Sound — 10
On Mezmerize System change from being a classic band with one frontman into a Beatles like band with 2 distinct vocalists. This intention has caused some to love them even more some to hate Darons voice. Mezmerize is the evolution from the first 3 CDs relased. This is a supreme and mature step. The songs are somewhat different. Where Toxicity was very direct in your face kind of style and the self-titled very quirky, Mezmerize has a more naked and emotional feel to it. Songs like Solider Side Intro, Revenga, Radio/Video, Question! and Sad Statue are emotional bombardings that pounds you hard in the gutter. The weirdness on Mezmerize is still there. Songs like Cigaro, This Cocaine Makes Me Feel.., and Violent Pornography are quirky and different. And yet not the same from the self-titled. And the BYOB single I cannot categorize into any System style. In general Mezmerize seems to be the sum of emotions that the band members went through the last couple of years. It's very personal stuff and at times it seems to me that the entire band cries out for us to understand the frustration and sadness. Hypnotize (as of 19-Oct-05) seems to me to be a more dark and masculine work, the darker and fury filled portion of the band with obscure lyrics and hard hitters directed towards other (maybe more political) issues.
Lyrics — 10
Daron takes a bit over on the lyrics and places serj in a different position. They swap vocalist roles often on this record. And that's great stuff. However sometines it seems to me that Serj could do a better job at some parts. Darons voice though is great. And it has a different feeling to it. Radio/Video shows Darons diversity and how good he really is. Lost In Hollywood is Daron all over but it's Serj heartbreaking moaning that makes the single work entirely. Without serj this would have been a thin single to me. On the other hand would Radio/Video not be as naked if it wasn't for Daron. He has a small crunchy voice and that's uniqueue to me. Serj I have no comments on, his voice is always great. Serj uses his voice differently. His doesn't screem as much (that's Darons job). But he babbles and that in a pace and speed that would make any rapper fade standing next to Serj. He seems calm on songs like Radio/Video and stresses that he also has matured some. But again sometimes I miss Serj gettin' angry and pounding out screems. It would've been nice. A song like Cigaro could use a grawl or two. But that's small, small issues. They harmonies are extremely beautiful and Question! is a true emotional rollercoaster ride here. The harmonies are some of the most beautiful I've ever heard competing and being as good and maybe better than chop suey. In conclusion to the lyrics: Serj is good at anything here. Daron good at anything also, but is better at some very direct messages. Fx. the bridge in BYOB, where as Serj is good and hypnotizing in Question!
Overall Impression — 10
This album doesn't compare to anyting they've ever done before. All the songs on this album stand out. And the entire album gives you a complete feel to what these guys want to tell us. Again this seems to be very personal stuff to me. Doesn't matter to me if it get's stolen. I have 2 euro versions, and one american released version. No difference at all. But this is my fav album so far. In the future watch out for Hypnotize, it's gonna take os else where. To darker and mysterious places. The opener attack should be some of the heaviest stuff ever made by them.