System of a Down review by System of a Down

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  • Released: Oct 12, 1998
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (184 votes)
System of a Down: System of a Down

Sound — 9
System of a Down's first album! Certified gold on February 2nd, and platinum after the release of Toxicity two years later. Apparantly, I'm not the only one who thinks that this album might be one of the best System of a Down has released. I love this album, it's a great mix of humor, politics and insanity. System of a Down is often categorized as metal, although I can see why, the band is really a category in itself.

Lyrics — 10
All lyrics were written by lead vocalist Serj Tankian, except for the Lyrics on CUBErt, which was written by Tankian and the band's guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian (he doesn't sing very much on the first three albums, though). The lyrics on this album are great, written in a way that makes you wonder about them. Either that, or they deliver a message so clear and loud everyone should be able to understand it.

Overall Impression — 10
System of a Down certainly compares to the band's other albums, some might even say it's the best they ever released! And when comparing System of a Down to other artists: 17/50 songs on my top 50 iTunes list are written by System, which is more than any other artist on my iTunes. Now, a little review of each song on the album: 01. Suite-Pee: The song starts off with a silly little riff consisting of overtones. It then transforms into a solid metal track with dark-sounding guitars and a heavy bass sound. Serj growls his way through the song, and when it's finished, it leaves you hungering for more. A great opener, although Prison Song might be a tiny bit better (in my opinion). 02. Know: Another heavy track with some impressive drumming. I especially like the "Don't ever try to fly.." part. 03. Sugar: This song shows us the insane part of System which we all love. Only Serj could sing a song about "The kombucha mushroom people.." and get away with it. In the end of the song, the tempo increases until it suddenly stops. Great song, this and Spiders were the only songs to be released as singles from this album. 04. Suggestions: This song showcases Tankian's brilliant abilities as a lyricist. You may have your own interpretation of the lyrics on this song, so I won't say this is the correct interpretation, but I thought I would add it: 05. Spiders: The start of this song is soft, haunting, weak, until it builds up and you quickly realize why so many people love this song. 06. DDevil: This song is full of madness and hilarity ("Select me, select me! *snort*...", "...the devil is so lovely.."), in wonderful contrast to the album's more serious songs like "War?", "Spiders" and "Mind". 07. Soil: Probably my favourite song on the album! I especially like the little riff Daron plays at 2:26-2:52. Also some great lyrics on this song (Don't you realize evil lives in the motherfucking skin?). 08. War?: Remember what I said earlier about System delivering a loud, clear message? Guess what song I was thinking about... 09. Mind: This song starts off with a soft bass intro, creating a scary, haunting atmosphere. This continues for almost 2 minutes, with Serj whispering "...look at eachother...", which just adds to that whole atmosphere. At 1:45, the song becomes more heavy, and if you didn't pay attention to the song before, you're sure to do that at this point. Great song, also the longest on the album. 10. Peephole: Footnote in the lyrics booklet: "The February 18 edition of Britain's NEW SCIENTIST Magazine reports that the Geneva-based World Health Organization suppressed, under political pressure, a report which confirmed that marijuana is safer than either alcohol or tobacco." This makes lyrics like "When your stars are baked, and your rivers fly, do you ever believe you get stuck in the sky?" seem understandable. 11. CUBErt: Another solid metal track. At 1:49 minutes, it is not very long, but great nontheless. 12. Darts: The part at 1:39 is just epic. Sounds great live aswell. 13. P.L.U.C.K: System of a Down dedicated this song to the memory of the Armenian Genocide, if you're a System of a Down fan and haven't heard about that, I strongly suggest looking that up! The song is good, my favourite part is 1:52 - 2:19.

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