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System of a Down

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  • I really don’t understand why this band is labeled as numetal. Having listened to this CD, I can safely say that there is nothing on here that even vaguely resembles numetal. There is no rapping, no turntabling, no simple 3-chord Korn riffs, and no indication that this album was made with any intention to get on MTV. What I’m hearing here (if I can describe it) is something much closer to progressive metal, and even death metal. System of a Down has much more in common with bands like Testament and Meshuggah than Korn and Limp Bizkit. In fact, Daron, the guitarist, doesn’t even like numetal, so I doubt he appreciates being lumped in that category.As a person who never really got the whole numetal/rapmetal thing, and would rather listen to just about anything else, I always avoided this album, because I didn’t expect it to be “my thing”. But, since I try to keep an open mind, I decided to borrow this album (and “Toxicity”) from a friend, and just see if I liked it. Wow, good move. I am VERY impressed! This album is nearly perfect in every way. Very heavy, very melodic, and very technical. Daron is far superior to any numetal guitarist, churning out wild time changes, thunderous riffs, and even some solos. John Dolmayan is a very talented drummer, who can do way more than just pound absent-mindedly at his kit, like say, John Otto. He does very complex beats, and some pretty impressive fills. The bass player is nothing special. His basslines are audible, but not very technical. Then there’s Serj. The madman behind this masterpiece (there, I said it, I used it the “m” word). Probably one of the most talented and bizarre vocalists there is. He has an amazing voice, and frightening range. He can go effortlessly from high-pitched squeals, to softer vocals, to death-like growling, and makes it seem easy. The lyrics? Well, I don’t know. Decide for yourself.It’s really a shame that most will only know this album by the single, “Sugar”. In my opinion, that song is extremely overrated, and easily the worst song on the album. In fact, it’s the only song on here that I dislike at all. Not that it’s bad, it’s just significantly weaker than the rest. If I had to pick favorites, I’d go with “Suite Pee”, “War”, “Mind, “PLUCK”, and the haunting “Spiders”, but every song is amazing in its own way.If you have reservations about numetal, and because of it have not gotten this album, just forget that, because I gurantee you’d be hard-pressed to find anything even vaguely “numetal” about this album at all. Anyone who has an appreciation for good music, and can keep an open mind will enjoy this. Haven’t listened to all of “Toxicity” yet, but something tells me it won’t come within miles of this. In fact, I doubt they could ever make another album like this. Don’t ask questions, just buy this now! I also recommend “Chaosphere”, by Meshuggah, if you liked this.

    Posted on February 15, 2010