Sound — 10
The band's sound and music itself is really good, and original. These guys are one of the few bands that have their own sound. I don't think that there is a story attached to the album, but most of the songs are politically charged, but unless you really listen to the lyrics, you can't tell. The music style is very original and different, as I said they have their own sound, which is probably one of the reasons that this was such a big hit, you might call this album alt. metal.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics don't make sense to most people, you have to really listen to them to understand what they mean. For the most part the lyrics go along with the music, especially in the songs Shimmy, Chop Suey, ATWA, and Prison Song. The singer skills are amazing, there's no limit to Serj's voice, whether it's high pitched, a deep growl or yelling, he can pull anything off, and Darron's backing vocals add a lot to the music.
Overall Impression — 10
Compared to the other albums, it's probably their best. They improved from the self titled album, the lyrics have a lot more meaning, and the music itself is much more impressive (especially Darron's guitar work). The most impressive songs in my opinion are, ATWA, Chop Suey, Toxicity, Aerials, Needles, and Shimmy. I love the variety of different types of songs, and that there isn't any rules for SOAD and what type of music they make, and to be honest there's nothing I hate about this album, I don't like the song Nullify, but that; s the only part of it that I don't like. If it were lost or stolen, I would most definetly buy another copy of this cd, it is a classic in my mind, and I'm glad I heard aerials 3 years ago and decided to buy it.