Review Summary: Why do they always send the poor?
War. War never changes. Whether it's the Battle of Midway or Black Ops 2, the eternal struggle of human conflict rages on. While we are now in times of coddled youth and insipid pop drivel, music not so long ago had a hunger for justice. Enter the ever expanding mind of Serj Tankian. A Middle Eastern man himself, he witnessed entire cities leveled by the United States government as a youth, and it inspired him to tell the truth with the power of nu-metal.
A crazy blender of genres mixing space dance, nu-metal, and groove metal, System of a Down's Mezmerize
takes the listener on a mind-expanding journey. Juxtaposition is one of many tools employed by Serj's lyrical sword of truth. The intro "Soldier Slide" is a playful little ditty, yet beneath the hooks there lies a great message if one chooses to listen. It is meant to show the USA's messed up attitude towards war. Soldiers go through crazy stuff that messes them up forever, and we just act like it's fun and games. This is driven home by the next track "BYOB," a song that was so catchy it managed to hit the radio despite its anti-government message. Many youths were likely "corrupted," as some may say, but I say this song created messengers of truth. Many kids in 2005 did not know about the horrors of war. Propaganda was everywhere, so the song is very mind-expanding. There is a hallucinogenic quality to SOAD's music that goes hand in hand with their message. Their skewering of the surreality of the times will expand your mind, much like hallucinogens also do.
Many of these other songs describe the horrors of war, the horrors of government. Serj is like the snake charmer who speaks truth about war and government. Sadly, the band has not done much in a long time. This album is still relevant, however, as many of the lyrics could be assumed to be about Donald Trump if one did not know otherwise. The timeless quality of SOAD is why they have endured when other nu-metal bands play the state fair. My only complaint with this album is songs like "Old Hollywood" that do not focus on the government or war, they seem frivolous in comparison.