System of a Down - Mezmerize
American Recordings
Modern Metal
11 songs (36.06)
Release year: 2005
System of a Down, American Recordings
Reviewed by Aleksie
Surprise of the month
Light those torches, truu-iivil-culters, the time has come upon your pure nation once again for a modern band to get kudos and praise! God, I love this record. Mezmerize = diverse, humorous, thought-provoking, jamming…well, good music. Much better than Toxicity, which has its definite high spots but is a bit bland and monotonous too often.

The first thing that jumps out from the record is the much larger amount of vocals guitarist Daron Malakian performs along with lead singer Serj Tankian. Malakians high pitched voice is definitely a love/hate equalizer, one either digs it good or despises it to the core, Id say. I personally think it’s a bit annoying, but matches off very well with Tankians deeper howling. The double vocals give many songs pop-like harmonies which doesn’t bother me one bit, on the contrary. It makes all the more parts that much more catchy. All in all the singing and playing performances on Mezmerize are some of the most unhinged and energetic Ive ever heard. Maybe not the most virtuosic or melodic in history, but I get a huge kick of these maniacal vocals and balls-out playing-enthusiasm.

The short softly sung intro leads us off into B.Y.O.B. which absolutely tears up with a vengeance. Somehow I get a very thrash metal feel when that opening riff blasts out and the manic pace begins. And by Lucifer, I simply LOVE that MTV-rap-parody-bridge. What a humongous slap in the face of generic billboard music. I just cant stop smiling every time I hear it. Revenga kicks excellent ass with the tempo altering blasts and a great chorus, before Cigaro kicks some more with its hilarious hardcore-leanings. A party tune if there ever was one done in 2005. Radio/Video mixes some heavy polka into the rocking, and it works very well. Violent Pornography is an excellent rocker that contains some of the best commentary about the state of televised material these days, with all the reality-TV-scheit and similar horsedung. Question! and Sad Statue bring the mood to a more mellow pace, even though especially the former alters quite aggressively between nice acoustic grooves and distorted pumping. Old School Hollywood and its synthesizers somehow bring me very large Rammstein-vibes, even though the connection isn’t that obvious - a killer song with an absolutely flypaper-like chorus. Ive been singing this spontaneously all day while mingling around the town or pogoing around the ol´ homestead. Lost In Hollywood is an OK ballad (with perhaps the best example of the good interplay Tankians and Malakians voices have together) that brings the album to a nice ending, even though I would have preferred a bit more crushing ending. Just a feeling, folks.

The production on the record is rock solid (Well D´uh, its got Rick Rubin written on the back) while giving the music good space to breathe and destroy. Nu metal? – not by a long shot, brother. Your basic nu-bounce-angst-riffers never have sounded as diverse and inspired as Mezmerize does. SOAD is truly walking their own path and is doing so in a very entertaining way. This one also holds a somehow perverse vibe of a huge party record to me. I feel joyfully insane every time I blast this record, which is a good sign to me. Want something different? Try System Of A Down & Mezmerize on for size. I did with some prejudice and was very pleasantly converted. Cant wait for Hypnotize later this year.

Killing Songs :
B.Y.O.B., Revenga, Cigaro, Radio/Video, Violent Pornography, Question!, Sad Statue & Old School Hollywood
Aleksie quoted 85 / 100
Jeff quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by System of a Down that we have reviewed:
System of a Down - System Of A Down reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
System of a Down - Hypnotize reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 80 / 100
System of a Down - Toxicity reviewed by Jay and quoted 73 / 100
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