Sound — 10
I first heard songs from this album two years ago on 94.7 The Zone Radio Station. Immediately, I found that it was unlike any other metal record I had ever heard in my lifetime. These guys to me, revived the nu-metal genre. They helped to innovate metal lyrics in that, on this album, not every lyric you hear is "I hate you, F--k You, My Life Sucks, boo-hoo!" They talk about world issues people actually care about on many songs. Music-wise, this album and the band itself are basically the Bastard children of Slayer, Korn, and Rage Against the Machine, with some Middle-Eastern influences here and there. It contains awesome metallic guitars, creepy percussion, and impressive vocal and Bass work. This album once again proves that Metal Music is here to stay.
Lyrics — 10
As I stated earlier, I was stunned by the quality of the lyrics and by the diversity of the subjects that Serj Tankian (the vocalist) discusses. One of the songs, ATWA, was so beautiful that the first time I heard it, I almost cried. The lyrics also work very well with the music. Serj also proved on this album that he can actually sing quite skillfully as well as dish out earth-shattering screams and hard-hitting half-shouted, half-sung rap-style yells.
Overall Impression — 10
This album pretty much kills anything else out there lyric-wise. The most impressinve songs on this album are, by far, the frenetic "Chop Suey !," the politically charged "Toxicity," and the surprisingly beautiful "Atwa." There is absolutely nothing that I hate about this album, it is perfect! If it were stolen, I would certainly buy another one. If you are looking to get this album, there are three versions of it out now. One version with a blue-tinted color contains an extra DVD with a video for "Toxicity" and three songs performed live. The original version (Brown Tinted Color) contains just the album with some hidden tracks, most of which also appear on System of a Down's third album "Steal This Album!" The last version, which I believe is the best, has a red tinted cover with an extra Enhanced CD which contains Videos chronicling the making of this album!