System Of A Down
System Of A Down - Hypnotize - American Records
3. Kill Rock 'n' Roll
5. Stealing Society
8. Holy Mountains
9. Vicinity of Obscenity
10. She's Like Heroin
11. Lonely Day
12. Soldier Side
While most people believed that the previous release Mezmorize was a complete waste of time and effort, us of the faithful knew that the second release Hypnotize would be the bands "Use your Illusions" method of making a great album.
Serj returns to more of the frontman persona that so many people lamented in Mezmorize and to good effect. While I was actually a supporter of Darron's increased input into the first 'half', the return of Serj to the fore is more then agreeable. His ability to take a lyric and turn it into a poetic moment is a highlight of my listening experience.
The album is without a doubt their most frenetic paced release while still maintaining a perfect accompaniment to the laggard approached Mezmorize. From the first song "Attack", System launches forth with some ripping guitar riffs before launching into a tirade of anti-war rhetoric that would rival even the best liberal orators.
"Dreaming" continues the onslaught of crunching melodies and heavy bass beats, "Kill Rock 'n' Roll" shows Systems ability to blend punk with the always controversial and emotional metal genre without offending even the most dedicated of hardline metal supporters.
The title track "Hypnotize" is classic System Of A Down while "Stealing Society" and "Tentative" are in the filler stages of a the album.
"Holy Mountains" is one of the most pissed off songs I have ever heard without entering into the much maligned nu-metal form of daddy hated me teen angst. Through some further investigations it appears the song was written to make a vocal record of the atrocities of genocide by the Ottoman Turks against the Armenian people after World War One. It goes to show the power of the musical lyric when I actually looked some shit up to find out why all the hate filled verbalisations. Probably the best technical song on the album.
We then enter into the completely absurd "Vicinity of Obscenity", "She's Like Heroin" and "U-Fig" (definitely the best song to break your neck to). She's like Heroin really being the only song on the album I don't mind skipping. Darron's vocal intro was quite poor, almost to the point of grating.
The album starts at a rapid pace then moves into a more melodic rhythm with "Lonely Day" until the end of the album is like the first song of Memorize doing full circle with the END of "Soldier Side".
Whilst this doesn't hit any new highs after the success of Toxicity, it is pretty hard to improve on perfection.
All System fans are going to dig this, those who don't like System are not going to have their opinions changed but it is definitely worth checking out.