I've just finished listening to System of a down's fourth album (a.k.a. the first half of their sprawling Mesmerize/Hypnotize double disc release)
This is to say that the bulk of Mesmerize presents an interesting combo of tongue-in-cheek aural pleasure and straight forward balls-to-the-wall power blitz that shows the band having fun with themselves (and at times at the expense of diehard fans).
The song writing on this album is amazing, extremly creative with some of the best melodies writen by System, and certainly any other metal band. The guitar parts are stronger with much more versatile playing, some kicking riffs and tasty clean parts (Soldierside, the intro is a fantastic piece of guitar)
Soad's lyrics are so intellectually profound exploring totally new teritories. Indeed totally new territories, they ve gone into the scientific research of how much stuff you can tell people on one single cd that's only 36 minutes long.
A really great album. Sure it's toned down, it is different, and Daron sings a lot more. But I would rather listen to a band that does something different rather than listening to a band that does the same thing over and over. Yes its unusual not to hear a dominant serj vocal performace..but thats how bands progress musically... If I want to listen to the same old same old, I'll just turn on the motherf***ing radio. "Turn off your T.V. Can you say brainwashing? It's a non-stop disco."
And now Mesmerize has taken the good parts of their past and added a bit more of daron on vocals and serj on guitar, which, by the way, i've always been waiting for. don't forget this is a 2 disc album, hypnotize comes out in november!
ENTIRE album is 36 minutes long. 11 songs... threw it in my computer and when it opened I see a little 36.00 on the bottom of the screen. 36 minutes? This better be good!!!
Song 1. Solider Side - Intro (1:05), Nice little intro, could have been a full song but works effectively. It literally says welcome.
Song 2. 2. BYOB (4:16), - Well we've all heard this one by now, real hiphoppy chorus but really catchy, and the Prechorus riff is one of the coolest riffs I have ever heard. Second best song on the album, great vocals, hard hitting guitars drums bass. The devilishly complex single "B.Y.O.B.," a montage of desert-warfare images that hammers the insistent questions "Why don't presidents fight the war? Why do they always send the poor?" exemplifies that byplay, with Malakian's metal riffs and catchy chorus integrated with his partner's edgier collection of shrieks and "la la la la la" interjections.
Song 3. Revenga (3:50), - Starts off with just kick drum and strum from guitar into a triplet-style riff. Great singing in the verses from Serj. The chorus is bloody awesome, I love the cowbell sound from John. Breakdown is cool with nice vocals from Daron and cool riff. The end of the song reminds me a bit of Metallica not sure why. Probably my favorite song on the album, a more Self titled album sounding song.
Song 4. Cigaro (2:13), - A joke song I hope, similar to Bounce from Toxicity. Probably the heaviest song on the disc. Cigaro has nothing to do with gays or any such thing, its got all to do with America and their attitude towards other countries, and lost in hollywood, fags are what cigarettes are really called, so smoking fags doesn't mean anything to do with gays,and lost in hollywood if you dont understand is just a straight up shout against record companies.
Song 5.Radio/Video (4:11), - The first time you get to realy hear backup singer and guitarist Daron Malakian sing.Nice opening riff. Real catchy chorus, possibilty of a single? The verses sound quite folky which is different but really cool. And the bit where it goes quiet and Serj screams "Radio" is wicked. The bridge is really cool and the bit with Daron singing "la la la-la-la-la" is priceless.
Song 6. This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song (2:10), - Title is way to long. Super short song. Starts off with quite a heavy riff. And Serj doing a little beat boxing in the background, then kicks into quite a fast riff. Serj really shows off in this song with his various singing techniques. Really wicked song.
Song 7. Violent Pornography (3:33), - Not a bad song at all, sounds influenced from Toxicity but the chorus is repetative and annoying.
Starts off with a slow riff that builds up to really fast singing "everybody everybody everybody sucks, everybody everybody everybody fucks". Brilliant! Then the chorus kicks in which is wicked "Its a violent pornography, choking chicks and sodomy, the kind of shit you get on your tv."
Song 8. Question! (3:22), - A great great song, perfect vocals and great construction of the song. Acoustic start, but the main riff is in 5/4 which is really cool. Something a bit different.
Song 9. Sad Statue (3:27), - Good song, The lyrics are meaningful. Great speed metal riffs. And catchy chorus which is nice and slow contrasted to the rest of the song.
Song 10. Old School Hollywood (2:50) - Reminds me of the munsters song, lyrics remind me of someone who is stoned and writing whats in their head. Catchy riffs. Serj uses vocal effects in this song. Daron sounds cool with the "hey man dont you touch my belt." Definitely one of the best on the album.
Song 11. Lost in Hollywood (5:22), - more of a sequel of the previous song, sounds like a letter to one of the bandmembers about the dangers of hollywood. Slow song. Also about how much the guitarist hates people in LA.. This really shows Darons talent at singing, and you can hear him pouring passion into his voice. The harmonizing with Serj is absolutely beautiful. At 1:55 that is just a bit that makes you want to sway.
System Of A Down: Toxicity Performed by System Of A Down. For guitar and voice. Parental advisory - explicit lyrics. Format: guitar tablature songbook. With guitar tablature, standard notation, vocal melody, lyrics, chord names, guitar chord diagrams and guitar notation legend. Metal and Hard Rock. Series: Hal Leonard Guitar Recorded Versions. 80 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.690531) See more info...
Best of System of a Down A Step-by-Step Breakdown of the Guitar Styles and Techniques of Daron Malakian. Performed by System Of A Down. Signature Licks (Authentic guitar transcriptions in notes and tab). Book & CD Package. With notes and tablature. Size 9x12 inches. 72 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (695788) See more info...
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Guitar Lessons with Daron Malankian from System of a Down
"Now that you've set aside time for your guitar playing, make
sure you use it for what it was intended! You've brushed
off your movie friends (who want you to be a famous guitarist
anyway, right?) and now you're at home free and clear to
practice. BUT, you see that the season finale of Star Trek is
on tonight! DON"T GIVE IN! TAPE IT! GO PLAY YOUR GUITAR!
Write out a practice schedule for yourself. Work on specific
techniques or moves." - PRACTICE