Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
System Of A Down
Sony Music
7/7/2005 - Review by: Ken Pierce
System Of A Down - Mesmerize - 5/17/2005 - American REcords

Track Listing
1. Soldier Side - Intro
6.This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I’m On This Song
7.Violent Pornography
9.Sad Statue
10.Old School Hollywood
11.Lost In Hollywood
The newest release by System Of A Down is quite impressive. You might be asking how much so well for starters I was never more than a casual fan of this band. I found some stuff just OK to me, never appealed or really enjoyed the earlier releases. However once I placed "Mesmerize” in the CD player I was floored by the production and delivery of the piece. As a matter of fact I am on listen three and am clearly heading for listen four. Overall this piece is explosive Metal and is also a lot of fun to listen to. The piece begins with a slow harmony laden “Soldier Side”, and once “B.Y.O.B.” kicks in your head will be banging. There are a lot of expletives in the CD, and while I am not a fan of censoring music or Artists I do think younger listeners should run this one by their folks first.

My favored tracks are clearly not radio material and I will be honest with you conventional radio no longer matters to me. I feel with Satellite, Internet and Cable radio feeds that play Metal music and don’t edit or bleep certain aspects of the track will help to keep this piece in the public eye. “Cigaro” is an interesting piece that shows how powerful the musicianship is in SOAD. Beginning like a Death Metal song it jumps into a totally different feel with some terribly funny lines. I laughed out loud when it ran. “Violent Pornography” is similar in its suggestive content but shows a side of these players that prove not only are they skilled but also capable of delivering humor in their content. You might hear “B.Y.O.B.” on the radio but it will get bleeped. Tracks like “Sad Statue” and “Radio/Video” are more “Air-Friendly” and perhaps gain these guys some chart position.

Malakian, Tankian, Doadjian, and Dolmayan have succeeded in converting me to their sound. Many interesting vocal harmonies are present and while one review listed them as the heavy metal version of Queen, I tend to disagree on that. There is something special in the band and is easy to find with this CD. “Mesmerize” will have a companion piece released sometime at the end of the Summer showing that the group had enough material to give their fans as much as possible. I totally recommend this piece.

Rating: 4.5/5

--Ken Pierce 06.30.05

5/27/2005 - Review by: Nakia Melody
System of a Down - Mezmerize - 2005 - Sony

Track Listing
1 Soldier Side - Intro
2 B.Y.O.B.
3 Revenga
4 Cigaro
5 Radio/Video
6 This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song
7 Violent Pornography
8 Question!
9 Sad Statue
10 Old School Hollywood
11 Lost In Hollywood
From start to finish this album is faultless. This fourth release from the political misfits System of a Down covers everything you would expect from them. Those looking for any great change of direction or reinvention will be disappointed but for the hardcore SOAD fans, this is another release to give you the instant feeling of wanting to punch someone out wherever you may be listening to it.

I have heard a lot of people bitching about the fact that Daron (the
guitarist and normally back up vocals) is getting a lot of limelight on the
album singing as front man. Granted Serj can turn any lyric into gold, but
kudo's still need to be given where due, and Daron does a bloody stand up
job in adding a slightly different dimension in the harmony vocals almost
sounding slightly Robert Smith (The Cure) in some songs.

Stand out tunes for me where definitely Radio/Video, Violent Pornography and
Sad Statue. The lyrics are, as expected, very politically motivated but
even with the majority of us living outside of the US of A, SOAD still
convey their feelings of angst and frustration extremely well. "We'll all
go down in history with a sad statue of liberty" is not only a direct attack
at the current state of affairs in the US but also relays attitudes
currently felt around the world.

Of course in classic System style they switch in 10 seconds from something
as serious as the war to "My cock is much bigger then yours" which
immediately lightens the general mood of the album.

The thing I love about these albums are how they combine songs so well.
Each song leads on to the other with the perfect change in tempo and rhythm.
Serj has this undeniably brilliance to make his voice part of the musical
output. The timing of a scream, harmony or complete stop is sensational,
which really puts him on a pedestal as one of the worlds most complete

You will probably need to listen to the album three or four times before you
really "get it", but when you do you will realise that this simply one of
the greatest bands currently in existence today.

I don't exactly know what the second half of this compilation "Hypnotize" is
going to produce or what direction it will go in, but that's why we love
this band, they just keep us guessing.


American Recordings
Nakia Melody1/2/2006
Sony Music
Ken Pierce7/7/2005
Sony Music
Nakia Melody5/27/2005


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