Sound — 9
Mezmerize marked a new music style for System Of A Down. In most of their past recordings, they've leaned towards metal as their overall genre. With Mezmerize as well as its counterpart Hypnotize, they've taken upon a more rock feel. Their most impressive guitar parts in Mezmerize are commonly praised in B.Y.O.B. I think each of their songs has its own style, and can't really pick an overall favorite in terms of guitar solos and such for it. Soldier Side brings out a good foreshadowing for their longer version in Hyponotize, but I've heard criticisms that they think the guitarwork and lyrics in it seem too basic. I feel it's more of a foreshadowing effect. Nearly every time I hear the full version of Soldier Side, I get goosebumps when it reaches the part that is sort of a distorted version of it's counterpart from Mezmerize. Each song has its own effect in meaning, you just have to look beyond your past preferences to the band's sound to realize how new and original their newer work is.
Lyrics — 10
I don't think a day has gone by since System came into existance that their lyrics haven't been considered obscure or pointless, but I think it's an issue that System is always going to have. They have amazing lyrics if you look into the meanings and not just their base appearance. Let's take Cigaro for example. Granted, their lyrics for this song are inappropriate for the younger of us, but it all has a deeper meaning. It isn't just about some guy bragging about his manhood and etc, it's discussing a deeper feel of greed in businesses and such. This is the base meaning of it, as there can probably be more translations, but this is an example. You have to look into System's lyrics to find the meanings. I can only suppose too many of us are too lazy to do that. Serj and Daron both bring out amazing vocals and harmonies with these lyrics, and I believe they are greatly unappreciated.
Overall Impression — 10
System of a Down has stayed consistant with one thing. They use their lyrics to criticise the droning and politically incorrect world we live in. They criticise war, drugs, big business, Hollywood, and more in their songs. None of the songs don't have a deeper meaning to them. For this, I think that they have set themselves apart. Much to most people's dismay that their arguements are being flushed, System is not copying Green Day in their endevour to criticise the government. They've been doing it from day one. Mezmerize is some of System's better work and I'd replace any copy of it I ever lost.