System Of A Down - System Of A Down (Cover Artwork)

System Of A Down

System Of A Down: System Of A DownSystem Of A Down (1998)
American Recordings

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: seekseek
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I don't want to hear any fucking bitching about these guys not being "punk". It doesn't matter, because if you are reading this, it means 2 things. 1. An admin for this site found the review relevant enough to be here and 2. YOU CLICKED TO READ THE GOD DAMN REVIEW. With that being said, this is.
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I don't want to hear any fucking bitching about these guys not being "punk". It doesn't matter, because if you are reading this, it means 2 things. 1. An admin for this site found the review relevant enough to be here and 2. YOU CLICKED TO READ THE GOD DAMN REVIEW. With that being said, this is a review for System of a Down's first major label release, which is self-titled. System of a Down is really one of the only interesting bands being played on MTV these days. The only other two good bands that get MTV play are The Hives and White Strips. I suppose The Strokes aren't terrible--they are better than the rest of the MTV bands--but all in all they are just a boarding school proto-punk rip-off. Before I get further sidetracked‚?¶ this album is a bit better than SOAD's current release "Toxicity". I am getting a bit tired of doing long reviews, so I'll keep this one short.

System of a Down blends thrashy guitars, wild beats, Biafra-ish frantic vocals, and great variety in each of their songs. The lyrics are very good on this album, though they may be a step up on "Toxicity".

"Suit-Pee" starts out the album, and begins with some nifty guitars before going into a fairly fast tempo. Lyrics to the opening verse are "I had an out of body experience, the other day, her name was Jesus, and for her everyone cried, everyone cried, everyone cried". The song then heads into the shouted chorus of "Try her philosophy, try her philosophy, try her philosophy, try. You die for her philosophy, die for her philosophy, die her philosophy die". Then we hear another verse, followed by the chorus until a drastic change in the tempo were the song breaks down and the singer, Serj Tankian, softly sings "Lie naked on the floor and let the messiah go through our souls, lie naked on the floor and let the messiah go all through our souls". The song then picks back up a little, with the lyrics "I want to fuck my way to the garden, cause everyone needs a mother fucker". There is a bit more to the song, but you get the point. It's catchy, definitely the kind of song you'd take home to mommy.

"Know" is a good song, but I think I shall just drop a few verses and let that be that.
"I will never feed off the evergreen luster of your heart all because we all live in the valley of the walls when we speak we can peak from the windows of their mouths to see the land the women chant as they fly up to the sun". "Books all say different things while people flap their yellow wings trying to soar by being a whore of life and almost everything the sheep that ran off from the herd may be dead but now's a bird able to fly able to die able to break your cursed earth".

"Sugar" is arguably the best song on the album, due both to the music and to the lyrics. The music is really to crazy to bother trying to explain in my current state, but rest assured that it is good. The song features multiple changes in tempo, guitar, and vocals. It is these changes, primarily in the style of the vocals, that makes SOAD such a great band. The lyrics to sugar are as follows:
"The kombucha mushroom people // Sitting around all day // Who can believe you // Who can believe you // Let your mother pray, (sugar)

Well I'm not there all the time you know // Some people, some people, some people // Call it insane, yeah they call it insane, (sugar) // I play Russian roulette everyday, a man's sport // With a bullet called life, yeah called life,(sugar) // You know that every time I try to go // Where I really want to be, // It's already where I am, // Cause I'm already there‚?¶.(sugar)

The kombucha mushroom people, // Sitting around all day, // Who can believe you, // Who can believe you, // Let your mother pray, (sugar)

I got a gun the other day from Sako, // It's cute, small, fits right in my pocket, // Yeah, right in my pocket, (sugar) // My girl, you know, she lashes out at me sometimes, // And I just kick her, and then she's O.K. ,she's O.K.(sugar) // People are always chasing me down, //Trying to push my face to the ground, // Where all they really want to do, // Is suck out my mother fucking brains, my brains (sugar).

The kombucha mushroom people, // Sitting around all day, // Who can believe you, // Who can believe you, // Let your mother pray, (sugar)

I sit, in my desolate room, no lights, no music, Just anger, I've killed everyone, I'm away forever, but I'm feeling better, How do I feel, What do I say, Fuck you, it all goes away, In the end it all goes away.

