System of A Down – System of A Down (1999)
Vocals: Serj Tankian
Guitars: Daron Malakian
Bass: Shavorsh „Shavo“ Odadjian
Drums: John Dolmayan
With a simple, yet unique and mind-boggling guitar-riff, Daron Malakian prepares the listener for the next 40 minutes, which would eventually be the starting-point of an internatioal career, leading to a huge fan-base, sold-out tours and #1 billboard-records, which has become very seldom nowadays.
System of A Down - The A supposedly stands for „America“, and is based on a poem written by Daron Malakian, entitled „Victims of A Down“ – provide the essence of what a Freethinker really needs: A high-energetic mixture of heavy, power-chord-based, drum-driven parts („Suite-Pee,“ „Know“, „ Sugar“)
with melodic, almost melancholy aspects („Suggestions“, „Spiders“).
System of A Down, consisting of musicians with armenian origin, took traditional crossover-ingredients from Rage Against the Machine and the Dead Kennedys, mixed it with the heavy-ness of Slayer and topped their new creation with almost The-Cure semmingly melancholy.
The armenian heritage of the band is also reflected in eastern sounding solos, drum-parts as well as the lyrical concept of the record „(P.L.U.C.K.“ – Politically, lying, unholy, cowardly killers – focusing on the armenian genocide), which only adds to the already unique sound of SOAD.
SOAD managed to accentuate the differences of those ingredients , by changing the speed and the feeling of a song almost shamelessly , in a more intense way than it has been done ever before
This new cration, often entitled „Alternative Metal“, although it undoubtedly is Crossover, is very much driven by the brilliant lyrical and vocal performance of Serj Tankian, one of today’s most famous singers in the heavy-spectre of music. Serj manages to get a certain sense of authenticy, credibility yet also anger across, which has left me in awe the first time I heard this record.
But the one thing, which a lot of people often seem to forget, which has made SOAD one of my favourite bands at that time, is, that they, aside from the political themes they focus on, incorporate a wierd sense of humor in their lyrics („Sugar“, „Peephole“).
SOAD’s selt-titled is a reference-album for their success and highly recommended for Freethinkers!
"Sugar" - live @ Big Day Out Festival 2002
"Suggestions" live @ Rock am Ring Festival 2002