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Artist:

System of a Down

Album:

Mezmerize

Year: 2005
Format: CD
Label: American / Columbia
Genre: [Rock/Modern Metal/Hardcore/Pop/Experimental]
Overall Rating: 8.5
Music: 8.5
Production: 8.5


System of a Down's third proper album "Mezmerize" is rather aptly titled, since it succeeds in enchanting the listener with its catchy hooks. Judging by the material on this album, Malakian's songwriting skills have evolved - his speedy sections are accompanied with memorable, catchy choruses not to mention other surprising changes in song structure that actually fit into the concept of songs rather seamlessly.

Music on this album is rather diverse and adventurous. For example, who would have thought of blending hardcore bridges with catchy pop choruses... well in "B.Y.O.B." (Bring Your Own Bombs) that's exactly what one will hear, and it makes that song one of the highlights of this album. For the most part, the lyrics on "Mezmerize" are written with a tongue-in-cheek approach - if nothing, one gets good laughs listening to songs like "Cigaro" with lines such as "My cock is much bigger than yours/My cock can walk right through the door/With a feeling so pure/It's got you screaming back for more". Well, there are also lyrics driven by politics among others.

On a more critical side, I've got to admit this album also contains few letdowns. I, for one, am not the biggest fan of SoaD's speedy sections. Naturally there's still room for improvement here and there, and actually some parts could have benefitted from death metal sections to get the point across (we'll see when those are brought into the mix). Regardless, the biggest drawback of this album is its short length... Mezmerize is only 36 minutes long.

Daron Malakian co-produced this album with Rick Rubin, and I've got to admit the result is rather good sounding record. Sounds are to the point, so Andy Wallace and Vlado Meller handled their respective jobs well. All in all, this record is definitely a step forward for System of a Down, and it'll be interesting to see what their upcoming album is going to sound like. Obviously SoaD's "Mezmerize" will appeal to the fans of the band, but I also recommend others to give it a try - this record might grow on you with its catchiness.

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- MAGE (June 14th, 2005)



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LINE-UP:
Malakian, Daron: Vocals, Guitars
Tankian, Serj: Vocals, Keyboards
Odadjian, Shavo: Bass
Dolmayan, John: Drums
Producer: Rubin, Rick & Malakian, Daron
Mixing by: Wallace, Andy
Mastering by: Meller, Vlado
TRACKLIST:
System of a Down - Mezmerize  CD  Cover Image
01. Soldier Side - Intro
02. B.Y.O.B.
03. Revenga
04. Cigaro
05. Radio/Video
06. This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm on This Song
07. Violent Pornography
08. Question!
09. Sad Statue
10. Old School Hollywood
11. Lost in Hollywood

Length: 36:11
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