Serj Tankian Releasing Two Albums This Summer

The vocalist announces two independent releases in June and July, including "Tankian's first true symphony."

Ultimate Guitar

System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian has officially announced the release of not one, but two independent records this summer.

The first effort, titled "Orca," was described as "Tankian's first true symphony" and is set for a June 25 release via singer's own label Serjical Strike Records. As the self-titled debut album of his new project Jazz-iz Christ, the second record is scheduled to drop on July 23.

"Recorded in Linz, Austria in October of 2012, Orca was composed and demoed in Tankians home studio and fully realized after a successful Kickstarter campaign that helped fund a recording and debut performance at the regal Brucknerhaus with the Das Karussell Ensemble," reads the official announcement.

"With conductor Werner Steinmetz at the helm, the four acts of 'Orca' mix influences from early 20th century composers with modern film compositional dynamics showing influences ranging from Ennio Morricone to Philip Glass. Listeners are met with a mingling of sounds and intertwining pieces that are both serene and bombastic at the same time, offering a fresh interpretation to the classical art."

As for the Jazz-iz Christ self-titled debut, the project has been described as "a collaborative effort between many musicians that Tankian curated to be part of the group and self-titled album." List of contributors includes the likes of Police drummer Stewart Copeland, pianist Tigran Hamasyan, flutist Valeri Tolstov and trumpet player Tom Duprey.

"Orca" pre-orders will kick off on May 1, while the "Jazz-iz Christ" pre-orders will follow two weeks later, starting on May 15. The vocalist has also confirmed a string of 9 European concert dates set to take place during September and October, mostly in Russia and Italy.

As for the massively-anticipated new System of a Down release, the band has recently confirmed they will hit the studio "at a certan point." Ever since the end of their four-year hiatus in 2011, SOAD kept a relatively low-profile, with just occasional live performances. And with the frontman's solo career at full-throttle, it is almost certain we won't be hearing any new material this year.

The latest SOAD record, "Hypnotize," came out back in November 2005 as the band's fifth studio release. After an exclusive Los Angeles performance at The Hollywood Bowl on July 29, the metal four-piece is set to embark on a three-week European tour in August.

Serj Tankian European tour dates:

09/19 - Kiev, Ukraine - Ukraina Hall 09/21 - Yekaterinburg, Russia - Kosmos Hall 09/23 - Novosibirsk, Russia - DK Zheleznodorozhnik 09/25 - Krasnoyarsk, Russia - Philharmony 09/27 - Moscow, Russia - Crocus City Hall 09/28 - St. Petersburg, Russia - Orjktybyrsky Concert Hall 09/03 - Florence, Italy - Teatro Comunale 09/04 - Padova, Italy - Gran Teatro Geox 09/05 - Rome, Italy - Auditorium Parco Della Musica

47 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I just wish they'd make a new SOAD album. Both Serj and Darian's best tunes are from when they collaborated.
    I don't mind all the solo stuff, but it sucks growing up and getting into a band, later becoming a huge fan, then having to deal with this long hiatus. I am not saying that I don't like them anymore, but I will say that I am not as crazy as I used to be in waiting for a new album. I just hope they do it soon.
    Serj did make a lot of good sole material though. 90% of Elect the Dead was top notch.
    Not sure that I like Serjs stuff anymore. I'm a huge Soad fan and loved Elect the dead. Imperfect harmonies and Harakari weren't anything special though. His vocals are so nasal and one dimensional now.
    My thoughts there. When you listen to his live stuff with SOAD back in the early 2000s, it's spot on with the albums, but it seems like now his voice is nasally and such. I dunno if that's on purpose, or just how his voice is now.
    He just needs to get with SOAD and pound out an album. I don't even care if it's not better than Mesmerize and Hypnotize. Just something, please. And what about that Scars on Broadway album and EP that due out five months ago?!
    If it isn't better than their worst albums (not saying a whole lot, admittedly) then wouldn't that make them seem like one of those "oh, hey, we're back together... Throw money at us!" bands? I don't expect a new SoaD album this year - maybe not even next year. I'm fine with waiting a while, as long as they come back with a bang, rather than a measly little pop.
    Mezmerize and Hypnotize are my favorite SOAD albums...
    *ahem* awkward... There I go again, stating an opinion as fact and making myself look like a dick...
    It's really a matter of opinion, especially when it comes to a band like System, all of whose records could easily be considered candidates for their best. That said, I personally enjoy their earlier work to Mezmerize/Hypnotize, but again, they're all great so that really isn't saying much.
    I give up on the hope of new SOAD. Serj will release 523 more incredibly average solo albums before he actually decides to work with System again.
    Serj lost me when he put out that bullshit "We Are the 99 Percent" song with Tom Morello. And no, don't give me that "he understands and supports the movement" bullshit, when you have a net worth of $18 million and the best you can contribute is a song, you're not supporting the movement, you're using it.
    "Jazz-iz Christ." *facepalm.*
    I thought it was clever, admittedly. The idea that Serj may be going full-Jazz for one of his projects makes me squee a little bit - he has been heading in that direction for a while, so he may as well just jump in.
    Oh god, more vanity projects from musicians of questionable talent. Serj, sorry brother, but you work at best as a good half, not nearly as potent with 100% control.
    Stephen Vaughn
    I ****ing give up. I loved elect the dead, and scars on broadway, hell even harakiri was decent. But for the love of god stop putting out albums, stop ****ing touring and get in the goddamned studio with System! Until then I'm not buying or listening to any more of their side projects. Consider this a mini boycott till we get a new freaking system album!
    We need bands like System of A Down, Rage Against the Machine, Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus, COG, Radiohead, Tool, etc more than ever in today's evil world. Almost everyone will have no idea what I'm talking about. That's the sad and scary thing.
    Moreso the philosophical ones than the political ones - political bands have always come across, for me, as whiners who enjoy complaining about an issue without actually doing anything properly productive. Keyword - productive. Plenty of them do stuff to back up their words, but does any of it actually make a POSITIVE difference? I'm not so sure.
    I'm actually somewhat excited to see how Orca will turn out - it certainly sounds interesting. That said, we do need some more SoaD.
    From reading that, it feels like Orca is going to be the album that Imperfect Harmonies should have been. That album felt a little incomplete to me, and the orchestral parts were often very far back in the mix. I think the 'stripped down and loud' nature of Harakiri (which I love) was a great contrast to his second album. Looking forward to Orca, don't know about Jazz is Christ.
    SOAD will return when they return. They're on a hiatus, not gone.
    i grew up with SOAD, but honestly, he just needs to make an album called "sucking the dicks of lenin and marxs" and get it over with. maybe it would be a collaboration with tom morello and tim mcllrath
    GET BACK WITH SOAD! Enough with your solo project...what about the SOAD fans?
    Yet another artist that I just can't get into, and it's his voice that gets me. I just can't handle it. The quality of music might be there, but when I can't handle one of the most important elements, that bothers me.
    not huge into serj's solo material, scars is okay but not something i listen to often.. i'll be waiting for that post about a SOAD album, if it ever comes
    I can hardly wait. God love this man, and everything he's worked so hard to create.
    I dont know about you guys, but im pumped for these two albums. Im a huge fan of Serj, so whatever he does ill buy it, essentially.
    I'm pretty sure Orca has been out in Australia for a year now but just in a compressed Mp3 format, does he not have another record collaborating with someone from Mindless Self Indulgence?