On my upteenth listen of the album Mezmerize by System of a Down I realized that yes; this review shall be the first of many reviews spewing from my thought-juices straight through my keyboard into your eyes. Mezmerize is SoaD‘s 4th Album and has a direct connection with their following album: Hypnotize (it’s even released as a double album in some states, what fun!). Containing the awesome foursome that SoaD is best known for, and with lead singer Serj Tankian often swapping his powers of ‘lead singer-ness’ with the lead guitarist Daron Malakian in about half of the listed songs. This whole album is filled to the brim with the Alternative Metal Sex that SoaD is best known for.
But enough about the boring ol’ facts and shiznit of it all; let’s get down to business, to defeat, the Huns. To me this album is the epitome of all that is SoaD. It embodies all that they are well known for: the political views, the bizarre alternative sound, the left wing song/s containing near-lovecraftian lyrics, while mostly relating to drugs and politics. Oh SoaD, you so silly. The album opens with a short, acoustic version of a song on Hypnotize, becoming the staple that holds the double album together oh so very firm. It continues with some of the better known songs (B.Y.O.B, Cigraro, Revenga) that simply explodes with intensity and passion. The musicians are having fun and Serj simply nails every last word as if it was almost tangent to the rest of the music; that’s what makes the combination such a sweet, sweet deal. Whether the purpose of the song being towards the unfairness of soldiers dying while our leaders sit behind a desk (“Why don’t Presidents fight the war? Why do they always send the poor?” –B.Y.O.B) or perhaps it’s because Daron is not a humble man (“My cock is much bigger than yours” –Cigaro), but they play off each other with such groove and passion that nothing can stop their musical Bullet Train.
One of my favorite songs of all time (right behind Gojira‘s Born in Winter) has got to be Violent Pornography. Wait, please don’t go. I’m not some sicko… well not that much at least just hear me out man. pls. This song has everything a good song should; with the arguably questionable lyrics (“It’s a Violent Pornography! Chocking chicks and sodomy!”). The drums go beyond a steady beat, driving the band forward, but instead twists them around the corners of mixed tempos and seductive breakdowns. The Lead guitar shapes the sound and steers the music to follow it intensely, like a heavy metal snake charmer. The rhythm and bass, infamous for creating the body of a piece of music, paints a head-banging fist-pumping groovy-as-leather-in-the-70’s feel that forces everyone except single mother feminists that “don’t need no man” to get up and enjoy the living hell out of this song. But who stars on vocals? Classic Tankian? Perhaps that talented young fellow Malakian flexes his lyrical prowess once again? The answer is both. Oh my. Yes please. Tankian simply devours the quickly spoken sing-song of repeated verse’ that made SoaD (arguably) infamous. Malakian, being only human, simply can’t resist but to scream out in the secondary repeated verse and the combination of all these vocals… all these instruments… all these feels… it’s hard not to like this song as a metal enthusiast, I’d dare you but I hate being proven wrong.
The final two songs, Old School Hollywood and Lost in Hollywood Illustrate the fun drug-pumping party-dance-clubbing of being renowned followed by the horrible crushing realization of the horror in the world of… well… being renowned. Without going into too much detail; unlike the other phenomenal songs on the album (radio/video, this cocaine makes me feel like I’m on this song, Violent Pornography, Question, Sad Statue) None really have the same connection as these two. It’s just nice to have a little bit of depth outside of their unique views on politics and life. If any man, woman, child, animal or plant came up to me and said “Hey friend, cool shirt, what’s a good album to start listening to System of a Down? I just heard them from the videotech” I can scream at them with glee: MEZMERIZE, MY CHILD. MEZMERIZE. In fact this happens far more often than it should.
To wrap things up tighter than Audacity‘s lyrics, the album Mezmerize is filled with food, sex, and drinking. You like that don’t you? Sure you do. Buy this album. Buy it. With your money. Get off piratebay and do the responsible thing. SoaD fans will go crazy, Metal fans will convert themselves to SoaD fans, and everyone else is wrong. A sensual 9/10 from me.
Have a swell day.
In the name that all is good.
I am Roxburgh.