"Suggestions" starts out soft and melancholy, with a verse of "Watching // From a post up high // From where you see the ships afar // From a well trained eye // The waves all keep on crashing by // If you are the light post // Then you own the working class // but if you want the answers"‚?¶ then Serj absolutely shrieks out the verse's last line of "You better give a piece of ass". The next verse is "Warning // Post hypnotic suggestions // Running the ships ashore // The orange light that follows // Will soon proclaim itself a god // If you point your questions // The fog will surely chew you up", and the last line of the verse, this time "You better get ready for the fire", is again yelled out. The music then grows softer as it fades away, and things start to get odd (but in a good way). Serj's voice changes to that of a‚?¶ well–the character is a henchman for the powers that be, or literally some lackey of the lighthouse–but the sound, it is a bit hard to describe. Just think of how you'd sound with your balls hooked up to a car battery. With freshly recharged testes permeating the vocals, the song rounds out with "The ships are multiplying day after day sir // And they're coming close to the shore sir, shore sir // We need to evacuate the light post // It's all over, it's all over -- It's all over".

"Spiders" was a single that got radio airplay and a video in the rotation on MTV. At the time I really didn't care for the song, but in retrospect, it is actually a quite good, mellow song. The vocals are nothing short of beautiful and the music is complimentary to this. The music does pick up at some points of the song, but still maintains its mellow gloom. "Spiders" is proof that Serj Tankian can sing with a range that would impress Chris Cornell, and still be able to sing nearly as extreme and offbeat as Jello Biafra.

"DDevil" flies by with its wacky beat and brillian lyrics. The vocals, as in pretty much every song on the album, drive the song as an instrument in their own right.

"War" is a song of holy war, as the lyrics show as blatantly as can be. The opening verse is "Dark is the light, // The man you fight, // With all your prayers, incantations, // Running away, a trivial day, // Of judgment and deliverance, // To whom was sold, this bounty soul, // A gentile or a priest ? // Who victored over, the Seljuks, // When the holy land was taken". The music flows quite well into the chorus of "We will fight the heathens". Then we get a short verse; "Was it the riches, of the land, // Powers of bright darkness, // That lead the noble, to the East, // To fight the heathens" and another chorus before the music calms down and Serg does his evangelist impression (with the help of some background chanting). His holiness declares that "We must call upon our bright darkness // Beliefs, they're the bullets of the wicked, // One was written on the sword, // For you must enter a room to destroy it, // International security, // Call of the righteous man, // Needs a reason to kill man, // History teaches us so, // The reason he must attain, // Must be approved by his God, // His child, partisan brother of war, // Of war, we don't speak anymore" before the song goes into one final chorus.

Well I gave you the first 8 tracks. What more do you want? The remaining 5? Well, that isn't going to happen, I said I wanted to keep this review short and it is already fucking long. OK, one more song. "Peephole" is a polka-metal hybrid. It is the second best song on the album, under "Sugar"–just above "War", and that is all I am saying on the matter. I plead the 5th on grounds that I don't wish to self-incriminate‚?¶ just like an Enron employee.

[Begin well-deserved plug]

Review copywrong 1977 Mediaocre Industries. Check us out for more reviews and stizuff.
[End well-deserved plug]


People who liked this also liked:
System Of A Down - Steal This Album!Dead Kennedys - Plastic Surgery DisastersRise Against - Revolutions Per MinutePennywise - Land of the FreeSocial Distortion - Social DistortionMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyBad Brains - Bad BrainsNo Fun At All - Big KnockoverJawbreaker - Etc.Green Day - Warning

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
red_eyed420 (January 29, 2007)

a friend of mine thought i was mentally fucked up for owning this cd after he heard it blasting in my car during a road trip.. some of these songs are wicked to hear live...

rey_mysterio01 (March 4, 2006)

heLLo system of a down
i am a big fan of you and the album "hypnotize" was amazing and two albume in one year that was a amazing =)))
(sorry but i can not good speak english)^^

addictedd2prozac (May 2, 2005)

Only two songs on this CD are worth talking about, and yes, Good Charlotte does suck. I like this band OK but they aren't PUNK! It's metal!

soulbleed (January 12, 2003)

this album was amazing, but unfortunately this band is unable to repeat themselves considering toxicity was the worst album of 2001 and of course the follow up made that album look like a masterpiece. i hate this band, every person who likes it, and i just want to beat people who listen to it. SYSTEM SUCKS MY ASS.

