Sound — 8
It's very difficult to critically approach this album. When Mezmerize is put up against nearly every other musical release in the past few months, it glows. However, when compaired to SOAD's other works, it somewhat falls flat. The sound is a definite progression from the more agressive System that many came to love into something more commercially friendly. Don't get me wrong, this isn't like what has happened to BEP, and in no way has System tried to produce a mainstream album. It just seems like the entire recording has had some edge taken off of it. Perhaps this is a sign of maturity, that they want to spread their messages to a wider audience and therefore need to tone down. Regardless, I still liked what I heard.
Lyrics — 6
What the f--k is Daron doing, trying to take over the whole damn band. While there was no doubt that he was an awesome guitarist, his skills as a singer and lyricist just cant compare to Serj. And then, as I'm reading a guitar magazine "I can't remeber which one" I find out that he played bass on most tracks, Shavo recorded like three songs! What is he doing? The lyrics just can't compare to Serj's genius (which is, btw, showcased in Question) Ditto for the singing. I think it would do the boys well to sit down and redefine the roles of each band member. Give Serj his Mic, pen and paper back and that same for Shavo and his bass.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, a good album, given the state of music today. Still, I can't help but feel that they are somehow setting the stage for Hypnotize, which I hope will be closer to past recordings than this one.