Sound — 10
As the first half of a two-disc series, System of a Down's "Mezmerize" stands as the premier to the "newer" System sound. From the first track the CD presents a lyrical journey through American society and government's problems. As always, System's Nu-Metal sound is there, from Serj's diverse singing styles to Daron's fast fretwork. While the songs take a slightly more "sane" tone than "Toxicity" did (Anyone remember the song "Bounce"? ), the album still has the great, catchy riffs and lyrics that kept me listening for years.
Lyrics — 10
The majority of this album's lyrics are about politics or society. Like a good citizen should, songwriters Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian use their lyrics to criticize the wrongdoings of these two groups. While the lyrics are often abstract, they still have a good implicit theme and are catchy. Listeners might catch that the songs often include odd time signatures, which allows Serj to explore his voice more fully than on previous albums.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, Mezmerize is a solid System of a Down album that doesn't fail to please. The diversity of the album combined with the intermittent messages is fresh, healthy for the ears, and a great addition to your library. Also, for the aspiring guitarist, the songs are fun to learn (I've learned all of them so far! ) so you will have plenty of good times with this CD.