M4CH1N3 (December 3, 2002)

Cut your hair you metal-ass weirdo. This is music for geeks who feel special listening to this crap while doing their homework and feeling like the world is a terrible place because mom and dad didn't want to buy them the new GeForce 12 MX.

Anonymous (May 8, 2002)

systems i saw at big day out this year. and i thought they were fucking awsome. and since there isnt a big fat border line arround "punk"
no one can say the difference. but i will say this. i saw new found glory at vans at the same venue. GOLD COAST PARKLANDS australia. and it was honestly the worste show i have ever seen. i was ashamed to be there. and i rate system of a down so much higher than that audio shit and pussy pedofile wanker behavioure i saw on stage in the rain with a kiddy mosh during vans. the only thing stopping me from hanging myself around the corner was guttermouth played soon after,

guttermouth saved my life.

system of a down rock.

Anonymous (May 8, 2002)

Actually I clicked the review to laugh at you. And to laugh at your reference to "Biafra-like vocals"


Anonymous (May 6, 2002)

Fuck why do you have to copy and paste the entire lyric sheet into your review? Fuck!

Anonymous (May 6, 2002)

Who cares what "connection" may or may not be there. If its good music its good music. All bands copy another band from somewhere else its whats called a genre.

Anonymous (May 6, 2002)

Listen to Refused - The Deadly Rythm,
then some songs like Sugar or Toxicity,
and you'll see the connection.

evildeadalive (May 6, 2002)

Honestly, out of all of those bands, I think Good Charlotte suck the most. They are the only band in the group who actually pretend to be punk.

Anonymous (May 6, 2002)

actually, urine on your milk is not too bad. don't slam it until you've tried it. and system of a down are punker than you and your mother, so fuck off.

Anonymous (May 6, 2002)

Are you fucking talking?

Good Charolette are about as cool as using urine on your cereal over milk.

Anonymous (May 6, 2002)

OK System of a Down aside I am sick of something else. Good Charlotte. I am sick of people putting them in the same category as Sum 41, Blink 182 and NFG. They are so much better than all of those bands combined. If Rancid was to have a pop-punk counterpart it would be Good Charlotte. Good Charlotte has a similar sound, some of the same riffs, drums beats, and singing melodies are very similar to Ruby Soho, Roots Radical, and other older Rancid songs. Though they get airplay and MTV footage and everything they are an extremely talented band with something different to sing about unlike the other pop-punkers of these days who cant think of anything to think about other than girls and partying. I wish people would stop putting them in the same category with Good Charlotte.

Anonymous (May 5, 2002)

the dumb fuck who said nothing about their lyrics is punk, you obviously haven't listened to this record. songs like war, sugar, pluck, they're songs about injustices in this world, government immorality and corruption. that's not punk to you? dude, take a second and stop listening to your saves the day emo shit and listen to some bands that actually have some intelligent and thought provoking things to say.

Anonymous (May 5, 2002)

fuck all of you "punks" who don't think soad should be here. they're def more punk than so many of these poseur bands like good charlotte and new found glory. punk was never about any style of music. it was always more about an idea, a culture, a way of thinking. not limiting yourself to "i lost my girlfriend blah blah blah" lyrics. so they're more in the metal genre. they still have considerable punk influence in their songs and their lyrics. you know, like fuck the govenrment corruption, fuck police brutality-aren't they doing the same thing pennywise, the casualties, nofx, and tons of other more "qualified punk" bands are doing? so they're more quirky, more different, more metal than other "punk" bands. when was that grounds to dismiss them as not punk, much less dismiss a fucking review of their album on a website? i'm so sick of you fuckers who have such a close minded view of the world. you can't even stand the fact that something as insignficant and unimportant as an album review posted on a website is so damn wrong. complain all you want "they're not punk blah blah" it looks the majority of the people who have posted here are backing me, not all you poseurs.

