How system Of A Down came to be one of modern metal’s greatest bands in 10 songs


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Even together the corridor of misfits that came of age in the unruly era that nu metal, device Of A Down always stood the end from their peers.

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Indeed, their eccentric mix the prog, thrash, hardcore, funk, rap and Middle eastern music take it the best facets of the sub-genre – angular riffs, weird time signatures and also manic vocals – and twisted them into something even more strange and compelling.

Much like confidence No an ext before them, the Californian alt-metal crew would go on to infiltrate the mainstream and accomplish multi-platinum success, and the 5 albums castle released between 1998 and 2005 continue to be some the the most groundbreaking records in modern-day metal. The chances of them adding to that illustrious back catologue look progressively remote, provided the intra-band bickering and the current political differences that have developed between singer Serj Tankian and drummer man Dolmayan.

For now, let"s focus on the an excellent stuff. Here are the optimal ten song by the utterly distinct and always atypical system Of A Down…


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10. I-E-A-I-A-I-O (Steal This Album!, 2002)

Much controversy surrounds SOAD’s 3rd full-length relax - is that a collection of b-sides/Toxicity outtakes or a studio album in its own right? every little thing the case, it has some that their many interesting and diverse songs to date, the crown jewel being I-E-A-I-A-I-O through it’s anti-Klu Klux Klan allusions (“And we light increase the sky”) and also Knight Rider motivated breakdown. What various other band would also have the nerve to tackle such scatter-brained ideas, allow alone the conviction to traction them off?


9. War? (System of A Down, 1998)

This an effective anti-war track from their self-titled debut album is one of SOAD’s critical political statements. The mysticism and eeriness in the music perfect underscore Tankian’s text of fear and also mistrust, whilst the band’s exciting mix the all-out brutality and also mindful restraint permit the singer the opportunity to show-off his insane vocal selection in all its mind-boggling glory.


8. Divine Mountains (Hypnotize, 2005)

By the moment they exit their 5th studio album Hypnotize, the chaos and also aggression the SOAD had constructed their call on was still present, yet it to be filtered with a maturity in the track writing. As a result, the songs were more intricate and also dynamic, as perfectly describe by the seven-minute rock symphony that Holy Mountains, which spellbindingly leader the listener towards the final reflective moment of their epic dual album.

7. Violent Pornography (Mezmerize, 2005)

The first in their twin album saga, Mezmerize significant the suggest at i m sorry SOAD shed their nu-metal skin and also ditched the down-tuned guitars for an completely cleaner sound, thus morphing into an all-round difficult rock band capable of being progressive, original, obtainable and brutal in equal measures. Violent Pornography is as crazy, catchy and also heavy as metal music gets, and also once again, v ridiculous lyrics prefer ‘It’s a non-stop disco / bet you it’s Nabisco,’ you just can’t imagine another band pulling it off - it’s 100% unmistakably system Of A Down.


6. Sugar (System that A Down, 1998)

Sugar was the very first single from SOAD’s debut album, and as such it introduced the people to the band’s unrelenting, schizophrenic, completely bizarre aesthetic the as lengthy as the didn’t have actually running for cover was certain to have you hooked because that the foreseeable future. Tankian’s spitfire rap delivery is interspersed with vocal acrobatics varying all the means from fatality metal growls come falsetto shrieks, every the while sound certifiably insane, and in less than three minutes girlfriend knew heavy music would never be the exact same again. ‘SUGAR!’


5. Toxicity (Toxicity, 2001)

Toxicity came out the main of 9/11, and it felt more in tune with the scary post-Millennial era than any other album around. It was also arguably the very first metal masterpiece that the 21st century, walk platinum within six weeks and triple platinum in ~ one year. It’s strange to imagine it now, but Toxicity was a major social phenomenon, and also that’s totally down come the toughness of the material: the band refined and improved ~ above what they’d done because that the debut album, developing their mélange of progressive rock, thrash metal, hardcore punk, brand-new wave and eastern influences, injecting included melody to produce truly timeless anthems like Toxicity, which has lost none of that is urgency or affect over the course of the last 15 years.

4. Spiders (System that A Down, 1998)

The second single come be released from System the a Down, Spiders sound unlike anything else on the debut album, proving even early that the band were qualified of writing haunting melodies. The tune starts off slow and soft before building in the direction of its intense climax, the cerebral lyrics about dreams and also mind control setup a dark and unsettling tone that contrasts totally with the bouncy absurdity of Sugar. The song also serves as a pre-cursor come Aerials, which is the following song on our list.


3) Aerials (Toxicity, 2001)

Cast in great of aural complexity, Tankian’s metaphorical lyrics of psychological emancipation open minded via the food of Aerials heavy verse / irradiate chorus track structure that recalls The Unforgiven by Metallica. Indeed, this song marked the moment, as with bands like Black Sabbath, stole Maiden, and also Metallica prior to them, the SOAD became so effective their music to be no longer part of the underground but part of popular culture at large. And also the factor they followed in those footsteps the those bands to ended up being one that the most renowned heavy absent acts in the human being was due to the fact that they wrote significant songs like this.

2. B.Y.O.B. (Mezmerize, 2005)

After 2 Grammy nominations (for Chop Suey! and also Aerials) indigenous the Toxicity album, the an initial single native Mezmerize in reality won SOAD a Grammy award for ideal Hard Rock power in 2005. The solitary in concern has also surpassed Chop Suey together their greatest selling single to date, which isn’t bad going for a track as wacky and also hyper-aggressive as B.Y.O.B. by this point, guitarist Daron Malakian to be doing more of the song writing and he and Tankian shared lead vocal duties in countless of the songs on the Mezmerize/Hypnotize twin album, splitting them halfway under the middle. B.Y.O.B.

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is the perfect amalgamation of their pair vocals, not to point out an utterly flawless distillation the the band’s influences and styles, which change effortlessly indigenous R&B tinged pop melodies to excessive thrash steel with breakneck speed. It’s a fucking outstanding piece of music. Yet it isn’t their best song, due to the fact that their finest song to be only ever before going to it is in this…

1. Chop Suey! (Toxicity, 2001)

Chop Suey! will certainly forever be the song many synonymous with mechanism Of A Down, which is great because it’s also the ideal song they’ve ever before written. It’s a monitor so potent that it managed to come to be a radio hit in a post-9⁄11 world of censorship and political correctness, in spite of containing lyrics that openly referral suicide (we’d quote lock here however you already bloody well recognize them prefer the ago of your hand), and also it still sounds prefer the future of steel today, also though its to be on loop at club nights all over the people for the critical 15 year – and not simply the rock ones, either. Us can’t also think about it there is no wanting to break into song, together is its contagious power to possess, so why struggle the feeling? We’re off to lose our shit, and you’re invited to join us.


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