries to be "Holy Mountains" by way of "Aerials", but instead ends up reminding me a lot more of Lonely Day than anything else, which is not a compliment. Fortunately, B-side "Genocidal Humanoidz" fares much bette, fueled by anger and aggression, calling back to System's golden days of Toxicity all while bringing new elements to the table, even including the band's first ever blast beat. The way to look at this music apparently is that one side is from the Armenian army's side, and another is from the invaders' side. Which frustratingly just doesn't get the execution it deserves.

In fact, the sad thing about this release is that the cause it supports is not just worthy, but paints a picture of a situation that is still happening, with a war breaking out over Artsakh land. The problem, however, is when going back and listening to songs like "P.L.U.C.K." and "Holy Mountains", the anger, fire, and desperate cries for help are detectable, and here, I can only detect indifference. Which is why it feels bad for me to only see this release as cynical, when its motivation is anything but. But when looking at this release in the grand context of their career, that these songs may be all they have to show for it when they've offered far more sincere versions of them 15 years ago, it's hard not to.



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user ratings (262)
3.1
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheMoonchild
January 31st 2021


1315 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I am so, so sorry for this one.

syco722
January 31st 2021


817 Comments


Not sure if "chug along at a midi tempo pace" was deliberate or a typo but man that's accurate. The track feels a bit too written-on-a-computer.

RadioSuicide
January 31st 2021


2659 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good review but the last paragraph in particular could use some doctoring



TheMoonchild
January 31st 2021


1315 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Fixed.



The outro is sadly the best part of Protect The Land.

keaton_86
January 31st 2021


771 Comments


"even including the band's first ever blast beat"

Their two biggest singles both have blast beats in them lmao.

zaruyache
January 31st 2021


27530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Bounce also blasts, tho they're not used in a typical way.

Eakflanderyof
January 31st 2021


5658 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah they've had blast beats in at least like 7 or 8 songs before this release lol. Off the top of my head, chop suey, byob, cigaro, attack, dreaming

Eakflanderyof
January 31st 2021


5658 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also X

Tundra
January 31st 2021


9864 Comments


yes

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2021


10317 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great write up.

TheMoonchild
January 31st 2021


1315 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I've listened to the isolated drum tracks of those and only BYOB comes anywhere close to a blast beat. and even then its more of a hard gallop than an all out blast.

Koris
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2021


21413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"All the praise surrounding System of a Down's semi-comeback has left me feeling puzzled"



Idk, the reception was pretty mixed as far as I could tell. A lot of people enjoyed these songs, sure, but the praise was definitely quite muted and reserved



Great review though. I said this before, but I don't think we'll ever see a new full-length from these guys again. I'd at least like to try and be optimistic, but the members are so musically and ideologically divided right now that it's hard to imagine that they'll ever do an entire record again

Lord(e)Po)))ts
January 31st 2021


70254 Comments


Love me a hard gallop beat

Eakflanderyof
February 1st 2021


5658 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I've listened to the isolated drum tracks of those and only BYOB comes anywhere close to a blast beat. and even then its more of a hard gallop than an all out blast."



Lolwut?

zaruyache
February 1st 2021


27530 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the first half of the verse on X is blasting, and that part in BYOB is def blasting too. a blast beat it just a one-handed drum roll.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 1st 2021


70254 Comments


"a blast beat it just a one-handed drum roll."

L O L

Eakflanderyof
February 1st 2021


5658 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I think he just is confused on what a blastbeat is. Attack and dreaming also have straightforward traditional blasting sections. Cigaro has hammer blasting

AlexKzillion
February 1st 2021


17560 Comments


bruh how does nobody on this site no what a blast beat is lmao

Koris
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2021


21413 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Love me a good blast gallop

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 1st 2021


70254 Comments


"bruh how does nobody on this site no what a blast beat is lmao"

And people who almost exclusively listen to metal at that lmao



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