Anonymous (May 5, 2002)

Am I the only one who is totally convinced System Of A Down rips off/sounds way to much like the Blue Meanies?

They have almost identicle voices (at times) and except for the Blue Meanies horn section, their music sounds very similiar (stop and go/really fast and then really slow without warning..blah blah blah) I just find it to weird

If you don't know what I mean, take a listen to Full Throttle by the Blue Meanies, and then take a listen to System Of A Down and compare

Anonymous (May 5, 2002)

"almost every punk band around nowadays sucks ass, with the exception of a few decent bands like Pennywise and Bad Religion" OK those might be the "mainstream" punk bands that are good... even though there are a few more but if you looked into anything into your local scene, maybe some indie labels, I am sure that there are bands that you have never heard of that you would love. I was like you a few years ago, only listened to pennywise and bands of the like, but i was 16 years old. Now that I am 20 I know that I can find other bands worth my while that arent on the "major" punk labels (i.e. Epitaph, Fat, Hell Cat). I started recognizing the boston punk scene and found out about bands I would have never found out about while i was confining myself to the major punk scene. Check into some of the underground bands before you down the future of punk.

Anonymous (May 5, 2002)

you guys are fucking morons. you really don't understand what the punk ethos is all about. go watch some mtv and stop pretending to be in this scene

Anonymous (May 5, 2002)

To tell you the truth, System of a Down is more punk than NFG, Sum 41, Fenix TX, NOFX, or any of that other whinney crap coming out nowadays.

Anonymous (May 5, 2002)

Fucking little kids. You pussys are what make punk the joke that it has become. Listen to whatever sounds good to you- that was the original punk moto. Now we have these little 15 year old kids coming on here wearing their little spiked braclets and mohawks and start incriminating everyone of being a sellout. Fucking children, do you even know what they music and the scene was originally about, obviously not. You guys are just regular peices of shit who harass people for no reason. Doesn't matter anyway though, almost every punk band around nowadays sucks ass, with the exception of a few decent bands like Pennywise and Bad Religion- which started a while ago anyway. Thinking about punk's future makes me sad- the scene is technically dead now, not that it should be, I hope it reawakens. But the majority of what people call punk now is just easy listening pop rock. Period.

Anonymous (May 4, 2002)

for every rancid or ramones video, there are 500 videos of crap bands. if i wanted to read about a metal band, i would go to a site about metal or mtv news. these guys are not punk and i don't want to see them here. so fuck off!

Anonymous (May 4, 2002)

Ruby Soho was in heavy rotation on MTV. MTV has done numberous stories on Rancid. They are hailed as some sort of punk gods. Cant everyone see that being on MTV isnt a bad thing unless it changes who you are or what you play.

Anonymous (May 4, 2002)

well, rancid has been on mtv. ramones have been on mtv. lars and the bastards has been on mtv2. dude, get your head out of your punk ass and get a clue.

Anonymous (May 3, 2002)

bands on mtv are not punk. mtv is the antithesis of punk. this is a punk site. i don't want to see neo-metal bands on this site.

Anonymous (May 2, 2002)


Anonymous (May 2, 2002)

For some reason, System of a Down reminds me of a metal version of Dead Kennedys. Or maybe I'm just crazy and fucked up.

evildeadalive (May 2, 2002)

SOAD is 100 times more punk than Tool anyway. What the fuck is that guy talking about?

seek (May 2, 2002)

ok, disclaimer doesnt make it "right"... what makes it "wrong"? the site's URL isn
t "onlybandsthatanonymoususersallowustotalkabout.org".

