Sound — 9
Thank the maker! This album is so damn good. As usual SOAD have their fantastic sound plastered all over this barn burner. Time changes, crazy lyrics and a perfect blend of soft and hard. It's another step along a very original path that SOAD have taken. This album differs from it's brother "Mezmerize" in a few ways. Firstly, it's more aggressive in parts (Attack, Dreaming, Stealing Society), more haunting (Holy Mountains, Hypnotize, Lonely Day, Soldier Side), and the quiet moments aren't quite as quiet as on Mezmerize. As with all SOAD albums, the sound is very well defined. It's possibly the most identifiable aspect of SOAD's music, therefore, innovation is easy to pick up on. What stuck out to me was the use of almost Edge style guitar licks, that add a new melodic dynamic.
Lyrics — 10
To me the lyrics and the singing is what makes both Mezmerize/Hypnotize work so well, and it's especially so on Hypnotize. Daron takes more of a backseat on this album with the vocal duties, but is present at all times. I think that both Serj's and Daron's voice compliment each others so well. Some of the vocal delivery is amazing. Check out Kill Rock And Roll, She's Like Heroin and Lonely Day for an almost English style vocal, reminicent of "Johnny." Now on to the actual lyrics, which is so important on this album. This album is both more serious and funny than Mezmerize. Whilst Mezmerize tackles pop culture a little more, Hypnotize is all about war and politics and is all very well written. The exceptions would seem to be Kill Rock and Roll, Vicinity Of Obscenity and She's Like Heroin. The first, reminds me of Michael Moore "So I felt Like the biggest asshole - When I killed your rock and roll - f--k all the sexy people." The second is another piece of Serj word play, just like "This Cocaine..." and it's wonderful in my opinion! Lastly, with She's Like Heroin, the first time I heard it, I laughed my ass off! It's genius. "Chinese tricks in rooms/With ghost's of hooker girly dudes." It's brilliant. But I think in the end, the most devasting lyrics are on U-Fig, Bush voters should steer clear!
Overall Impression — 9
SOAD have evolved with every release, but have still retained all of the most important aspects of their overall sound. The fact that they have done this within the almost constrictive bondaries of their unique sound should be applauded. To me, this album is another positive step forward, without falling back upon any of their old tricks. This album is just as fresh as their first. It doesn't get a perfect 10, because perfect albums don't come around often, but this is a strong 9. The question that is left is where does SOAD go after this? Each album they have released has seen continual growth and has risen the stakes, how much higher can they go? I hope to the top of the Holy Mountains!