Sound — 10
System Of A Down have been providing fans with their own unique blend of death-metal, funk, and armenian folk for nearly ten years. So after a 4 year hiatus, many fans (myself included) doubted if the band would return with any System-caliber music, if any new releases at all. In short, we all couldn't have been more wrong. Mezmerize (the first part of the double release Mezmerize/Hypnotize) was released on May 17th and immediately began to cause a stir amongst SOAD fans. Featuring countless, and amazingly creative instrumental parts (such as accordian and synth), Mezmerize is nothing short of a masterpiece, sent from the gods of rock music to save America from the nu-metal-plagued state in which it has found itself lodged in the last few years.
Lyrics — 8
System Of A Down's lyrics have always been a large part of what fascinates most fans about the bands seemingly endless creativity. On Mezmeriza Daron Malakian and Serj Tankian, continue the bands legacy of poinient, politically-charged lyrics. Something new on Mezmerize, is (guitarist) Malakian's vocals (of which we heard very little of on past SOAD releases) come to life, to give Mezmerize a much different, yet more diverse ambience.
Overall Impression — 10
Compared to earlier SOAD releases, Mezmerize manages to keep the ferocity typically associated with SOAD, while incorporating new, and exciting elements which listeners haven't appeared on previous releases. All of Malakian's guitars on previous records have been tuned to Drop-C (drop-D down one whole-step), however on Mezmerize all guitars have shifted up a half step into Drop-Db. This perpetuates the album's solidarity compared to all previous releases. While songs like "This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song" are remeniscent of older SOAD material, tracks like "Revenga" and "Lost In Hollywood" bring a brand-new feel to the album, featuring rapid tempo and key changes, as well as melodic vocals from both Tankian and Malakian. After a steady diet of such groups as Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage, Mezmerize provides a welcome chage and (as they have done so many times before) System Of A Down continue to push the limits of socially accpted rock music.