System of a Down
As we near the end of the millennium there are still a great many issues which the United States and the world as a whole must still face. After nearly 1000 years the forces of corruption, racism, sexism, oppression, terrorism, war, and abuse still rage on in a system of politicians, a conformist public and those on the outside looking in. The ensuing chaos at hand represents a reckoning day for the system of a down. Similar to these misunderstood events a band hailing from Los Angeles, CA of the same name is facing the turning tide of musical genres. From the intensity of a metal band to the over-the-edge power of punk, System of a Down blend the sounds together using both styles’ outspoken political rage as a platform. Throw into this mix a hint of rap, jazz, Middle Eastern, Armenian folk, Americana, hardcore and classic rock and you have the great American melting pot System’s name seeks to represent. Vocalist, Serj Tankian’s powerfully voice bellows at times over Daron Malakians’s unconventional guitar lines and then the mood swings creating a dynamic twist to near silence. Add in the roaming bass lines of Shavo Odadjian and the on-top drumming of John Dolmayan and the feel of the song takes on a new direction. Balancing intensity and aggression with a quiet and moody surprise allows System of a Down to make their music point more effectively. The quartet’s vast range of influences mean no one label can accurately describe the bands almost schizophrenic sound. Non-traditional song structures and some unique production effects color to System’s self-titled debut. Catchy riffs and easy to sing along with melodies offset some of the more complex music sections and the assorted growls and screams as System revolts against the redundancy of the current pop-music landscape. The lack of normal musical definition was in-part created by producer and label owner Rick Rubin and engineered by Sylvia Massey (Tool) as well as System themselves. Utilizing the bands Armenian heritage and the vast array of Southern California musical styles, System are able to draw from so many different palettes that each song takes on its own unique persona. Having toured with everyone from the OzzFest 98 lineup to metal greats Slayer and Fear Factory have only added to System’s prescence in the modern metal landscape. The conflict and aggression the band displays on the album is made even more explosive on stage. So challenge your ears and mind by becoming aware of the System of a Down and experiencing non-conformity in music and opinions as have never seen or heard before.