Anonymous (May 1, 2002)

despite what this asshole said, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS DOING HERE? I could understand TOOL, but System of a down has no punk relevance. I like them okay, but its not punk. and if the admins like it so much, why don't they make a metalnews.org like the guy down there mentioned. Their lyrics aren't punk. Nothing about these guys is punk. They rock. I like them. But god damn, just cuz you come on here with a little disclaimer doesn't mean its right. sometimes bitching is warrented. and you sir have earned it god damn it. you suck.

fish (May 1, 2002)

fast, intense, emotional, lyrics that offer insight, songwriting that reeks of asskickingness...
punk or not, what the fuck more could you want from a album?
one of the staples of the early hardcore scene was that it was hard and fast. this is definitely both.

Anonymous (May 1, 2002)

This is honestly one of the best albums I own, and Toxicity, although different, is also right up there.

Horrible review though.

Anonymous (May 1, 2002)

Whoever said SOAD use rap and emo in their songs...come on. They use neither.

Anonymous (May 1, 2002)

that is the stupidest review ive seen so far on this site. why would you waste so much space on something as superfluous as writing out the lyrics that have the moxy to not even mention the best song (PLUCK). you are hereby banned from doing reviews.

Exar_Kun (May 1, 2002)

SOAD is the only band on MTV i can actually say i like, they aren't like all the parkin linkins and all those roaches. I like this cd and toxicity, who says you can't listen to punk music and not like a metal band...is there a law against it. I guess if there is they better start picking people up, the punk police are gonna charge me with not being "punk enough" ha, fuck that

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

Great Album, but did you really need to list out all of the lyrics?

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

I like how people complain about this album. Oh wait no I don't. SOAD is 10 times better than Papa Roach and Linkin Park. Serj is a fucking amazing singer and musician all around. How anyone could complain about this album but then worship NOFX and Rancid is beyond me. NOFX and Rancid are amazing bands I agree but so is SOAD. Their brilliance in blending metal with basically all other types of music is complete genius. They are hardcore, emo, metal, rap, and you know what they throw in a little punk to spice it up. Close minded punks will shun at the word rap being assiciated with any band but thats just because they fail to realize how much rap is in a lot of their music. Ignorant bastards. I am so glad someone reviewed this album (I wish I had thought of doing it). This showed how close minded a lot of the people on this site are reprimanding the reviewer because this "isnt punk" and because they see it on MTV so that obviously associates it with Linkin Park and other MTV rock bands... grow up.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

I like how the Selby Tigers ripped off this cover for their new album.


Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

shove that well desrved plug sraight up your ass. and oh yeah, this album is actually very good, much better than toxishitty.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

I don't know how the fuck those SOAD guys do it. They let people who - besides liking SOAD - have a respectable taste in music believe that this pile of crap is actually better than Linkin' Park, Papa Roach or one of those other crappy bands. Offcourse, they're not. It's all because that singer guy is always eating cereal in their videos and that makes people believe they're good.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

system of a down definitely rock. fucking insane start stop riffage and lots and lots of speed. fast, hard, aggressive, melodical, political band. they are the only band in the mainstream/mtv that i like. some political as well as just plain weird, off the wall lyrics-a more accessible mix that ratm was never able to get quite right. toxicity is good too but s/t is a little better. i think war, pluck(politically, lying, unholy, cowardly killers), and sugar are the top tracks but every song on this album is excellent.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

oh good, i've found metalnews.org

punky (April 30, 2002)

I haven't heard their s/t album, but i think 'metro' was recorded around the same time,and I like that song...
Anways I give you 9/10 for a great review.Good on ya seek.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

Oh ya, Buddyhead likes System of a Down so I do too!

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

System of a Down is fucking amazing. Toxcity is better than this album though I think. War is definitley the best song on this album with Sugar close behind. Andrew WK is not good either. He is cheesy pop/rock/metal/wanna-be-pop-punk. But he is one crazy ass motherfucker. Fucking psycho. But anyway System of a Down rocks! Seeing them on MTV almost upsets me but then I remember that this would never change the kind of music they play.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

Kinda band. If I hear one more Andrew WK reference, I'll snap. Long stale review too. Sorry.

maverick (April 30, 2002)

Soooooooooo good.

If you're the person who stole my copy of this album, watch out.


FatTony (April 30, 2002)

No he didn't.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

Nice review. You forgot to mention Andrew W.K. as an MTV band that is good

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